By Lobsang Wangyal
McLEOD GANJ, India, 29 April 2018
The film My Son Tenzin had its India premiere in a modest event at a makeshift theatre in a kindergarten hall in McLeod Ganj, brightening up the otherwise humdrum Sunday afternoon.
The hall was packed to its full occupancy of about 100, with an audience made up mainly of western tourists. Tibetans were only a few in number.
Directed by US-based Tashi Wangchuk and Tsultrim Dorjee, the film set a mood of anticipation, and showed the inner world of contemporary exile Tibetan life, particularly in the US.
The story starts as a monk from Tibet arrives in Oakland, California, on an unusual mission: In search of his long-lost son after seventeen years of separation.
Rabga, the father, who has become a monk, lands in the Oakland airport as a stranger in an unknown world, where he gets lucky as he is spotted by a Tibetan taxi driver on leaving the airport.
The taxi driver, also named Tenzin, is the same age as Rabga’s lost son. Tenzin invites Rabga to stay in his home and helps him in finding his son. The two develop a strong bond as they go on the search for the lost Tenzin.
The well-paced and well-packaged film falls in the genre of drama as well as comedy, and kept the full attention of the audience throughout.
Most of the cast were amateur Tibetan actors, but they did quite well and looked natural in their roles.
The key role of Gen Rabga was played by Tsering Dorjee Bawa, a Bay Area-based Tibetan actor. Dorjee Bawa was a former artiste of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in McLeod Ganj, India. In the film he gave all the right touches to the role he played, giving the true feel of a Tibetan.
During the opening, Tibetan Settlement Officer Dawa Rinchen, the chief guest for the event, expressed his appreciation to the directors for successfully producing their third film, and encouraged other Tibetans to take up the art of filmmaking.
“It’s a very important medium to show, share, and bring awareness about the Tibetan people and their cause,” Rinchen said.
Seykhar Films was established by Tashi Wangchuk and Tsultrim Dorjee in Dehradun, India, in 2005. Their films are mostly related to Tibet and the Tibetan people. So far, they have made three feature films, three documentaries, and several shorts.
My Son Tenzin
US 2017 | Drama/Comedy | 1 hour 10 minutes