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Presented by the Asian Educational Media Service, The Spurlock Museum, and
the Illinois/Indiana East Asia National Resource Center Consortium

Asian Film Festival 2010: Visualizing Tibet

Asian Film Fest 2010

November 2 - 7, 2010
Tuesday through Sunday

Spurlock Museum
600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Free Parking at Spurlock Museum Lot D21 and D22 on Oregon Street.

With a special Thursday night film event at:
The Art Theater / 126 W. Church Street, Champaign, IL

All films are in Chinese or Tibetan with English subtitles.
Seating will be first come, first served, and theater will be cleared between screenings.

Special Guests:
Elliot Sperling, Associate Professor, Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Arjia Rinpoche, Director, Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, Bloomington, IN
Lynn True, Film Director, Summer Pasture
Gary Xu, Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL

Co-sponsors: Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), Weber State University, Kham Film Project, AsiaPacificFilms, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies UI

Supported with funding from the U.S. Department of Education National Research Centers Program

Film Festival Schedule

Tuesday, November 2
7:00pm - Unmistaken Child (Nati Baratz, 2008, 102 min)

Thursday, November 4 (Art Theater, Champaign,IL)
7:30pm - Kundun (Martin Scorsese, 1997, 135 min)

Friday, November 5
7:00pm - Summer Pasture (Lynn True and Nelson Walker, 2010, 86 min)
9:15pm - Serfs(Nongnu)( Li Jun, 1963, 88 min)

Saturday, November 6
1:00pm - Milarepa (Neten Chokling, 2006, 90 min)
3:15pm - Tantric Yogi (Chenaktsang Dorje Tsering, 2005, 50 min)
7:00pm - The Search (Pema Tseden, 2009, 112 min)
9:20pm – Song of Tibet (Xie Fei, 2000, 95 min)

Sunday, November 7
1:00pm - The Search (Pema Tseden, 2009, 112 min)
3:15pm - Milarepa (Neten Chokling, 2006, 90 min)


Unmistaken Child

Unmistaken Child
Directed by Nati Baratz
2008, 102 min.

Tuesday, November 2 | 7:00 pm

Discussion led by Alexander L. Mayer (Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures and Religious Studies, UI).

Unmistaken Child follows a Tibetan monk’s four-year search for the reincarnation of his beloved teacher, which leads to a remarkable quest on foot, mule and even helicopter, through breathtaking landscapes and remote traditional Tibetan villages.  Along the way, he listens to stories about young children with special characteristics, and performs rarely seen ritualistic tests designed to determine the likelihood of reincarnation.

Unmistaken Child Film Trailer

Unmistaken Child Official Website

New York Times

Full Frame Inspiration Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2009
Anne Dellinger Special Jury Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2009
The Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award (Honorable Mention), Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2009
Best Documentary Feature, River Run Film Festival, 2009
Special Jury Prize, Independent Film Festival of Boston, 2009



Directed by Martin Scorsese
1997, 135 min.

Thursday, November 4 | 7:30 pm
**Art Theatre, 126 W Church Street, Champaign, IL**

Kundun, directed by one of America’s most important filmmakers, chronicles the life of the fourteenth Dalai Lama, from childhood through the Chinese occupation and his journey into exile. This epic film charts his extraordinary growth into a world-renowned figure who raises the world’s consciousness about the Buddhist society of the spirit and the sufferings of his people.

Kundun Film Trailer

Summer Pasture

Summer Pasture
Directed by Lynn True and Nelson Walker
2010, 86 min.

Friday, November 5 | 7:00 pm

Introduced by filmmaker Lynn True.

Summer Pasture is a feature-length documentary that chronicles one summer with a young nomadic family in the high grasslands of eastern Tibet.  The story of a family at a crossroads, the events take place at a critical time as the family’s pastoral traditions confront a rapid modernization that threatens to drastically reshape their existence.

Summer Pasture Trailer

Summer Pasture Official Website

Spirituality and Practice

Inspiration Award (Honorable Mention), Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2005
International Documentary Association, DocuWeeks Theatrical Showcase, 2010
Official Selection - Critic's Week, Locarno Film Festival, 2010


Serfs (Nongnu)
Directed by Li Jun
1963, 88 min.

Friday, November 5 | 9:15 pm

This drama about the exploitation of a Tibetan serf and his subsequent liberation by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is an archival Chinese film from the early 1960’s that reflects Chinese attitudes towards the Tibetan people they first encountered more than 50 years ago. A classic propaganda film of the 1960’s.

Directed by Neten Chokling
2006, 90 min.

Saturday, November 6 | 1:00 pm
Sunday, November 7 | 3:15 pm

In his directorial debut, Buddhist lama Neten Chokling vividly presents the mythic story of Milarepa, the man who would become Tibet’s greatest yogi and saint. In the dramatic setting of 11th century Tibet, the young Milarepa falls into a world of betrayal and hardships.  Encountering magicians, demons, an enigmatic teacher and unexpected mystical power along the way, Milarepa glows with a unique visual and spiritual charge.

Milarepa Film Trailer

Milarepa Official Website

New York Times
Spirituality and Practice

The Best Spiritual Fiction, European Spiritual Film Festival, 2010
Official Selection - Berlin Film Festival, 2008
Audience Award Winner, National Geographic All Roads Film Festival, 2006
Official Selection - Mill Valley Film Festival, 2006
Official Selection - Pusan Film Festival, 2006
Official Selection - Vancouver International Film Festival, 2006

Tantric Yogi

Tantric Yogi
Directed by Chenaktsang Dorje Tsering
2005, 50 min.

Saturday, November 6 | 3:15pm

This documentary follows a Yogi and his fellow villagers as they travel through challenging territory to reach a rare gathering of thousands of lay tantric practitioners in Eastern Tibet. Narrated by Jim Broadbent.

the search

The Search
Directed by Pema Tseden
2009, 112 min.

Saturday, November 6 | 7:00 pm
Sunday, November 7 | 1:00 pm

In this feature film, a traveling Tibetan film director holds auditions in the unlikely but all-pervasive contexts of contemporary Tibetan life—in building sites, streets, bars, night clubs, and monasteries.  This film is the first ever film made in Tibet to be shot entirely with a Tibetan crew in the Tibetan language, with production support from renowned Chinese 5th Generation filmmaker Tian Zhuangzhuang.

The Search Film Trailer


Grand Jury Prize, Shanghai International Film Festival, 2009

Song of Tibet

Song of Tibet
Directed by Xie Fei
2000, 95 min.

Saturday, 9:20 pm

Directed by one of China's most established directors, Xie Fei, Song of Tibet covers the last half of 20th century Tibetan history (begun in the earlier film Serfs)through the story of a Tibetan woman and her romantic involvement with three men.  Filmed in Tibet with an all-Tibetan cast.

Song of Tibet Film Trailier

Interfaith Award, St. Louis International Film Festival, 2001
Film of Merit (Best Director), Shanghai Film Critics Award, 2000


Last Updated:
October 2, 2010

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