By Tenzin Namgyal
Packed hall at the screening of 'Little Tibet' by Tibetan filmmaker Nawang N Anja Tsang. Paris February 18, 2012 (Photo/Migmar Tsering/SFT France)
PARIS, February 20: Last weekend Students for Free Tibet, France organised a two-day Tibet Film Festival in Paris, in collaboration with the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is the second edition of a very popular festival in Paris. As a special invitee, the Uighur community presented a film and joined the panel discussion on the opening day of the film festival.
The grand opening of the Festival was held on February 17 with the screening of the film "The Sun Behind the Clouds" and "Muhebbetning 10 shertil" (10 Conditions of Love), a film on the iconic Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer.
"The aim of this Festival is to raise awareness about the story of Tibet and the Tibetan cause. Keeping in mind the present situation inside Tibet, this is also a mark of our solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet," said Tenam, co-President of SFT France.
On the second day of the festival Tibetan filmmaker Nawang N. Anja Tsang was specially invited to screen his film "Little Tibet".
"The film is about the dream every exile Tibetan shares - to return home," said the director. The film has earned critical acclaim and has been screened in many countries across the globe. Little Tibet follows a UK-based Tibetan, on a voyage of discovery to Ladakh, in search of his living cultural identity. Both moving and funny, the film is accompanied by a fresh narrative describing the challenges faced travelling through inhospitable terrain, the warmth of welcomes, eccentric encounters, living traditions and evocative vistas of the dramatic and unspoilt landscape.
"This year I am very pleased by the response from the people," said Anne, co-president of SFT France. "We wanted to highlight the Tibetan issue in a different way and judging by the response from the audience member,I believe that we succeeded in doing that", she added.
The festival also treated the visitors to delicious Tibetan momos, khapse and tea. Young Tibetans living in France presented a special drama that was written for the festival.
"I am very proud of Tashi Gyalpo and Kunsang and the group of volunteers for coming up with such a powerful play on the condition of Tibetans inside Tibet. Even though it was heart-wrenching to watch them play out the protest inside Tibet, nevertheless it had a very positive message - a message that reaffirmed Tibetan people's faith in a Free Tibet," said Martha, a member of SFT.
The festival-goers all left with the small packet of Tsampa, a reminder of the resistance inside Tibet that has been dubbed 'Tsampa revolution' by Tibetans.