DHARAMSHALA: At the 65th National Film Awards this year, a young Tibetan professional blazed an unprecedented trail by taking home the country’s highest film honour, National Film Award.
Tenzin Kunchok, a media professional based in New Delhi, won the National Film Award for Best Editing as Editor for the film ‘Mrityobhoj: The Death Feast’.
The National Films Awards are the country’s greatest meter for film and TV recognition. Tenzin Kunchok is the first Tibetan to receive the Award bestowed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. Previous recipients of the National Film Awards are veteran Indian actors Amitabh Bachan, Vinod Khanna, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Hansal Mehta to name a few.
“It is an incredibly great honor and frankly the magnitude of it still has not sunk in,” Tenzin Kunchok said in an exclusive interview with tibet.net.
“Having said that, I cannot take sole credit for anything. There are many people who have contributed to what I am today, beginning with my Amala Tsering Yangzom and my late Pala Norbu”.
Kunchok said he learned the importance of hard work and humility from his parents. “Like so many Tibetans they struggled against great odds and created a life in a foreign land without ever complaining or losing hope. Those are real, tangible achievements. So, to be celebrated by the community for this award is very humbling”.
“In one way, there is no comparison between those struggles and achievements but I am grateful for it at a personal level and what it represents at a metaphorical level,” he said.
“Though I participated in protest marches while in school and college, I have not been able to give back to the community through political activism. It took me a while to realize that is not the only way to contribute. Doing my work well and behaving according to the value system I’ve been taught, as a Tibetan is also a small contribution.
“We are really fortunate to have His Holiness as a guide always. Whenever I am in doubt, I just have to read his words or listen to him and it immediately brings perspective into my life. The words that always stay with me are: You are not an individual alone. Because of who you are, your name- you represent the whole community. This makes me weigh my words and actions always.
“Most importantly, I have also had the good fortune to meet and work with generous people who have given me opportunities, trusting me and my work. My partner Ms Reshma Pritam Singh who believed in me when I was starting out, with whom I cofounded Mogstar Media.
“For this film, I would like to thank Ms Akanksha Sood the talented director who makes sensitive films for which she has won many awards and Mr Sanjiv Monga with whom I started my career in editing and whom I look upon with great respect”.
Tenzin Kunchok helms Mogstar Media, a boutique production facility based in Delhi NCR specializing in providing audio-visual solutions for development sector and corporate clients. He is the recipient of the 65th National Award for Best Editing, non-feature.
He has directed and edited films for a host of clients including UN Women, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, BBC Media Action, NACO, Piramal Foundation, Al Jazeera, London and the US-based PBS.
He started his career as an editor with BBC World Service Trust where he worked on the award-winning HIV-AIDS awareness show ‘Haath se Haath Milaa’. He then moved on to NDTV before starting Mogstar Media in 2009.
Tenzin Kunchok was born and brought up in McLeod Ganj and studied at upper TCV Dharamshala. He graduated from Delhi College of Arts & Commerce in 2003.