Toronto: "Windhorse", a film by Academy Award winning director Paul Wagner, will be featured at the Toronto Film Festival later this month. "Windhorse" tells the urgent, contemporary story of an aspiring Tibetan pop singer who wins favour with the Chinese government of occupied Tibet, but faces a crisis of conscience when her cousin, a Buddhist nun, is imprisoned and tortured for her religious beliefs. The singer and her brother join forces to secretly videotape the testimony of their cousin and sneak it out of Tibet.
"Windhorse" was secretly filmed partly in Tibet with a a small digital video camera. The rest of the film was shot in Kathmandu, Nepal and in remote locations 12,500 feet up in the Himalayas. Lead actress Dadon, who now lives in America, had actually been a popular singer in Tibet and China before her defection to the west.
In May this year, the Chinese government denounced the film and demanded that the Washington D.C. International Film Festival cancel its screening of "Windhorse". Director Paul Wagner responded by stating, "I can assure you that our depiction is not nearly so grotesque as the reality."
CTC President Thubten Samdup added, "There is an ongoing struggle inside Tibet for the survival of our culture, and this film depicts that struggle in a moving and realistic way."
"Windhorse" has already won awards for Best U.S Feature and Best Director at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Best of Festival at Telluride Mountain Film Festival and Audience Award at the Washington D.C. International Film Festival. Wagner won his Academy Award for the short documentary "The Stone Carvers". This is his first feature-length film.
"Windhorse" Showing dates:
* Tuesday, 15 SEP @ 6 p.m. - Press/Industry screening at Varsity 6
* Wednesday, 16 SEP @ 7:15 p.m. - Public screening at Cumberland 1
* Saturday, 19 SEP @ 2:30 p.m. - Public screening at Cumberland 2.
For more information, please contact:
Phurbu Dondup Mentuh
Tel: (905) 763-7374