By Choekyi Lhamo
Filmmaker Tsering Wangmo (MHIFF)
DHARAMSHALA, DEC 27: Tibetan filmmaker Tsering Wangmo has won three awards at My Hero International Film Festival (MHIFF) including the prestigious 2019 Eva Haller Women Transforming Media (WTM) Award in the student division of MHIFF. The young journalist and filmmaker’s Conversations with My Mother
has also won the 1st place in the festival’s Experimental category and Wangmo also presented with the 2019 Emerging Artist Award for the same.
Tsering Wangmo was born to Tibetan refugee parents in India whose lives have been an inspiration for her work. She studied journalism in south India’s Madras Christian College (MCC) and Mass communication at Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) in Shimla. She studied documentary filmmaking from New York. She is one of recipients of The Rowell Fund for Tibet through which she set off on a photographic quest to document the lives of Tibetan nomads in her documentary Tales from the Pasture
. The documentary also won the Jury Award & Audience Award in the Tibet Film Festival (TFF) Short Film Competition 2018 in Dharamshala.
Eva Haller, sponsor of the WTM award and a member of the My Hero Project board, wrote in praise of Wangmo’s work, “I was moved by the images of a girl in a hammock, a mother milking a cow... And the mother is telling the story of giving birth to five children, all alive, none of them being born in a hospital. The most poignant part for me was the daughter’s love and admiration for her mother, and moving from hammock onto the ground, to be in her mother’s arms.” Haller established the award to encourage films that are women-centric and have the potential to make a positive impact in the world.
The festival is dedicated to sharing stories, art, music and short films about everyday heroes throughout the world. The director of MHIFF, Wendy Milette, spoke about Wangmo and her filmmaking, “Tsering’s unique gentle voice moves the audience into a firsthand experience of her intimate, loving and respectful relationship with her mother. The emerging artist award recognises filmmakers who show promise with their talents and storytelling skills. Tsering shows great promise.”Conversations with my Mother
is an experimental documentary which focuses on Wangmo’s mother and explores her life moving parallel in narration and image with her past and present. In her own words, the award-winning filmmaker explains her love of storytelling, “My mother and I live different lives yet we are connected beyond words can ever explain. She is my root and I am fascinated by the being that she is. . . . Through visual imagery, I try to capture the simplicity of her life and the warmth that she provides to her family.”