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WINNER

 

 

2009

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WINNER

WATCH DOCS INTERNATONAL HUMAN RIGHTS FESTIVAL 2009

WINNER

ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATONAL FILM FESTIVAL 

2009

WINNER

CALGARY

INTERNATONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2009

SPECIAL JURY MENTION

WATCH DOCS INTERNATONAL HUMAN RIGHTS FESTIVAL 2009

WINNER

CINE GOLDEN EAGLE AWARD 2009

WINNER

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD

CINEMA FOR PEACE

2010

SPECIAL JURY MENTION

ONE WORLD INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL 2010

WINNER

SAN LUIS OBISPO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

2010

WINNER

MOVIES THAT MATTER FESTIVAL

2010

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SYNOPSIS

Tibet in Song is both a celebration of traditional Tibetan folk music and a harrowing journey into the past fifty years of cultural repression inside Chinese controlled Tibet. Director and former Tibetan political prisoner, Ngawang Choephel, weaves a story of beauty, pain, brutality and resilience, introducing Tibet to the world in a way never before seen on film.

 

The beauty of traditional Tibetan folk music is showcased through a variety of working songs, songs about family and the beauty of the land. These rarely seen performances are deftly juxtaposed against startling footage of the early days of the Chinese invasion and a concise explanation of the factors leading to the Dalai Lama's flight into exile in 1959. Ngawang Choephel sets the stage for a unique exploration of the Chinese impact on Tibetans inside Tibet.

What follows is a heartbreaking tale of cultural exploitation and resistance, which includes Ngawangs' own eventual imprisonment for recording the very songs atthe center of the film. Tibet in Song provides raw and uncensored look at Tibet as it stands today, a country plagued by Chinese brutality, yet willing to fight for the existence of its unique cultural heritage.


Tibet in Song is directed by Ngawang Choephel, and contains both original music composed by Ngawang himself, and an array of traditional folk songs sung by native Tibetans.

SYNOPSIS

THE FILMMAKER

Ngawang Choephel is the director, writer, and producer of Tibet in Song, his feature debut. He is a graduate of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamsala, India and a musician who released his first album of Tibetan folk songs entitled "Melody in Exile," in 1993.

After starting his career as a music teacher in India, he traveled to the US as a Fulbright scholar at Middlebury College, VT where he studied international music as well as filmmaking. He went to Tibet in 1995 to record and videotape Tibetan folk songs in order to make this film.

Chinese authorities arrested Ngawang in 1995, falsely charging him with espionage. He was sent to prison without a trial, where he served 7 years of an 18-year sentence. A highly publicized international campaign that began with his mother's solitary protests, and later involved musicians like Annie Lennox, the Tibetan Freedom Concert and US Senators James Jeffords and Patrick Leahy from Vermont, finally secured his release in 2002.

Ngawang is recipient of Middlebury College's Honorary Doctor of Arts degree, Peace Abbey's Courage of Conscience Award, and Lobsang Wangyal's Best Act in Exile award. He is also a Sundance Institute Fellow.

Click here to read a letter from Ngawang.

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FILM CREDITS

Written, directed and produced by

NGAWANG CHOEPHEL

 

Co-writer

TARA STEELE

Editor

TIM BARTLETT

Executive producer

ANNE CORCOS

Co-producers

YODON THONDEN

TARA STEELE

DON THOMPSON

Consulting editor

KATE AMEND

Cinematographers

HUGH WALSH 

NGAWANG CHOEPHEL

TIM BARTLETT

CARRIE LEDERER

Additional editors

COURTNEY HARMEL

CHRIS BURAN

LAURA CORWIN

ANNE ALVERGUE

Supervising sound editor

JOE MILNER

Sound re-recording mixer

JOE MILNER

Tibet location manager

NYIMA

India location managers

LHAMO DOLMA

TENZIN TASHI

Additional camera

SARAH WALLER

DAVID HUANG

 

Animation

RAEDIA SIKKEMA ALBINSON

IAN ALBINSON

Post consultants

RAMY KATRIB

ZED SAEED

Supervising online editor

EDVIN MEHRABYAN

Online editors

JACOB TILLMAN

LAKAN DELEON

Colorist

PATRICK WOODARD

Visual effects

DYLAN CHUDZYNSKI

Camera assistants

SONAM TSERING

TSETAN LHUNDUP

Assistant editor

JOAQUIN PEREZ

Post digital services

DIGITAL FILM TREE

Post-production sound services

PUGET SOUND, INC.

Foley recorded at

POST CREATIONS

Foley supervisor

NICK NEUTRA

Foley mixers

KYLE BILLINGSLEY

Foley artist

CYNTHIA MERRILL

Tibetan title script

PEMA BHUM

Chinese song translation

KIAT-SING TEO

Production interns

EMMA MULLEN

IRENE MARSH-ELMER

Additional Tibet footage

JEFF LODAS

MATTEO PISTONO

RICHARD MARTINI

Campaign footage

RUTHIE RISTICH

DAN GRIFFIN

TENZIN DONGTOKa

Archival Footage Courtesy of

Bureau du Tibet, Paris

WGBH, Boston

Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) Dharamsala, India

Buy Out Footage

Pond5

Library of Congress

The Associated Press

CTV

Off the Fence

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy

 

Archival Photography Courtesy of

Sonam Dekyi

Kathryn Culley

Wendy Cook

David Huang

 

Very Special Thanks to

all those who worked tirelessly during my imprisonment

 

Special Thanks to

Richard Lanier

Anne Teal

Diane Weyermann

Natalia Romana

Kamala Buckner

Richard Gere

Cara Mertes

Annie Lennox

Steven Rockefeller

Marybeth Markey

Phyllis and Michael Wells

Minnie Cancellaro

Shannon Kelley

Latse Library

Cultural Survival

 

Our creative advisors

Susanne Rostock

Lewis Irskin

Kristin Feeley

Jonathan Oppenheim

Mary Lampson

Ra’anan Alexandrowicz

Robb Moss

Tia Lessin

Johanna Demetrakas

Virginie Alvine Perrette

Jean-Philippe Boucicaut

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