Tibetan film plays to Lhasa fans

By Palden Nyima and Da Qiong in Lhasa ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-12-11 07:47:46

Tibetan film plays to Lhasa fans

Sonthar Gyal (second from right), director of River, attends the Lhasa premiere of the film on Thursday. [Photo/Xinhua]

With beautiful music and a moving story, the Tibetan film River came to Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region, on Thursday.

Written and directed by Tibetan filmmaker Sonthar Gyal, River was named Best Youth Feature at the 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Brisbane, Australia, in November. It made its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, winning the award for Best Picture.

River is the touching story of a young Tibetan girl. Sonthar Gyal, 41, was recognized for depicting a child's special vision of humanity through expressions at once serene, spiritual and cinematic.

The film has won more than 13 awards domestically and overseas since it completion.

The Sun Beaten Path, Sonthar Gyal's debut feature film in 2011, was the winner of the Vancouver International Film Festival's prestigious Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema.

He shot River over a three-year period, capturing all four seasons to tell the moving story of a young girl, portrayed by Yanchan Lhamo, on the Tibetan Plateau.

The film follows her as she escapes her family troubles by tenderly caring for an orphaned lamb.

"Born as a nomad on the remote grassland, I had very few opportunities to watch a film as a child," Sonthar Gyal said. He said he watched mobile film projectors being transported by horses as a child, but the films that came were in Chinese.

"Though I didn't understand the language, I loved the characters," Sonthar Gyal said.

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