By Tendar Tsering
DHARAMSHALA, August, 26: A first of its kind initiative by a Tibetan to give free film courses to interested Tibetans is underway in Dharamshala, north India.
Students attending the digital filmmaking class initiated by 'Blind Dog Media', Dharamshala, India. (Photo/Phayul)
Kalsang Rinchen, former editor of Tibet.net and Phayul is currently holding free film classes under the banner of his production house "Blind Dog Media."
"Studying cinema was always a passion and I got the opportunity to study film for two years in the US under the Tibetan scholarship program," Rinchen told Phayul.
"I believe there are many Tibetans like me who have passion for cinema but rarely get the opportunity to study. So, I came up with this project of free film class".
Kalsang's initiative is supported by a mini grant through the Delhi based American Center to provide classroom facilities and equipment for the training of the first batch of 12 students. He says he is determined to continue sharing his interest and knowledge with more Tibetan youngsters.
"It’s a one month free cinema course and I plan to hold similar classes after this one gets over, but it will depend on many factors, so nothing is decided as of now," Rinchen said.
Thupten, a student currently training with Rinchen said that he was excited about what he was learning.
"I have already studied cinema for some months at a professional film studio in Delhi by paying Rs. 30,000 a month but I feel here I am learning much more, right from writing a script to handling a camera to editing a film,” Thupten said.
Another student, Tsering Wangmo was equally confident of the new craft she was learning free of cost.
"With the high quality of theory and on-hand training that we are getting, I believe that after the month’s training, Blind Dog Media students will be able to make a documentary film all by themselves," said Tsering Wangmo.
Happy with the enthusiasm and progress his students were showing in the first couple of weeks, Rinchen told Phayul, "I hope to polish their latent talents and rouse their creativity. Who knows, maybe they will do wonders in the future."