Breaking Barriers: Khyentse Norbu’s ‘Pig at the Crossing’ Premieres Virtually to Global Acclaim

Media OutReach Newswire - 21 May 2024
In an era where gatekeeping has long been a challenge for filmmakers, the emergence of virtual screenings has revolutionised the way films reach their audiences.

One remarkable example of this transformation is the internationally acclaimed filmmaker Khyentse Norbu’s latest work, ‘Pig at the Crossing’. After being rejected by over 30 film festivals, the Bhutanese lama and filmmaker decided to instead premiere it online to a global audience, announcing it via a sole press release to North America, Pan Asia, Italy and Germany.

Despite the press release being made just five days prior to screening, it garnered over 45,000 PR impressions from online news postings, driving great interest and a successful virtual premiere which was watched by over 10,000 viewers from across the globe.
Full - Pig at the Crossing Film premiere - Media OutReach Newswire

Breaking Down the Barriers

Traditionally, the film industry has been characterised by tight access to distribution channels, where film festivals are the golden opportunity for filmmakers to gain exposure and attract recognition from a wider audience.

Norbu, who never had any of his films rejected back-to-back before, notes how he and his team took to plan B with an online premiere. In the online realm, visibility and awareness is key, and Norbu’s strategic use of a newswire changed the game.
    1. Global Reach: Tapping a newswire service allowed Norbu to swiftly get the word out to a vast network of media outlets, journalists, and influencers. In the case of ‘Pig at the Crossing’, the news of the virtual premiere reached corners of the world that were previously inaccessible. From Bhutan to Brazil, viewers tuned in, breaking down geographical barriers.

    2. Visibility and Awareness: The film industry thrives on buzz and anticipation. By strategically timing the newswire release, Norbu generated buzz around his film. Journalists picked up the story, and media outlets featured articles about the virtual screening. As a result, audiences became aware of ‘Pig at the Crossing’, and curiosity grew.

    3. Audience Engagement: The newswire distribution not only spread the word but also engaged potential viewers. Through a compelling press release that highlighted the film’s unique aspects—the storyline, the cast, and the virtual screening experience—curiosity and interest was drummed up. Audiences felt connected, and the film became more than just a movie; it became an event.
Pig Crossing Film virtual screening - Media OutReach Newswire
Pig at the Crossing premiered virtually to over 10,000 viewers globally, despite being rejected by over 30 film festivals

The Power of Online Screening

The virtual premiere of ‘Pig at the Crossing’ exemplifies the changing landscape of film distribution, offering advantages especially for emerging and independent filmmakers by levelling the playing field and reaching wider audiences.

While the traditional theatre forms part of the viewing experience, online screenings democratise access and allow viewers to join from the comfort of their homes, transcending geographical limitations. Norbu’s film reached audiences who might otherwise never have attended a traditional screening at a film festival.

The online screening also enabled diverse audiences to engage with the film online, also bringing Bhutan’s culture, people, and filmmaking industry to the world.

Taking the world by storm

Khyentse Norbu’s success with ‘Pig at the Crossing’ demonstrates that newswire distribution is not just about press releases, but about empowerment.

As with how ‘Pig at the Crossing’ transcended borders with an innovative approach, companies and brands need to find new ways to capture and reach diverse audiences, quickly and effectively.

About Pig at the Crossing (2024)
Duration: 119 mins
Languages: Dzongkha & English
Written & directed by: Khyentse Norbu
Production: Norling Studios, Thimphu, Bhutan

After a young man abruptly dies in an accident, he grapples with an unfamiliar world of the space between death and rebirth.

DOLOM, 29, a passionate YouTube creator and newly appointed school teacher in Bhutan has a one-night stand with a married woman, DEKI, 32. When she discovers that she’s pregnant, Dolom concocts a plan to cover up the affair and save his reputation. On his way to rendezvous with Deki, Dolom gets into a motorcycle accident and wakes up in a bizarre, and chaotic world.

Slowly he begins to realize that he is in fact dead. With the help of a mysterious guide, Dolom navigates this in-between realm and faces his storied past and the consequences of his actions. As time collapses around him, he must choose to right his wrongs and let go of his attachment to his former self or be trapped to wander in a dream-like in-between state for timelessness.

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