Chasing Stars and Gangnam Girls dazzle at the 2022 Samuh OTT Awards

Cast and crew members of Chasing Stars with their awards (Pic. Tashi Tshewang)

Chasing Stars won 12 of the 15 series awards while Gangnam Girls took home seven

KARMA CHIMI | Thimphu

The first ever Samuh-OTT awards held on 1 November saw Gangnam Girls and Chasing Stars sweep clean a total of 19 honors in the glam-lit event.

A total of 19 feature films, five series, seven short films, 26 music videos and 26 original sound tracks- produced and released on Samuh platform from June 2021-July 2022, were long listed for the awards.

The best series, best director, best lead performers (male and female), and other significant accolades were among the 12 awards that Chasing Stars received in the series category.

The film only failed to sweep the honours for the best supporting actor female – series, best child actor – series and best playback singer male – series categories.

Debut director Tashi Tshewang said, “I didn’t have much hope because series like Autumn in Yangtse, Jarawa-Undercover, and other noteworthy ones had good in-depth storyline. But it was an incredible and wonderful moment when our series received 12 honors.”

The positive feedback he received for the first season inspired him to further work on Chasing Stars 2. Tashi also added that he has a number of other projects on the fray.

Likewise, Gangnam Girls won seven of the 16 awards in the film category. The film’s director, Charmi Chheda, who won the category for the best feature film and best director, said they paid attention to details and tried to do the best to portray the innate skills of their characters which worked to their favour.

“Coming from outside, I have got a lot of support from Bhutanese friends and the idea of women and friendship came about,” Charmi said, adding that she emphasized on the strong portrayal of female characters in the South Asian film industry through the movie.

Charmi is grateful that Samuh is providing additional platform for people to showcase their talents and tell stories that are of importance in the Bhutanese society and to the international audience.

Samuh OTT awards, the first of its kind in the country, was held to recognize the contributions made by their collaborators, production partners, filmmakers, actors and other creative professionals.

Samuh officials said, “It is our earnest belief that recognitions and awards will inspire and motivate filmmakers to push new boundaries and create an environment of healthy competition, eventually enhancing the quality and standards of cinematic creativity.”

They added that the awards are a celebration of the creative excellence in Bhutanese cinema as they continue to give wings to our creative professionals to rise higher in pursuit of excellence.

“The award ceremony went well and the response from the audience was also positive,” said Kinley Tshering, the creative director of Samuh.

He acknowledged that it was nerve-wracking for Samuh to host an awards ceremony for the first time. However, he added that Samuh which is considered as the nation’s largest producer of films and series, is already planning a larger and better awards gala for the upcoming year.

He said three special awards were also given to honor individual independent initiatives that lead to the creative development of art in the country.

The three special recipients were Gokab, VAST Bhutan and Goedra Bey Yi team from Samuh.

A total of 36 awards, including the three special awards, were for grasp among the different categories of filmmakers.

According to Samuh, they collaborated with hundreds of filmmakers between June 2021 and July 2022, including directors, writers, actors, cinematographers, visual editors, technical experts, vocalists, music and sound studios, and animators among others.

The slogan for this year’s award was “Giving wings to pursue excellence in cinema.”