A Himalayan Film Festival being held in The Netherlands from November 6 to 7, 2004 will feature several Tibet-related films, including those like The Spirit Doesn’t Come Anymore and We’re No Monks, which are produced by Tibetans.

According to the organizers, Tibetan Director Pema Dhondup (We’re No Monks) will be attending the festival. They hope that the festival will be a chance for authors, owners and distributors as well as members of the audience to exchange their views.

The festival, being held at the Cultural Centre of the Free University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Holland, will feature the following films. The description of the films is taken from the festival website www.himalayafilmfestival.nl which also has the full schedule.

Tibetan Refugees: A Struggle Beyond Generations (Kunihiko Tanaka, 120 minutes)
More than forty years have passed since the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, a Nobel laureate, was forced to flee his homeland. Yet Free Tibet remains a living struggle for his people.

Magic Mountain (Geoff Dunlop, Sylvia van Kleef and Thomas Kelly, 60 minutes).
This documentary is about a group of pilgrims on a journey to Mount Kailash in Tibet, a sacred site to four religions: Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and the Bonpos. The story concentrates on a small group of people from Humla, Nepal on their journey across the Himalayas, focusing on the personal motives of the pilgrims, the stories they tell each other on the journey and the religious and cultural ceremonies they attend.

The Yogis of Tibet (Phil and Jo Borack, 77 minutes)
There has never been another culture and society quite like the one that existed in Tibet before the Communist takeover of the country in 1950. The documentary tells of the land, the people, the long-hidden, fascinating culture, the religion, history and 20th century holocaust. An in-depth look at Tibet’s spiritual heart and soul, its Yogis.

Tibetan Portraits (Berit Madsen, 37 minutes)
Made originally for a Children’s Ethnographic Exhibition in Denmark, this includes three ethnographic films from the Tibetan exile society to give a sensuous glimpse into Tibetan Children’s life around the big Buddhist stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal.

We’re No Monks (Pema Dhondup, 127 minutes)
We’re No Monks shows a world of Tibetans sharply different from that usually perceived by the west. Amid the cluster of Tibetan exiled government offices, institutions and organizations in Dharamsala, ordinary refugees live with hopes of returning to Tibet someday. However, a generation has changed and so have dreams, desires and aspirations of the people, especially the younger ones. This story is about them.

The Forbidden Team (Arnold Krigaard and Rasmus Dinesen, 54 minutes)
On 30th of June 2001, in Copenhagen, Denmark, a framework was formed for a historical football match; a match which FIFA and the Chinese government tried to prevent from taking place. The agreed upon match between Tibet and Greenland, would be the first international game ever played by Tibet. We follow the team from their first coaching sessions in Dharamsala, India – on a craggy, grassless pitch – to the last whistle in Copenhagen two years later.

Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion (Tom Peosay, 104 minutes)
this award-winning documentary was filmed during a remarkable nine journeys throughout Tibet, India and Nepal. CRY OF THE SNOW LION brings audiences to the long-forbidden “rooftop of the world” with an unprecedented richness of imagery” from rarely-seen rituals in remote monasteries, to horse races with Khamba warriors; from brothels and slums in the holy city of Lhasa, to magnificent Himalayan peaks still traveled by nomadic yak caravans. The dark secrets of Tibet’s recent past are powerfully chronicled through riveting personal stories and interviews, and a collection of undercover and archival images never before assembled in one film.

Words Of My Perfect Teacher (Lesley Ann Patten and Kent Martin, 103 minutes).
Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Lesley Ann Patten presents a hard-fought and revealing feature-length 35mm documentary about Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche from the perspective of three students, Luc Dierckx, Louise Rodd and herself.

Timber to Tibet (Mohan Mainali, 28 minutes).
Bhotkhola is one of the 20 beyul, which is what Tibetans call the sites of paradise in the Himalaya. The local people and the monks believe Bhotkhola was tucked away among the mountains by the gods so that it would not be disturbed. That is why, they say, it should be preserved and protected from human defilement. Yet, the people have turned to destroying trees that take a hundred and fifty years to mature. Caravans bearing timber to Tibet and bringing back foodstuff to Nepal is a common sight all over Bhotkhola. This film deals with the pro-conservationist tradition and people’s compulsion to cut down the priceless Himalayan forest which will not regenerate once it is gone.

A Man Called Nomad (Alex Gabbay, 39 minutes).
A man called nomad is a story of a man trying to adjust to the shifting realities of the modern world and how he can retain within his family a sense of place as fences begin to cross the once-open plain. For generations, these plains provided ample grazing for his people’s yak herds. Looking into the life of a 30-year old Choegatar, father and provider, we are invited into a world where the temptations of the town intrude. Synthetic fiber is replacing wool, and a man needs capital. This is an honest portrayal of life changing, all in the backdrop of unrivalled personal and natural beauty.

The Spirit doesn’t Come Anymore (Tsering Rhitar and Sherab Lhawang, 38 minutes)
The practice of shamans invoking spirits/protectors to ward off evil and cure disease has been a significant feature of Tibetan social life for over a millennium. Pao Wangchuk, 78, is the thirteenth in an unbroken line of spiritual mediums, living and practicing his craft this side of the Himalaya in the Tibetan camp in Pokhara, Nepal. The source of the old man’s despair is Karma, his eldest son and heir-to-be, who may not be able to continue the family calling.

Glenn Mitrasing is the “Team Leader” of the Festival and the organizers can be contacted at the following address.

Himalaya Archief Nederland
Hortensialaan 162
1702 KJ Heerhugowaard
The Netherlands