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The Tibet Film Festival will take place in Zurich for the third time from October 28 – 29 and this year for the first time also in Dharamsala from October 29 – 30. Internationally unique is the Short Film Competition aimed at Tibetans both from Tibet and in exile and which this year is taking place for the second time. In a versatile and artistic way, the participants take in what makes a difference for and moves Tibetans in Tibet and in exile. Last year’s festival included contributions from Asia, North America and Europe.

This year’s festival focuses on the theme of “Ama” (Tibetan for Mother). “We have chosen the theme “Ama” because of its universality. When thinking about “Ama”, it could be about one’s own ancestry or searching for ones origin. The artistic implementation of the theme however, should remain completely open”, said Lobsang Sotrug, director of the film “Tiger Nose” and co-organiser of the Tibet Film Festival. The deadline for entries for the competition is September 15, 2011. The detailed terms and conditions for participating can be found here. Of particular interest this year is the parallel event of the Tibet Film Festival taking place in Dharamsala (North India). More information on the event in India will be released at a later date. The selected entries will be screened both in India and Switzerland and will run in competition for the $500 / $300 / $200 Jury Award and the $200 Audience Award. Furthermore the films in competition will be posted on the “Filming for Tibet” homepage to be seen long after the festival. Alongside the films in competition, new films of various genres by contemporary Tibetan film directors will be screened.

The Tibet Film Festival is a collaboration between the organisations “Filming for Tibet” and “Tibetan Youth Association in Europe” and offers, over two days, alongside interesting film contributions, also other platforms such as workshop discussions and forums where the general public and filmmakers can exchange their views on film making and the topic of Tibet in general. There will also be musical performances, Tibetan food and bar at the Tibet Film Festival.

The Tibet Film Festival will take place on October 28-29 in Zurich and on October 29-30 2011 in Dharamsala. The festival is dedicated to Dhondup Wangchen who was detained shortly after completing filming on his documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind”. In a Chinese court on December 28, 2009, Dhondup Wangchen was sentenced to six years in prison because of his filming activities. The production of “Leaving Fear Behind” was completed in Switzerland by “Filming for Tibet” and the film has been shown all over the world.

The submission forms for the Short Film Competition and more information about the Tibet Film Festival are on our website www.filmingfortibet.org

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Thank you to Ken Loach for sending us this message of support!

“The action by the Chinese authorities against Dhondup Wangchen is an affront to the principle of freedom of expression. A healthy society is one that thrives on dissent and the peaceful resolution of conflicting views. Dhondup Wangchen’s ‘crime’ is to allow voices to be heard who were otherwise silenced. That is precisely the responsibility of writers and film makers. By its suppression of brave people like Dhondup Wangchen, China continues to lose face in the world.”