Tenzin Tsetan Choklay speaks during the screening of his film 'Bringing Tibet Home', January 25, Biarritz, France.
DHARAMSHALA, January 27: A documentary film by a New York based Tibetan filmmaker has been awarded the Young European Jury Award ( Prix du Jury de Jeunes Européens) Saturday at the 27th edition of FIPA - International Festival of Audiovisual Programs (The International Festival of Audiovisual Programmes) in Biarritz, France.
‘Bringing Tibet Home’, directed by Tibetan filmmaker Tenzin Tsetan Choklay, is a documentary film about a Tibetan contemporary artist’s mission to bring Tibet closer to Tibetan exiles through an unprecedented art project titled, 'Our Land, Our People.'
Choklay thanked the members of the young jury for the honor bestowed upon him. "You are some of the smartest young people I've ever met and I wish you all a bright and a beautiful future. I would also like to thank FIPA for inviting 'Bringing Tibet Home' to this festival and giving me the opportunity to present this film to the French audience. Thank you all once again," he said in his acceptance speech.
According to Choklay, the film is about a journey that Rigdol, a contemporary Tibetan artist who has also produced the film, undertakes in 2010 to present an installation art wherein 20,000 kilos of native Tibetan soil from Tibet is laid out on a platform set up in Dharamsala, India where thousands of exiled Tibetans got the rare opportunity to walk on their home soil. “For many this is a reunion, for some, the first time that they set foot on their homeland and for a few, this was probably the last time that they ever saw anything of their lost nation,” Choklay said.
Although Rigdol’s work examines the plight of the Tibetan people in exile, it also has wider resonance, exploring the notion of nostalgia, the idea of homeland and how art is intertwined with the political and the social. It also demonstrates the transgressive power of art as an act of defiance.
‘Bringing Tibet Home’ also participated in IFP's New York Independent Film Week last September - an industry exclusive project forum for independent filmmakers and their projects. Bringing Tibet Home was a part of IFP's 10 Documentary showcase for 2013. The film also featured in the Wide Angle Documentary Competition Section at the 18th Busan International Film Festivalin October last year.
Tenzin Tsetan Choklay is a Tibetan filmmaker currently based in New York. Born to refugee parents, Tenzin grew up in Dharamsala, in northern India, and went on to study directing at the Korean Academy of Film Arts in Seoul. His films include the shorts Elif's Seoulitude (2007) and Tell Tale (2008).