Type of project: Documentary
Description: Following a chance encounter on the streets of Beijing, a destitute Tibetan widow tries to give her child to an international journalist, drawing the unwitting foreigner into a family feud over the only surviving heir to a Tibetan clan. The award-winning documentary NOWHERE TO CALL HOME provides a rare and intimate glimpse into the world of a Tibetan farmer, torn between her traditional way of life and her desire for her son to have a better future. Shot in the slums of Beijing and a remote Tibetan village, this gripping story of a woman determined to beat the odds puts a human face on the political strife that fractures China and Tibet. Along the way it challenges common western stereotypes about Chinese and Tibetans, and reveals a dark side of life in a traditional village, where the saying goes, 'women aren't worth a penny.' Translated into eleven languages, Nowhere To Call Home is winner of NHK's prestigious 2015 Japan Foundation President's Prize. The New York Times, in an article titled "Inspiring Dialogue, Not Dissent, in China," wrote "The film breaks down the sometimes romantic Shangri-La view that Westerners have of Tibet... and offers a shocking portrait of the outright racism... Tibetans face in Chinese parts of the country." In the U.S. the Nowhere To Call Home premiere sold out at the Museum of Modern Art, and the film went on to sell out in theaters in San Francisco and Massachusetts. The verite-style documentary has been garnering an extraordinary track record of acclaim from both Tibetans and Han Chinese in the PRC, with a leading Chinese anthropologist describing the film as "very important for inspiring our imagination on modern China's transformation." Beijing's new Center for Documentary Studies chose the film as its inaugural event, as did New York University's new Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights. The film has been invited to screen at Xinhua News Agency, and at dozens of institutions in China, including the prestigious Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Peking University, Renmin University, Beijing's ethnic minorities university, and the People's University high school. Film awards include NHK's Italy's Trento solidarity award, and a special mention at Belgium's Millenium International Film Festival Director Jocelyn Ford, former Beijing and Tokyo bureau chief for the U.S. public radio show Marketplace, has been based in East Asia for three decades. Her groundbreaking reporting on "comfort women" in the 1990s was a catalyst for raising awareness about World War II abuses of women across Asia by Japan's military. During three years of filming NOWHERE TO CALL HOME, Jocelyn overcame restrictions on access to Tibetan communities to shine light on the complex choices facing Tibetan farmers living in contemporary China, and to lend new insights into the social fragility of the world's fastest rising power.
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