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Making Movies on the Plateau

Jigme Trinley

Release year: 2017

Run time: 28 minutes

Film type: Documentary


In the summer of 2017, young Tibetan director Lhapal Gyal's feature film debut, Wangdrak's Rain Boots, began shooting in the village of Taga in Qinghai's Haidong Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Two months later, Tibetan director Pema Tsetan's film Jinpa began location work in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province. This film presents part of the current development of Tibetan cinema by filming the different Tibetan members of these two crews, including actors, executive directors, art assistants and extras. In four chapters, the film briefly explores the origins of Tibetan filmmakers and cinema, their perception of themselves in the industry, their perception of cinema proper, and their vision for the future.


Director biography

Jigme Trinley, Tibetan, young screenwriter and director. He graduated from the Beijing Film Academy with an undergraduate degree in directing. During his school years, he created six short films and participated in productions such as Mr. Six (dir. Guan Hu), Wangdrak’s Rain Boots (dir. Lhapal Gyal), Jinpa, and Balloon (dir. Pema Tseden). His short films have been screened at Columbia University, the University of Toronto, and the “Start Unit” in Lhasa. His documentary Mr. Red Shoes are in production. His debut feature film One and Four has been selected in the competition of the 34th Tokyo International Film Festival.

Catalogue of work:
Short documentary Geng Nong; short drama Home; short drama One Thought; short documentary Making Movies on the Plateau; short drama Deliverance; feature film One and Four.

Director's statement

As a young Tibetan filmmaker, after gaining some knowledge of your own social identity and of film itself, you begin to think about how you and the Tibetan filmmakers like you operate in the industry. So, I interviewed and filmed members of crews in different positions, trying to present a multi-layered view of the current state of development of some Tibetan filmmakers by exploring their origins within cinema, their attitudes and perceptions of cinema, and their plans for their own future. This short film was an assignment I made in my second year of university, and I completed it in a rather simple and crude way while working with the crew in an impulsive and muddled manner. Although it has a lot of shortcomings and is relatively immature, you can see my creative state and some of my thoughts at that time. In a few years, I hope to make a full-length version of Making Movies on the Plateau, which will always be worth doing.


  • Columbia University East Asia Department Internal Screening
  • University of Toronto Tibetan Studies
  • Department Internal Screening, Tibetan Beginnings Unit Youth Video Week Screening