The Red Phallus

The Red Phallus

Original name: The Red Phallus
English name: The Red Phallus
Year: 2018
Run time: 85'
Language: Dzongkha
Type (Colour/ Black & white): Colour
Country: Bhutan, Germany, Nepal
Director: Tashi Gyeltshen
Producer(s): Tashi Gyeltshen, Kristina Konrad, Ram Krishna Pokharel
Cast: Tshering Euden, Singye, Dorji Gyeltshen, Choten Wangchuk
Screenplay: Tashi Gyeltshen
Cinematographer: Jigme T. Tenzing
Editor: Saman Alvitigala
Sound Designer: Niraj Gera
Music Composer: Jigme Drukpa, Frances-Marie Uitti
Production Designer: Karma Tenzin
Production Company: Studio 108
World Sales: Asian Shadows Sales Limited
World Sales Phone: +86 13602721891
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  • Busan IFF 2018
  • Locarno IFF 2018
  • Dharamshala IFF 2018

Selected Filmography:

  • Girl with a Red Sky (short) 2009
  • The Red Door 2014

Director's Biography:

Tashi Gyeltshen, who lives in Thimphu, Bhutan, was born in 1972. After a career as a journalist, he worked as an assistant director for a production company in Bangkok. Tashi’s first short film, Girl with a Red Sky (2009), was commissioned by UNICEF in conjunction with Bhutan’s Youth Development Fund, and was followed by 2014’s The Red Door which premiered at Rotterdam IFF. The Red Phallus, his debut feature won FIPRESCI Prize at Busan IFF.


In the gloomy and remote valley of Phobjika in central Bhutan, Sangay, a 16-year-old girl lives with her widower father, Ap Atsara, a popular craftsman who is specialized in making wooden phalluses. He has also been playing the role of an Atsara (a clown) in the annual tsechu (festival) for the last twenty years. Now, he wants to retire and pass on the mask to a younger talent.

But, a dark secret from the past unfolds. And in the convoluted world of phalluses and masks, Sangay struggles to find congruence between her inner world and the outer relationships. She gets lost in the vast and beautiful landscape of Phobjikha in search of who she wants to become.

Instead, she finds a mask. And behind it, her world.