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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Film by a Tibetan bags award at online film festival

August 11, 2009

Phayul
August 10, 2009

Dharamsala, August 10 -- A documentary film by a Tibetan filmmaker
has been declared the winner in an online film festival called 'Film
festival - Humanity Explored', organized by Culture Unplugged Studios.

'Prayers Answered' is a film by Geleck Pasang, a former student of
TCV school Ladakh and Bylakupee, whose film about a remote Muslim
habitat and it people's admiration for the Dalai Lama has been
adjudged the 'People's choice - most viewed' on the site with 30956
views at the time of this report going online. About 800 films have
participated in the contest.

The film documents a visit in August 2005 of the Tibetan leader Dalai
Lama to Turtuk, a remote village inhabited by ethnic Muslims on the
neck of Indian Map, sharing critical border with Pakistan and "China
occupied Tibet."

Turtuk, once a part of Baltistan (now in Pakistan) shared strong
economic and cultural ties with Tibet. They conversed in same
language- western Tibet dialect, which is still used in Turtuk. The
people of Turtuk invited the Dalai Lama to bless them and to re-live
the ancient tie that they had once shared with Tibet. Turtuk became a
part of India after the war with Pakistan in 1971.

Turtuk is a highly restricted area, totally cut out from the rest of
the world and tourists are denied access to this place. However, the
difference in faith has not stopped the villagers to welcome His
Holiness the Dalai Lama and the visit was celebrated with great
splendor and grandeur. The Muslim residents of Turtuk still treasure
the visit and pray for a second visit.

The film, produced by Geleck in 2007, depicts the emphasis the
Tibetan leader lays on providing modern education to the children of
the village to create a better community.

Many children from this village are presently studying in a Tibetan
School, practicing their own religion and pursuing academic aspirations.

In Geleck's own words, the film is "a story about the journey of
these children living in a new environment, preserving their religion
and culture while learning basic education from a Tibetan school. I
made an attempt to show through film how these children cope with the
multicultural world with genuine love, brotherhood and the most
importantly, sense of respect to each other."
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