Tibetan Films in Festival Test Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai Slogan
| Media on FoT ~ Friends of Tibet (INDIA) Mumbai He said They did request me but there were no threats There was a delay in getting the prints of these two films Friends of Tibet or FoT a support group in India had approached Mr Nandgaonkar in March this year to include these films in the festival Friends of Tibet spokesperson Aspi Mistry said that they approached the local Aashay Film Society to organise a festival of Tibetan films The festival was to include Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet along with Bernardo Bertolucci s Little Buddha Khyentse Norbu s 1998 release The Cup and Brado Quilci s The Himalaya Friends of Tibet was also trying to acquire prints of newly released Travellers and Magicians by Norbu and the first Tibetan feature film We Are No Monks by Pema Dhondup starring Gulshan Grover Mr Mistry said The president of Aashay Virendra Chitrav told us that organising a film festival needs considerable infrastructure and asked us to approach Mr Nandgaonkar so that a few Tibetan films could be included in the festival he said Mistry said On August 9 Mr Nandgaonkar told us that he met the Chinese consulate officials in Mumbai and held an emergency meeting of the
Tibetans Decry Omission of Films From Fest
| Media on FoT ~ Friends of Tibet (INDIA) Friends of Tibet alleged that the Chinese Embassy has coerced the Indian Government to lift censor exemptions on all films in the festival and this had put the entire festival in jeopardy Consequently the committee has gone back on its decision to screen the two films which speak about the brutal and inhuman occupation of Tibet since 1949 and the destruction of its culture religion and environment at the hands
Tibetans Accuse China of Meddling in Film Festival
| Media on FoT ~ Friends of Tibet (INDIA) screened as a Focus on Tibet module during the August 21 28 festival The films included Kundun by Martin Scorcese based on the life of the Dalai Lama and Seven Years in Tibet by Jean Jacques Annaud the story of Austrian adventurer Heinrich Harrer s travels in Lhasa at the time of the Chinese invasion Festival director Sudhir Nandgaonkar however denied the allegations that the decision to drop the films
China pressure forced Tibetan films ouster from film fest
| Media on FoT ~ Friends of Tibet (INDIA) leader the Dalai Lama and Jean Jacuques Annaud s Seven Years In Tibet are the two films that have been dropped by the festival committee Pro Tibetan organisations say that the anti China content of the films have lead to their ouster from the festival Because these two films relate to the Dalai Lama to the Chinese aggression and to its continuing occupation of Tibet they the Chinese have objection to it They put the same kind of pressure at the Hong Kong film festival all over the world They do not want the Dalai Lama to speak in any foreign university said Aspi B Mistry spokesperson Friends of Tibet society Festival organisers however claim that the films in question were not being screened at the festival since their DVD versions were readily available in the market Of course there was resentment from China but China cannot dictate terms to us They wanted that we should not show the films because we were focussing on China We had to drop the films ultimately because in the festival we cannot show films which are already in the market said Sudhir Nandgaonkar secretary of the Third Eye Asian Film Festival Movie buffs
Chinese 'Chokers' Target Tibet Films
| Media on FoT ~ Friends of Tibet (INDIA) said Aspi Mistry spokesperson for Friends of Tibet Initially they were told that two films Kundun by Martin Scorsese and Seven Years in Tibet by Jean Jacques Annaud would be dropped Mistry said Now the entire package of five films that was to be screened has been dropped The others are Himalaya Little Buddha and The Cup the last made by a Bhutanese monk Sudhir Nandgaonkar the director of the Asian Film Festival admitted that Chinese officials were in touch with him over the Tibet package Last month the Chinese consulate contacted me and said they had learned on the Net that there was to be a screening of certain films at the festival that they objected to They also informed me that they would get in touch with the Centre and register their protest over the films he said But he denied that the films were dropped because of their objections The deadline for submitting films to the festival which starts on August 21 ended one and a half months ago The Tibetan films reached us only on August 5 Friends of Tibet claimed the deadline was never mentioned in their discussions about the festival and it was an
'Truth or Dare'
| Media on FoT ~ Friends of Tibet (INDIA) in Bangalore reported the festival organisers defiance to their boss Anupam Kher in Mumbai Kher reacted as any boss would With anger They announced the event as a showing of uncensored films This showed defiance for the censors he has admitted in an interview to Tehelka Naturally the department had to do its job The problem in Bangalore he adds for good measure was the element of defiance Elaborating further on his anger he offers the following analogy If tomorrow somebody decides to urinate on the road as part of his freedom of expression is he to be allowed to do so It s only in the field of art and culture that we make a noise about exercising our fundamental rights Thankfully Kher is wrong on all counts here First of all the aam aadmi too is making very loud noises about fundamental rights particularly the right to information Why else would the government of Maharashtra enact a law in its favour Secondly the filmmakers he wishes to see repressed are not art and culture people They are investigators into the state of our nation And finally aam aadmis are unlikely to turn up in their hundreds to watch and applaud someone urinating on the street whereas they did do so to watch the Films for Freedom including Final Solution banned by Kher s outfit Against this background one is not surprised that the Tibetan package in the Third Eye Asian Film Festival has been shorn of Martin Scorsese s Kundun and Jean Jacques Annaud s Seven Years in Tibet the two films that represent a view other than the official Chinese view on the Tibetan situation The festival committee has reportedly been pressurised by the Chinese Consulate in Mumbai to drop the films One does not know whether
'Chinese Pressure Forces Tibetan Films' Ouster'
| Media on FoT ~ Friends of Tibet (INDIA) India Tenzin Tsunde says he is shocked at the Chinese government for cunningly trying to curb the truth about the situation in Tibet through political pressure Friends of Tibet the organisation that has arranged for the films has been extensively campaigning for a free Tibet The Chinese government has taken objection to the propaganda and has complained to the I B ministry says festival director Sudhir Nandgaonkar He did not deny that the officials from the Chinese consulate had called him up for the purpose However Nandgaonkar claims the real reason for dropping the films is that they had reached him very late and hence could not be sent to the review committee I had asked them to arrange for seven films and they sent me only four and that too quite late And since the Chinese officials had already approached the I B ministry with their grievance we decided to play safe and not include the controversial movies Nandgaonkar says But Aspi Mistry spokesperson for Friends of Tibet is not convinced If that was the real reason how is it that they are screening the other two films in the Tibet package Himalaya and Little Buddha which reached them
Chinese Oust Tibetan Package from Asian Film Festival
| Media on FoT ~ Friends of Tibet (INDIA) the AFF office in early August Besides we already had given him a list of the titles as was required Since the films in the package are old productions none of them would require a screening certificate only an exemption Besides the Chinese were objecting to two films in particular Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet it was assumed that the remaining films would be screened without hindrance In the event the Friends of Tibet are co ordinating with the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom which publishes Freedom First They have been strong supporters of the Tibet cause for decades to mobilise support against the illogic of withdrawing the Tibetan films The Chinese have been specifically targetting Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet because they are biographical accounts of the Dalai Lama Incidentally the two films are Western productions with minimal Tibetan involvement Scorsese shot Kundun in Morocco after being denied permission to shoot in these parts parts of Seven Years in Tibet was shot clandestinely in Lhasa The NGO has also received the support and encouragement from film makers like Anand Patwardhan Paromita Vora and Arun Khopkar among others as well as civil liberties organisations including People s Union for Civil Liberties PUCL As Patwardhan told this correspondent It s very bad news that any government should give in to such pressure The Chinese are being very foolish Anyone can get these films on DVD As it happens most of the films have been screened earlier on at festivals in the Chavan Centre Says Patwardhan This unfortunate development shows how important it is for the formulation of proper guidelines for festival screenings without interference from the government or other busy bodies Sethu Das president of Friends of Tibet INDIA and Mira Sadgopal coordinator of the Pune Chapter contend the Tibet film package is being dropped following some pressure applied by the Chinese Consulate in Mumbai According to Friends of Tibet Nandgaonkar even said the AFF would have to surrender to the Chinese Embassy s demand In an open letter to Nandgaonkar a copy of which has been made available with the press with modifications Tenzin Tsundue General Secretary Friends of Tibet writes It is in this country where I was born as a Tibetan refugee that I have learnt the value of democracy freedom and the right to live like a human being I am absolutely shocked how stealthily and cunningly the Chinese are working to curb the truth by trying to wring your hands through political pressure The Chinese do this by using military force in China particularly in Tibet as the voice for freedom is strong But very little of it is known outside due to lack of independent media coverage as the media in China is state owned When China is trying to silence the Tibetan voice outside its borders if we let them have their way like this it would amount to betraying the last hope for truth and justice I have myself spent months