fredag 2. juli 2021

Where Next for the Filmmakers of the Tibetan New Wave?

When Lhapal Gya was growing up in Qinghai, a province on the Tibetan Plateau in northwestern China, the only way to watch movies was in bare-bones cinemas that were little more than four walls and a TV. The lineup was heavy on Hong Kong action titles, he remembers. But when Lhapal Gya was in high school, he saw “The Silent Holy Stones.” Made by director Pema Tseden, the movie is considered the first true Tibetan film made by Tibetans.

It was an inspiring experience. On Pema Tseden’s advice, Lhapal Gya first studied Tibetan literature before testing into the prestigious Beijing Film Academy. Now 32, he is considered a rising star of the Tibetan New Wave cinema movement, which seeks to tell authentic stories about life on the plateau.

Lhapal Gya debuted in 2018 with “Wangdrak’s Rain Boots,” a full-length feature for which Pema Tseden was the executive producer. Set in a remote Qinghai village, the story revolves around a boy worried about the changing weather because he is the only one who doesn’t have rubber boots. The film premiered during that year’s Berlin International Film Festival, winning widespread praise.