Bhutan film director Tshering Wangyel dies at 43

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Tshering Wangyel in 2014Image source, AFP
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Tshering Wangyel played a key role in developing Bhutan's movie industry

One of Bhutan's leading film directors, Tshering Wangyel, has died in hospital at the age of 43.

The Bhutan Film Association said Tshering Wangyel had been shooting his latest movie when he was taken to hospital last month with pneumonia.

It called his death a great shock and a huge loss.

Tshering Wangyel made 40 films blending Bollywood with Buddhist themes and played a key role in developing the nation's movie industry.

Yeshi Dorji, executive director of the Bhutan Film Association, told the Agence France-Presse news agency: "Most of our popular actors and actresses got their break because of him - every year he would make at least a couple of films, creating so many jobs in the process."

Tshering Wangyel released his first film in 1999, writing the screenplay and overseeing cameras, sound and lighting. Friends helped with the budget and starred in the movie, Rawa.

Tshering Wangyel also transported screens and projectors from village to village around the mountainous Himalayan kingdom to bring films to the people.