Students for a Free Tibet is shocked and saddened to hear the news of the passing of Tibet’s foremost filmmaker, Pema Tseden. Pema Tseden, a pioneer in Tibetan filmmaking and a writer, is a creative storyteller and an important figure in the world of visual arts. Whether it’s an elderly nomad trying to retrieve his mastiff from a Chinese man in “Old Dog” or “Balloon”, a movie set on the theme of birth control under China’s One Child policy, his movies transcend beyond entertainment and communicate the many aspects of reality in modern Tibet. Some of his works include “Silent Holy Stones,” “Jinpa,” “Tharlo” and many more.
Pema Tseden’s works have been part of various film festivals across the globe. His last three films (Tharlo, Jinpa, and Balloon) all appeared in the Venice International Film Festival with Jinpa winning the “Orizzonti” award for Best Screenplay at the film festival.
In 2016, Pema Tseten was beaten and detained by the Chinese Police for trying to retrieve a forgotten item at an airport. In the course of his detention, he suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized.
As the Tibetan community mourns his passing, we send our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.