Chinese censors have approved the next feature from Tibetan director Pema Tseden, a Venice International Film Festival regular and one of the most influential filmmakers working in the Tibetan language.
The film’s Chinese name translates to “Stranger.” It is an adaptation of a short story he wrote of the same name, which he has publicly said as far back as 2013 that he hoped one day to adapt into a film.
Authorities have approved the script Tseden wrote for the project, allowing it to now move forward with production, according to an official filing with China’s National Film Bureau.
The plot of the film is described as: “One day, a man riding a Harley motorcycle comes to a very small Tibetan village. The man says that according to legend, this is the home to the Bodhisattva Tara of the [traditional prayer] ‘Praises to the 21 Taras,’ so he wants to find a woman named Tara. He meets all sorts of women named Tara, but he doesn’t find the Tara that he is looking for.”
Tseden’s last three films have all premiered at Venice, with his comedic drama “Tharlo” competing for the Golden Lion in 2015, his drama “Jinpa” winning the 2018 best screenplay prize in the Horizons section and his film “Balloon” nominated in the same section.
Censors also approved a documentary called “The World of Ding Zheng,” about a young Tibetan man who went viral for his good looks and “purity,” as local media says, last year after he posted a seven-second video of himself online. He is now being championed as a Mandarin-speaking tourism ambassador to bring tourists to his hometown of Litang county, home to the largest and oldest Tibetan monastery in the surrounding region for the Gelugpa sect associated with the Dalai Lama.
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