[imc-denmark] MEDIA RELEASE: AUSTRALIAN FILM CREW QUESTIONED BY CHINESE MILITARY IN TIBET
lara at thekollectiv.com
Thu Aug 2 17:31:26 PDT 2007
M E D I A R E L E A S E
3rd August, 2007
For immediate release
Australian Film Crew questioned by Chinese Military in Tibet
Independent Adelaide filmmakers, Lara Damiani and Alex Alexander, have
overcome many obstacles since first deciding to make a documentary about
Tibet in November last year. The latest involved questioning by Chinese
military while filming in Tibet.
Last week, Director Lara Damiani returned from Tibet amidst restrictions and
strict Chinese control to complete the final stage of filming before
starting the post-production of their documentary, scheduled for release
later this year
³At one point, there was a very real fear that my tapes and camera would be
confiscated. We were driving back to Lhasa when we were stopped and
questioned by a Chinese soldier for filming a bridge that was being guarded.
Even more frightening were the possible consequences for our Tibetan driver
and guide. The Chinese Government has such obvious control in Tibet and an
oppressive and overbearing military presence² said Lara.
China has strict regulations on journalists and filmmakers in Tibet despite
supposedly relaxing these controls prior to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Worldwide, supporters of Tibet will celebrate International Day of Action
for Tibet on August 8th marking a year to the start of the Beijing
The local filmmaker¹s documentary ³The Tibet Project No Currency in
Compassion² was inspired by the plight of Tibet and the Tibetans and a
burning desire to spread the message of Tibet in the lead up to the Beijing
Olympics. China invaded Tibet in 1950, overthrowing the Tibetan government
who now operate in exile in India. Since then, more than a million Tibetans
have been killed. Torture, death and imprisonment continue today. Forming
their own independent film company, The Kollectiv, Lara and Alex knew that
filming in Tibet would be a potentially dangerous task. To avoid suspicion
and so as not to endanger the lives of the local Tibetan community, filming
was undertaken under the guise of tourists. The documentary has been filmed
in India, Tibet, China and Australia.
Chinese Government control in Tibet extends to the banning of all religious
and political websites as well as the banning of images of the exiled
Tibetan spiritual leader. ³Images of the Dalai Lama are banned in Tibet but
not many westerners would know that there is one surviving public picture of
the Dalai Lama in Norbulingka. I managed to secretly film it² said Lara.
Freedom of speech does not exist in Tibet with Tibetans too afraid to
mention the Dalai Lama¹s name or discuss politics in public for fear of
The documentary, which has not received funding from any funding bodies,
will be released on DVD and sold to national and international broadcasters,
offers a contemporary look at the issue of Tibet and aims to raise awareness
that the issue of Tibet is not just about Tibet it is a metaphor for our
world. It represents the struggle against power, greed, injustice and
exploitation on a global level.
Tibet, under the guidance of its spiritual Nobel Peace Prize winning leader,
represents the last bastion for a hopeful and peaceful future. Under the
world¹s eyes, this land, its people and their culture are being
systematically wiped out. The documentary explores whether there is hope for
Tibet in a world that places such little value on peace and compassion.
The Kollectiv is now keen to find investors with an interest in their story
to help fund the post-production stage.
For more information, visit www.thetibetproject.com.
Media enquiries to:
Lara Damiani, Director/Producer 0411 628 895 or +61 8 8232 1670
259 Carrington Street Adelaide SA 5000
PO Box 6004 Halifax Street SA 5000
E lara at thekollectiv.com
M 0411 628 895 P 61.8.8232 1670 F 61.8.8232 1671
<http://www.thetibetproject.com> a documentary about the issue of Tibet
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