Tibetan filmmakers are cutting cliches

By Xu Fan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-10-15 07:44:46

Tibetan filmmakers are cutting cliches

A scene from the Tibetan-language movie Tharlo, directed by Pema Tseden. The film revolves around the life of a middle-aged shepherd and his struggles in the face of modernization. Photos provided to China Daily

Tibetan moviemakers are increasingly moving away from themes of scenery and mysticism to tell people stories, Xu Fan reports.

The Tibetan-language movie Tharlo has been nominated in four categories for this year's Golden Horse Award, a prestigious annual event held in Taiwan, due to its portrayal of modernization's influence on the lives of Tibetan people.

The other entries include biggies like Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin and Jia Zhangke's Mountains May Depart.

The nominations were announced on Oct 1, and the winners will be declared on Nov 21.

Tharlo (after the protagonist's name) has been screened at international festivals in Venice, Busan and Vancouver in the recent past.

Pema Tseden, 46, the movie's local director, wanted to present a rare black-and-white feature to tell the world about ordinary Tibetans.

The moviemaker, who is also an author, took a local crew to shoot Tharlo, adapted from his namesake novel. The film cost 2 million yuan ($315,000).

"Most Western movie critics and theatergoers showed strong interest in it," the director says in a phone interview with China Daily.

"Some may have limited knowledge about Tibetan history and culture but they can understand the tale regardless of nationality and language."

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