Published: 25th June 2017
It's time we acknowledge the presence of Tibetans, say student producers of the award-winning documentary 'Rangzen'
The film reveals a lot of the challenges that Tibetans living in India face on a daily basis
Three students from Benglauru have made a name for themselves in the short film industry for a documentary they produced. The documentary titled 'Rangzen' is on Tibetans in India and has won them several national and international awards. Besides, it has now been chosen to be screened at the Bangalore Short Films Festival.
The Audience Award - Feel the Reel International Film Festival, UK, Special Jury Award - International Film Festival of Prayag, Delhi, Official Selection - International Documentary and Short Film Festival Kerala, Official Selection - Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, Official Selection - Bangalore Shorts Film Festival are some of the awards they've received.
For these students, it was not about scoring a centum in the college project. It was about giving their best for the project they pursued. This dedication and relentless effort earned a group of students from St Joseph's College national and international fame.
Sumit, one of the students said that it was five to six months of thorough research and interactions that has reaped fruit. "It took us a lot of time to conceptualize the idea and decide on the location. The 38 minutes movie was shot last year. While most of it is in English, we have a few characters who talk in Hindi as well," he explains.
A talk from Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan activist is what inspired these students to work on the lives of Tibetan refugees. "He had once come to deliver a talk at college. His poetry moved us. That was when the idea of making a movie on this struck us." he adds. "They live with multiple identities. Despite being denied access to their own land, they have held back to their roots. Tibetans living in India survive a lot of challenges. Yet, their dream is to get back home one day," says Santosh. "We have worked on small projects before. With this one, we decide to give it the best," he adds.
They live with multiple identities. Despite being denied access to their own land, they have held back to their roots. Tibetans living in India survive a lot of challenges. Yet, their dream is to get back home one day.
Santosh, student producer
"The 100 marks that were assigned for the project was not what mattered to us. Giving back to the society was important for us. We began interacting with a lot of people before we began," says Aiman, one of the students involved in the project. She adds that even as they knew it would go beyond just working for the college project, they did not anticipate it to turn this big.
The making of the short film and the experience they gathered as they interacted with people while shooting is something they would cherish for years to come, says Aiman. "The Tibetans have been in India for over five decades now. It is time we acknowledge their presence. People go on bikes to Laddakh and come back with Tibetan flags. Irony, however, is that they do not even know of a place called Bylakuppe existing in Karnataka," Aiman adds saying they aim to get attention towards the community.
The Tibetans have been in India for over five decades now. It is time we acknowledge their presence. People go on bikes to Laddakh and come back with Tibetan flags. Irony, however, is that they do not even know of a place called Bylakuppe existing in Karnataka
Aiman, student producer
Having taken interviews with many refugees for their film, there are several nuances that these students observed, they explain. "For instance, there is one monk that we have interviewed. He speaks about how the picture of a toy lured him to come to India. Such experiences that people shared made us happy. We understood that everyone has stories to tell. Only if they are asked in the right way would they speak about it," she explains.
These students also cherish the time they spent at Bylakuppe and say that the Tibetans were warm and lent a supporting hand.