By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, August 28: A film festival celebrating Tibetan films and filmmakers will begin from Saturday at ‘The projector’ theatre in Singapore.
The first ‘Tibet Film Festival 2015’ is organized by Washington based nongovernmental organization Machik that works to develop new opportunities for education, self reliance and innovation inside Tibet. The festival, featuring films and related events, will go on for two days (29-30 Aug).
The festival will feature four films by Tibetan film makers and collaborators telling contemporary Tibetan stories besides hosting off-screen programs like Q & A sessions and presentations.
The sold out screenings will show ‘Sacred Arrow’ (2014) by Pema Tseden, one of the foremost Tibetan filmmakers born inside Tibet and known for his films such as ‘Old Dog’ (2010) and ‘The Search’ (2008) and ‘The Silent Holy Stones’ 2005 which won him the ‘Golden Rooster Award’.
"The greatest challenge of being a filmmaker in Tibet is the lack of funds and the red tape we need to get around the State Administration of Films. Hopefully in the future, the film industry will grow and more professional crew and actors will emerge,” Pema told Strait Times in an emailed interview.
"I still have a lot of projects planned for the future. I'd love to join more international film festivals as they are an important way of gaining more recognition worldwide."
Other prominent films ‘Valley of the Heroes’ (2014) by Kashem Gyal, ‘A Gesar Bard’s Tale’ (2014) by Donagh Coleman and Lharigtso, and ‘Summer pasture’ (2012) by Lynn True, Nelson Walker III, and Tsering Perlo will also be screened over the course of two days.
Machik co-founder Lobsang Rabgey told Strait Times, "We've screened films before, but never as part of an entire festival. We are very excited to hold this in Singapore, which is a globalised country in Asia, with people from around the world.
"The response is so good that people from the United States and even India have been contacting us to hold one there too."
Machik believes that creativity and tenacity of Tibetan storytellers, who are committed to linking global audiences with contemporary Tibet and Tibetans have inspired it for over the last 17 years.
"Tibet Film Festival features works of art which have never before been screened in Singapore, making the festival an unparalleled portal that brings these dynamic and vital voices to the people of Singapore,” reads the official website of Machik.