Dreaming Lhasa

Film | 2005 | narrative feature | 90 minutes

Directed By Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam
Written By Tenzing Sonam
Produced By Ritu Sarin
Director of Photography: Ranjan Palit
Editor: Paul Dosaj
Music: Andy Spence
Sound: P.M. Satheesh
Executive Producers: Jeremy Thomas, Richard Gere, Raj Singh
Associate Executive Producers: Klaus Hebben, Sanjiv Sharma, Arun and Rummi Sarin,
Anthony And Marie Laure Aris, Elizabeth Chatwin, Francesca Von Habsburg

Dhondup: Jampa Kalsang
Karma: Tenzin Chokyi Gyatso
Jigme: Tenzin Jigme
Loga: Phuntsok Namgyal Dhumkhang

Former Political Prisoners from Tibet as themselves:
Ani Ngawang Jampa (Gutsa Prison, 1989-1991)
Gyaltsen Pelsang (Gutsa Prison, 1993-1995)
Ani Tenzin Choedon (Gutsa Prison, 1988)
Phuntsok Wangchuk (Drapchi Prison, 1994-1999)

Karma, a Tibetan filmmaker from New York, goes to Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama’s exile headquarters in northern India, to make a documentary about former political prisoners who have escaped from Tibet. She wants to reconnect with her roots but is also escaping a deteriorating relationship back home.

One of Karma’s interviewees is Dhondup, an enigmatic ex-monk who has just escaped from Tibet. He confides in her that his real reason for coming to India is to fulfill his dying mother’s last wish, to deliver a charm box to a long-missing resistance fighter. Karma finds herself unwittingly falling in love with Dhondup even as she is sucked into the passion of his quest, which becomes a journey into Tibet’s fractured past and a voyage of self-discovery.

World Premiere at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival
European Premiere at the 2005 San Sebastian International Film Festival

Audience Award, 54th Trento Film Festival, Italy, 2006
Best of Fest, Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, London, 2006