Stills from Tibetan Films

Tibetan Film Festival 2004

About the Tibetan Film Festival

The Tibetan Film Festival is the first of its kind, produced by Lobsang Wangyal Productions. The idea of the film festival is to honour and promote the Tibetan film and fIlmmakers and to encourage and inspire up and coming Tibetan filmmakers.

Tibet remains an occupied country by China and suffers the repressive policies China adopts. Film has an important role to play in bringing awareness about the situation to the world.

At the Asian Film Festival in Bombay, the films Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet were not shown due to pressure from the Chinese embassy in New Delhi. This is evidence of the power film has to educate people. Kundun is a film depicting the early life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his flight into exile after the Chinese occupation of Tibet. It is directed by Martin Scorsese and will be shown in the Tibetan Film Festival.

It is hoped that the festival will encourage and strengthen a film culture among Tibetans. Films are an indispensable medium in today's world, and a stronger a film culture will provide enormous benefit to Tibetans. The works of the few Tibetan filmmakers need to be seen, promoted and honoured and it is this festival which will provide a unique platform for this.

There will be two categories in the festival. The first category is films produced, directed or scripted by Tibetans. There are about a dozen films in this category of which the festival will screen all the films which were made available to it. The second category of films to be screened is on freedom movements, social and global issues.

Of the films made by a Tibetan, the film to have gained the most acclaim so far is The Cup, directed by Jamyang Khentse Rinpoche. The film is about the monks' craze about football and how monks at one monastery endeavour to watch the 1998 football World Cup final between Brasil and France. Most of the monks support the French team in appreciation for the French nation's solidarity and sympathy for Tibetans and their cause. The sub plot of the film is the depiction of the daily life of the monks in the monastery and their practice of Buddha Dharma.

The most renowned documentary is The Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet by Tenzing Sonam and Ritu Sarin. It exposes CIA involvement in Tibetan politics in the late 1950s and in 1960s.

The other category of films to be screened concerns freedom movements, social and global issues. Films such as Bhagat Singh, Osama (a film about an Afghan girl), Surplus (about anti-globalisation), Chavez - Inside the Coup, Fahrenheit 9/11 and and The Motorcycle Diaries (a film on Che Guevera) will be shown.

Once all the films have been shown, the public will be able to vote for Best Tibetan Feature Film and the Best Documentary Film. A Best Foreign Film will also be voted and the three awards will be presented on the evening of 10 October, before the crowning of Miss Tibet 2004.

Film information

The team members


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