‘Tibetans Accuse China of Meddling in Film Festival’
(AFP | August 19, 2004)
Tibetan activists in India claimed that five films on Tibet
have been dropped from the upcoming Asian Film Festival in Bombay under
pressure from the Chinese embassy in India.
"The festival committee has bowed to threats from the Chinese embassy. It
has excluded all the films on Tibet that were initially intended to be
shown at the festival," Aspi Mistry, spokesperson of "Friends of Tibet"
Mistry said the five films were to be screened as a "Focus on Tibet"
module during the August 21-28 festival. The films included
Kundun by Martin Scorcese, based on the life of the Dalai Lama,
and Seven Years in Tibet by Jean-Jacques Annaud —
the story of Austrian adventurer Heinrich Harrer's travels in Lhasa
at the time of the Chinese invasion.
Festival director Sudhir Nandgaonkar, however, denied the allegations that
the decision to drop the films was taken under pressure. He told the Press
Trust of India (news - web sites) news agency that the films were old and
also that he had not received their prints. Aspi said the "Friends of
Tibet" faced similar pressure from the Chinese embassy in 2000 when it had
organised a seven-day festival of Tibet in Bombay.