News and Reviews
Educating About Asia Through Film    

November 2010    
Asian Film Festival 2010 Special Issue: #36    

In This Issue
Asian Film Festival 2010
Film Review: Unmistaken Child
Film Review: Summer Pasture
Film Review: The Search
Film Review: Song Of Tibet
Call For Films
AsiaLENS Series
About AEMS

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The Search & Asian Film Festival 2010

Asian Film Fest 2010

Asian Film Festival 2010: Visualizing Tibet
November 2-7

Documentary and feature films from Chinese, Tibetan and the American directors portray Tibetan history, culture, and a way of life that may be the last frontier of an ever-encroaching global "civilization."  The festival starts on November 2 with the AsiaLENS screening of The Unmistaken Child  followed by Martin Scorcese's Kundun at The Art Theater on Thursday, November 4th.  All other events take place at the Spurlock Museum on the University of Illinois campus.  Admission is FREE for all screenings.

Check our website here for full details.

Film Festival Schedule
All films screened at The Spurlock Museum
(unless otherwise noted)

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 
Directed by Nati Baratz. 2009.  102 minutes.
In Tibetan, Nepalese, and Hindi with English subtitles.
Reviewed by Richard Nance 

Unmistaken Child begins with an ending. It is October, 2001, and a great master of the Tibetan Gelug tradition, Geshe Lama Konchog, has just died in Kathmandu, Nepal. At his cremation, we meet his longtime student, Tenzin Zopa-an intense young man whom the film will follow as he journeys to India and through northern Nepal over the next several years in a quest to find the reincarnation of his beloved master.

Summer PastureSummer Pasture
Directed by Lynn True, Nelson Walker and Tsering Perlo. 2010. 86 minutes.
In Tibetan with English subtitles.
Reviewed by Mark Frank

"I swear on Sershul monastery, these yaks are totally spoiled," declares Locho in one unintentionally humorous moment of frustration.

Locho and his wife and daughter are the focus of Summer Pasture, an independent documentary film about a nomadic family in eastern Tibet. Shot in the summer of 2007, this film is the rare documentary on Tibet that doesn't have anything to say about the Dalai Lama, and it is neither a political protest piece nor a love letter to the noble yak herder.. Except for a few lines of text at the end of the film, its directors are silent and let Locho and his wife Yama speak for themselves . 

The SearchThe Search
Directed by Pema Tseden. 2009. 112 minutes.
In Tibetan with English subtitles.
Reviewed by Hilary Brady Morris

The Search opens with the silhouette of a man, looking out over a vast, uninhabited, mountainous landscape, first only surrounded by the sounds of the wind, birds, and wildlife. The sudden roar of an approaching Jeep is accompanied by the sounds of its honk and radio music. The man turns, and we see that he is smoking a cigarette; the camera follows as he walks toward the Jeep, behind him we can now see a village below, and he gets into the vehicle. The man turns out to be the film director (Pema Tseden), the Jeep full of his crew (driver, videographer, businessman), and they are searching for a man and a woman to perform the leading roles in a traditional Tibetan opera they plan to film. Billed as a feature film, its cinematic style is closer to that of a documentary, merging the two genres as do many contemporary Asian films.

Song Of TibetSong Of Tibet
Directed by by Xie Fei. 2000. 95 minutes.
In Tibetan and Chinese with English subtitles.
Reviewed by Mark Frank

Reflecting on her abduction by the man who would become her husband and lifelong partner, Yeshe Drolma tells her granddaughter "It must have been my bad karma that fated me to be with him... Everyone's fate is decided by Buddha..." thereby expressing an important theme of the film: the integration of religion into every aspect of Tibetan life.

Song of Tibet (Yeshe Drolma in Tibetan and Chinese) features a young woman named Dawa, who leaves the metropolis of Beijing behind to see her grandfather in his dying hour.


AEMS at the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) 

We are pleased to announce that at the next joint AAS-ICAS meeting in Honolulu March 31-April 3,  the Asian Educational Media Service (AEMS) will be organizing the non-stop video screenings held in conjunction with the meeting.  This year all screenings will be held in a state-of-the-art 300 seat theater at the conference site, and we hope to be able to invite some of the filmmakers for Q&A.  We are interested in films related to Asia which you may want to suggest.  Films produced in Asia are welcome, but they must have English narration or subtitles.

About twenty to thirty videos will be selected for scheduled showings. Criteria utilized in the selection process include timeliness, broad appeal to the scholarly community, and examples of new field work.  All films included in the program will be listed in the AAS Annual Meeting Program Addendum and described in handouts or brochures that will be available at the meeting. We will also supply a list of distributors and contact information.  Films the length of a typical class period (40 minutes or less), or which have segments the length of a class period, are encouraged (but are by no means necessary).

If you have seen a film you would like to recommend, please let the filmmaker (or AEMS) know. Filmmakers wishing to apply can find the instructions and application form here: . The deadline is for submission   December 10th, 2010. 

Burma VJAsiaLENS
Documentary Film Series

AsiaLENS is a series of free public film screenings and lecture / discussion programs -- organized by AEMS in collaboration with the Spurlock Museum -- presenting recent documentary films on issues reflecting contemporary life in Asia.

AsiaLENS Fall 2010 Calendar:

Burma VJ
December 7, 2010, 7:00 pm

About AEMS
Media Production Group
In addition to hosting film screenings, AEMS also produces and distributes its own materials under the brand name Media Production Group (MPG) .  These are short educational videos and DVDs about an aspect of Asian culture suitable for classroom use and accompanied by curriculum.  MPG titles. 

AEMS maintains a searchable database of over 6,000 films about Asia, including length, format, distributor and synopsis.  search the database

AEMS library, through its connection to the Lincoln Trails library system, circulates videos and DVDs locally from its collection of more than 2,000.  view


Asian Educational Media Service
805 W Pennsylvania Ave., Urbana, IL 61801