IBFF Co-presents Two Films at SFIAAFF

IBFF is co-presenting Sun Beaten Path, by Songthar Gyal, and Tibet In Song, by Ngawang Choephel at this year’s San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival March 8–18, 2012, its 30th year. Both films are by Tibetan filmmakers working inside and outside their homeland.

For more information about the SFIAAFF and to purchase tickets, go to the SFIAAFF official site.


Directed by Sonthar Gyal
China / 2011 / Tibetan, Mandarin with English subtitles / 89 min
Watch Trailer

March 10, 2012 8:30 pm
Pacific Film Archive Theater, Berkeley, CA
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March 11, 2012 4:30 pm
Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, San Francisco, CA
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close-up of young Tibetan man with sun parched face“This superb debut feature by the cinematographer of Pema Tseden’s last two films, The Search and Old Dog, suggests that a New Tibetan Cinema is upon us. It’s a sort of road movie, focused on an obviously disturbed young man who’s traveling from Lhasa back to his isolated home near Golmud. We find out fairly soon what’s wrong with Nyma: some time ago he used a small farm vehicle to pick up his mother from the bus but managed to overturn it on the way home, killing a family member in the accident. Nyma’s arduous journey through guilt and grief is also, of course, a spiritual journey: a search for understanding about life and death. Sonthar Gyal (who dedicates the film to his own late father) had a nomadic upbringing before teaching art and studying film. He learned his lessons well, including the life lessons.” – Tony Rayns, Vancouver International Film Festival


Directed by Ngawang Choephel
Tibet / 2009 / Tibetan, Buryat with English subtitles / 86 min
Watch Trailer

March 9, 2012 2:00 pm
Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Lhamo, one of the characters of Tibet In Song explaining the costume which her grandmother sent from Tibet.“Tibet in Song is a riveting and unforgettable look at one man’s struggle to preserve Tibetan music, culture and national identity. Using rarely seen performances against the backdrop of Tibet’s delicate history with China, director Ngawang Choephel tells a harrowing story of beauty, pain, brutality and resilience. In 1995, nearly forty years after he first left Tibet, he returned to his homeland as a musicologist, hoping to record what remained of Tibetan folk music. A riveting look at Tibet’s unique and vibrant heritage through the eyes of a talented and determined musicologist and filmmaker, this poignant film serves as a celebration of folk music and the generation of Tibetan people challenging cultural domination.” –Elizabeth Choi