YETI is a film documenting the Tibetan freedom struggle that has been in the making since the beginning of this year.
YETI is inspired by the bravery and perseverance of the Tibetan people in their peaceful struggle during these times of weapons and wars. The YETI project is an earnest attempt to spread the word in student communities around the world.
YETI covers the Tibetan Freedom movement in all it’s manifestations around India and inside Tibet. It all started with a crew of two people from Mumbai: Director Akhil and Cameraman Nagraj were filming in Dharamshala around the Tibetan Uprising Day. As the days progressed more people offered to help, mostly the non-political common Tibetans. Yeti is shot at multiple locations all over India including the sensitive border districts in the north.
YETI team faced many challenges throughout from police and Indian administration. We were barred from the Chinese Olympic Torch relay at India Gate and our Japanese line producer Shuichi Azuma was arrested and detained by Indian police because he was mistaken for a Tibetan. Director Akhil Bali was arrested illegally by state administration in Bans Pathan along with 15 Tibetans and detained for a night in lock up to put pressure on the Peace Marchers to stop the March. Despite all these challenges including very limited finances, our project has come through thanks to the hard work of everyone involved.
The director, Akhil Bali started this project with the intention of making a contribution to the Tibetan freedom movement in the best way he knew how, through film. He has worked as an assistant director on various Indian “Bollywood” productions before going independent as a director in 2006 with an award winning Television series “Swadesh – coming home to India” presently based in Mumbai he is producing projects for Indian television companies as well as corporates.
Shuichi Azuma was working for a Japanese TV station in New York City when he connected with Akhil and decided to quit his job to come to India and work on the YETI project. He has touched on all aspects of the production and is an invaluable asset.
Dipin Rajrai, who runs a New Delhi based Advertising agency has known Akhil for several years. He generously offered his assistance as line Producer and has offered his studio in New Delhi as a base for the YETI post-production. He has provided accommodation and transport for all the crew-members while in Delhi
Alex Fisher was born in New Zealand and has lived in England for years. He is currently based in Mumbai where he works editing mainstream television shows and commercials.
Anu Karthikeyan, used to run a production house in Mumbai way back in 2000. She’s been a housewife for all these years till she decided to support this project with finances and recourses and made a comeback as Executive producer after a gap of eight years
Michael Willcock from Montreal, Canada is a Canadian/British citizen who participated in the Peace March. When Shuichi and Akhil were filming on the March they invited Michael to come on board and he has been assisting on the project since then. Michael was the only western supporter on the Peace March to escape being deported and he continued with the March up until the final arrest in Dharchula.
Other members of the Yeti team include:
Sreekumar Pillai from Kerala, who is based in Delhi and assists Alex as editor. He also takes care of graphic design for the YETI website
Udai Mohite, a cameraman from Mumbai who has assisted on important film projects in the past. He offered his assistance as cameraman when YETI shot a fiction sequence in Spiti and Nagraj MD, a DOP from Mumbai who volunteered his assistance shooting the first sequences in Dharamshala.
The Original poetry used in Yeti is written by the award winning activist/poet Tenzin Tsundue. Tsundue is an inspiring leader in the Tibetan freedom struggle. You can find a complete compilation of his work in bookstores around Dharamshala.
Our soundtrack features original music by the well known Tibetan singer/songwriter Namgyal Lhamo
from Lhasa and a background score composed by Arnav Srivastava / Namgyal Lhamo. Thanks to Arvind Iyer, Namgyal’s agent, we were able to contact Namgyal and Arnav and they have supported our project in ways that we never could have foreseen.
Other musical contributors to our project include: Phurbu T. Namgyal from Potalasound.
Dhondup Tashi, an emerging artist who escaped from Tibet. Tenzin Gonpo
a well known Tibetan artist, who is based in France. Jan, a musician from Germany based in London and Dharamshala. Sonam, an emerging Tibetan artist from Dharamshala who collaborates with Jan and is also based partly in Europe. And Phil Void, a musician from the United States who has become a local legend in Dharamshala and who has had the privilege to meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on several occasions.
Because YETI is a non-profit, student-oriented project that will release online, all contributors to YETI have been working as volunteers. Without the support of so many talents from around the world this project would not have been possible.
We invite you to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the upcoming YETI Premier on 08/08/08The film Yeti crew