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The Films of Pema Tseden
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Pema Tseden (Old Dog, The Silent Holy Stones, The Search) was born in 1969 in Amdo, in the Tibetan region of Qinghai Province. He is widely recognized as the leading filmmaker of a newly emerging Tibetan cinema and the first director in China to film his movies entirely in the Tibetan language. Tseden has published more than 50 short stories and novels both in Tibetan and Chinese; his work has won numerous awards including the Drang-char (sbrang-char) Tibetan Literature Prize and has been translated into languages English, French, and German. In 2002, Pema Tseden began his film career. His feature films, all of which have received great acclaim, are The Grassland (2004), The Silent Holy Stones (2005), The Search (2009) and Old Dog. Tseden is Chairman of the Directors Association of China; he is also a member of the Filmmakers and Literary Societies of China.

"Tseden's work is remarkable for shedding light on daily life in an oft-mythologized part of the world. In his films, Tibet isn't Shangri-La but neither is it just another part of China." —Steven Erickson, Sight & Sound

"The most important independent Tibetan filmmaker now working in China." —Shelly Kraicer

"His ability to speak eloquently of individual despair and the emergency of cultural obliteration is masterful; his ability to do this in films of such eloquent, quiet beauty is nothing short of astonishing." —Cinema Scope

"Pema Tseden is a name you're going to be much more familiar with in the coming years. With his strong sense of visual composition and a dedication to presenting the real Tibet, it's only a matter of time before Cannes starts lapping his films up." —indieWIRE

"Tseden reveals his homeland—and more importantly, its contemporary social life—in a uniquely authentic way." —The Trace Foundation

"Tseden's films are strewn with impeccably composed shots of the Tibetan landscape. He manages to capture the pace of this specific geography." —The Margins, A Publication of The Asian American Writers' Workshop

"[Tseden] has emerged at the forefront of a new movement in Tibetan filmmaking." —Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center, Indiana University

  • Tharlo - Tibetan director Pema Tseden adapts his own novella about the story of a Tibetan shepherd's encounter with the big city.

  • Old Dog - A family on the Himalayan plains discovers their dog is worth a fortune, but selling it comes at a terrible price.

  • The Search - A film crew travels through Tibet, searching for actors for their adaptation of a classic Buddhist story.

Related Links:
Read a profile of Tseden on NPR
Pema Tseden Sight and Sound (PDF)
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