Press Trust of India / New Delhi
After its world premiere and impressive response at Osians Cinefan, Arvind Iyer’s debut featureDrapchi has been selected for the 28th Warsaw International Film Festival in October.
Written by Pooja Ladha Surti and produced by Iceberg Nine Films, the 78-minute-long film, shot in four countries and starring acclaimed Tibetan Opera singer Namgyal Lhamo, will be screened in the World Today section of the festival.
Drapchi attracted a motley crowd of world cinema lovers at Osian’s where both Iyer and Lhamo were present.
Asked about the response the film received at the festival, Iyer told PTI, “A scene when Yiga Gyalnang (Namgyal Lhamo) is seen running her hands on a barbed wire fence on an icy cold winter day, when her voice says ‘As long as Wise Spirits live, Tibet will Live’ was very much appreciated.
“That one liner juxtaposed with Lhamo’s explosive track ‘Changkha’ and the barbed wire that pinched hearts and triggered a lump in the throat seemed to encapsulate the times that Tibetans live in.”
The film has been signed on by Hollywood whiz and publicist Linda Brown who has worked on movies such as 2012 Sundance Festival winners Valley of Saints and Middle of Nowhere.
According to him, it is a relatively “difficult decision for film festivals as anything Tibet related always has an antenna or two going up somewhere politically”.
Asked if he felt that his work would fan trouble with the Chinese, Iyer says, “A lot of people ask me that and I don’t know what to say anymore because I try and look at Tibet from a ‘Tibetan-inside-Tibet’ perspective and I have always maintained that the Tibet belongs to Tibetans.
“However, there is a systematic run down of tradition and culture inside of Tibet and this is where artists such as Namgyal Lhamo continue to play such a massive role in keeping that cultural flag flying high.”
He says his next untitled feature which also be produced by Iceberg Nine Films and will have the Tibetan songstress in an “equally important and powerful role”.