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Late Pema Tseden’s film ‘Snow Leopard’ wins top prize at the Vesoul Asian

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A still from late Pema Tseden's film Snow Leopard (Photo/Tokyo Film Festival)

By Tsering Dhundup

DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 20: Critically acclaimed film “Snow Leopard” which was directed by the late Pema Tseden from Tibet, received the highest award at the Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema. The festival was held from February 6 to 13 in Vesoul, France.

Pema Tseden, who passed away on May 8, 2023, was a pioneering filmmaker and author, known as the father of Tibetan new wave cinema. Despite facing intense scrutiny from Chinese censors, Tseden presented an honest look at contemporary Tibetan life under Chinese illegal occupation of Tibet.

The film also won the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) jury prize and a special mention for actor Tseten Tashi.  The movie “Snow Leopard” has previously won accolades at the Tokyo International Film Festival in November 2023 and the Hainan International Film Festival in December 2022. 

The awarded film will be screened at Musée Guimet in Paris on March 8-10, 2024, and at the INALCO Auditorium in 2024. The festival’s jury was headed by Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and other members included Taiwanese filmmaker Zero Chou and actors Fatemeh Motamed-Arya from Iran and Shogen from Japan. 

The festival also awarded the honorary Golden Cyclos to Chou and Taiwanese sound engineer Tu Du-chih. This year’s festival focused on Taiwanese cinema and Malayalam-language cinema from the southern Indian state of Kerala.

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