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Meet the Filmmakers

Interview with Jigme Trinley

Director: Jigme Trinley

Ethnicity: Tibetan

Name in native language: འཇིགས་མེད་འཕྲིན་ལས།

Director’s 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 graduation feature film One and Four and the documentary Mr. Red Shoes are in production.

Curator’s Words:

Jigme Trinley, a rising star of Tibetan cinema, completed his first feature film, One and Four (2021), at the age of 24. It was selected for the main competition at the Tokyo International Film Festival. His father, Pema Tseden, is the most important driver of the new wave of Tibetan cinema in China, and Making Movies on the Plateau (2017) is Jigme Trinley’s documentary following a predominantly Tibetan film crew. The intimacy of the Tibetan filmmakers in this film, and their shared love of cinema, conveys a sense of strength.

Catalogue of work:

Short documentary Geng Nong; short drama Home; short drama One Thought; short documentary Making Movies on the Plateau; short drama Deliverance.

Next project: One and Four, Mr. Red Shoes

Next film project: The Joker’s Pilgrimage (in post-production)        101 Days, Yushu Nangqian to Lhasa, a middle-aged Han Chinese actor’s journey of self-discovery.

DANG HAOYU, aged 43, is a native of Fushun, Northeast China. He graduated from the the acting department of the Central Academy of Drama, Class of ’96. He spent many years in the entertainment industry as an actor, but offended many people because of his straightforwardness. He later turned to creative writing, but also failed to persevere due to various obstacles. After meeting his guru Sadrul Rinpoche, he turned his life’s focus to Tibetan Buddhist practice, practising his heart and taking the vow to kowtow to Lhasa.

In 2020, on 15 July, he travelled from Nangchen County, Yushu, to Lhasa, on pilgrimage. At first, he thought the long kowtow would be easy, thinking that with a persistent heart and a strong body he would be able to complete it, but he encountered difficulties in the preparation stage. He says that it seems that the most important thing about kowtow is not reaching Lhasa, but all these processes.

Along the way, he overcame all external and internal obstacles, realised that the most important thing was the three steps under his feet, and began to respect everything around him, whether unfavourable or helpful, from the bottom of his heart.

Ultimately, he arrived in Lhasa on 23 October 2020, completing a journey of self-growth and discovery.

Item:

I saw Autumn Sonata (1978) in my second year. My previous memories of Bergman’s films were of The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries, which I could barely understand. The little girl in this film struggles to be good at the piano in order to get more love and attention from her mother, who is a pianist. She made me think about my relationship with my father, and for the first time I felt a deep connection between film and my life, and began to think about my own life through film.

Interview with Kangdrun

Director: Kangdrun

Ethnicity: Tibetan

Name in native languageགངས་སྒྲོན་

Director’s biography:

Kangdrun is a young Tibetan director and scriptwriter. He graduated from the School of Advertising at the Communication University of China. During his undergraduate studies, he made a documentary film about the first rock band in Tibet, The Pestle, and during his postgraduate studies, he studied filmmaking at the School of Drama, Film and Television, Communication University of China.

Curator’s Words:

Kangdrun, an emerging female director from Tibet, has been tracing the relationship between the region she grew up in and her own upbringing through her images. Since she went to high school outside Tibet, leaving and returning has made her aware of the fusion of Tibetan and mainstream Han Chinese cultures in her personal experience, and through her images she is sorting out herself and her relationship with the world. At the same time, she has also initiated the Tibetan ‘Start Unit Youth Video Week’ in Tibet, focusing on and screening the debut works of Tibetan directors.

Catalogue of work:

2017 Tibet’s first rock band documentary, Sky Pestle

2019 Tibetan short film Baima, The Other Side, White and Table, Red Bucket and Key

2020 Sophie and Quizin’s TV Show, The Secret of Sanjira (in production)

Next project: Feature film project There’s a Fast Black Cloth Outside

1. Linka, Linka!(10-15 minutes), final project for the Li Xianting Film School, in production.

Synopsis: One day in Lhasa, a bored Luo Chou sits in front of a teahouse, wondering how he should spend his day. Bored and wandering the streets of Lhasa, he calls his brothers one by one to ask if anyone will join him for a trip to Linka. They all turned him down for different reasons, so he had no choice but to go to Linka alone. As he drives his motorbike to the wilderness by himself, a group of dice playing brothers sees Luo and invites him to join their game. Luo happily joins in. Several people get drunk playing dice. As Luo Chu goes to relieve himself outside, singing, he meets a group of people in the valley who are jumping on the sacred mound chanting “White Moon Boys”. They wear ancient clothes like gods coming out of the valley.

2. There’s a Black Cloth Outside (60-90 mins)

Synopsis: Alai sells his family’s Buddha statue and forges a fake one to put in the Buddha Hall, but the incident is discovered by his grandfather.

Item:

The first Tara Sutra was given to me by my grandfather, and it took me a month to memorise the entire sutra, which I recited every morning to a group of goddesses who save and deliver humanity from disasters and horrors.

 

https://youtu.be/PrGQ5NZNAio
Interview with Tawfiq Nizamidin

Director: Tawfiq Nizamidin

Ethnicity: Uyghur

Name in native language:

تەۋفىق نىزامىدىن

Director’s biography:

Tawfiq was born in 1991 in Urumchi and received a masters degree in Fiction Film Directing from the Beijing Film Academy. Now he is continuing his carrer based in Paris.

Curator’s Words:

Tawfiq Nizamidin, a representative of the new wave of Uyghur cinema, deliberately explores a sense of form and new perspectives in his films. His films often feature the intersection and collision of Uyghurs in different cultural spaces, such as the dialogue in Korean and Uyghur in Maria by the Sea (2018), and the interplay between French and Uyghur in his new film Faruk & Abdullah (filming in progress), both of which add multiple dimensions to Uyghur cinema.

Catalogue of work:

In 2017, his first short film The Night of Arzu was selected as one of the five nominees for best short film at the Golden Horse Award Festival in Taipei, and received the award for the best short film at the Chinese Independent Film Festival.

In 2018, he finished his second short film Maria by the Sea, shot in Korea in collaboration with the Korean Academy of Film Arts, which premiered in the “Voices Short” programme of the Rotterdam Film Festival. And in the same year, this short film has selected for the Busan International Film Festival programme “Community”.

He was also selected to attend the Fantastic Film School at the Bucheon Film Festival. He is currently completing the script for his first feature film, Faruk and Abdullah.

Future plans: He is preparing his third short film and first feature in France.

Next Film Project

Faruk & Abdullah

This feature film consists of two love stories: the first part takes place in the Uyghur homeland in 2003, and the second part takes place in France in 2025. The two love stories are separate but related.

Item:

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, my mother’s work unit’s benefits used to include cinema tickets. I had a very, very close Han Chinese friend named Sun who loved films, and I loved chicken fried steak. The cinema was not far from our house, so we made an agreement that by the time I was waiting in line to get two film tickets, he would have already bought fried chicken at the chicken store next door to the cinema. This is how we spent almost every weekend of our three years in junior high school. These precious tickets kept my friendship alive and brought me into the world of the screen.

Interview with Emetjan Memet

Director: Emetjan Memet

Ethnic group; Uyghur

Name in native language

ئەمەتجان مەمەت

Director’s biography:

Born in Kashgar in Xinjiang Province in 1991, studying at Beijing Film Academy as a postgraduate student majoring in directing. In the 4th 86358 Short Film Festival, his short film Blessed Winter won the Best Film award, and in the 3rd Beijing International Short Film Festival, Alikis won Jury Special Mention for Chinese Short Films, and was shortlisted for the Spotlight Section of the Osaka Asian Film Festival.

Curator’s Words:

Emetjan Memet, one of the most talked about Uyghur directors on the mainland at the moment, is very refreshing, as his films document the mood and emotions of contemporary Uyghur life. Following his graduation from film school, he is currently working at the Vancouver Film Institute in Shanghai.

Catalogue of work:

2019.07 short Fruit Garden

2019.11 short Alikis

2020.01 short Blessed Winter

2020.07 short About Donkey

Future projects:

Graduation work The Accordion.The money Erpan saved from his part-time job was divided up by his father, so he is unable to buy his beloved accordion. Erpan and his friend Musa fool around and are beaten up by a group of people lead by Kamil. Erpan has to fellow his mother home. Finally, Ayisha helps Erpan to got an accordion. In the process, their relationship becomes closer.

Next Film Project

Conceiving my first feature film, which is about the daily life of a 30-year old woman.

Item:

I took this soil from the open space at the back of my yard on a walk a few years ago, putting it in a small cloth bag and carrying it with me in my suitcase. The soil from my hometown would go with me wherever I went after that. I was thinking that there is no object more influential to my upbringing and my path into cinema than that soil back home.

Interview with Melmii Borjigin

Director: Melmii Borjigin

Ethnicity: Mongolian

Name in native language

ᠮᠡᠯᠮᠡᠢ

Director’s biography

Curator’s Words:

Melmii Borjigin, a city-born Mongolian director, worked on the crew of one of China’s most active Mongolian directors, Urshan, after graduating from the Beijing Film Academy. She is also considered to be the most promising Mongolian woman director. She has been thinking about the differences between Mongolian life nowadays and how people imagine Mongolians in today’s homogeneous society, and how ethnicity in the present day should be manifested in audio-visual language.

Item:

Exploring oneself, the initial way to express oneself

Next Film Project: none

Interview with Siriguleng

Director: Siriguleng

Ethnicity: Mongolian

Name in native language:

ᠰᠡᠷᠭᠦᠯᠡᠩ

Director’s biography:

Japan Institute of the Moving Image, Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Television Photography

Mongolian National University of Arts and Culture, Graduate in Directing

Mongolian National University of Arts and Culture Doctoral Candidate in Directing

Curator’s Words:

Siriguleng, a Mongolian director who studied in Japan and Mongolia, grew up in pastureland and retains the highest reverence for the culture and spirit of the Mongolian people. His films have always depicted the folklore and traditions of Mongolians. For him, modern Mongolians are facing the crisis of a loss of identity, and he is eager to document what he believes to be the most important part of this identity on film, before it disappears.

Next Film ProjectThe Felt Fox

Bayard makes a felt fox for his unborn child, which leads to misfortune and Bayard’s death when he falls off his horse. His pregnant wife, Yngima, is left a widow. Unaware that a felt fox is a bad thing, she misinterprets the kindness of a good man, Gheorghe, and insists on caring for the felt fox. After, Yankima gives birth prematurely. She struggles to give birth in the wilderness, without knowing whether she will live or die. The film portrays the story of a Mongolian woman who, even though she has left her loving husband behind, remains faithful to him , mapping out the conflicting relationship between people’s devotion to their faith and their powerlessness in the face of real life difficulties.

Item:

Beginning with the origins of the Mongol nation and the distant ancestors of Genghis Khan, and continuing through the reign of Vogotai Khan, this book highlights the difficult early years of Genghis Khan, his rise to power in the midst of war, and the establishment of the Mongol Khanate. It chronicles the Mongol Khanate’s southern conquests and its advance into Central Asia and expeditions to Europe.

Director: Hugo Sologong

Ethnicity: Ewenki

Director’s biography:

Hugo Sologong, an Ewenki director living in the Daxinganling Mountains, was the main character in Yugo and His Mother (2011), directed by Gu Tao. He is currently making a documentary about his mother.

Curator’s Words:

Transforming from the filmed to the filmmaker, Hugo uses his own perspective to begin to reflect on the current situation of his people. His intimacy with his subjects also gives his films the dual qualities of interiority and exteriority.

Catalogue of work: Devoted Love

Next projects:

Queen of the Forest

This film is about my mother, a lonely woman who lives in a primeval forest.

Item:

This is my jersey. I can wear it to work on the mountain and to play by the mountain.