Friday, 14 July 2017

NZIFF Q&A - Robin Greenberg for TEAM TIBET

NZIFF Q&A - Robin Greenberg for TEAM TIBET

TEAM TIBET – Home away from Home
Director and Producer: Robin Greenberg

My film is......
A celebration of the life of New Zealand’s first Tibetan refugee – and a window on the wider Tibetan Diaspora and pressing human rights and environmentnal issues in Tibet that have repercussions for the whole world. 
Team Tibet

The best thing about being at the NZIFF is......
The opportunity to see amazing films from Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world that we’d otherwise be unlikely to see on the big cinema screen. 

The Moment I'm most proud of in my film is......
Filming of Thuten Kesang’s visit to Wellington to view ‘EARTH Platinum Atlas’ (recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the world’s largest atlas) with chief cartographer, Roger Smith, Geographx Ltd.  (The book is rarely on display, but had come out of the bowels of the National Library for a cartographers’ conference.) A printer by trade, Thuten-la was blown away by the extraordinary quality of the printing. whilst also coming to terms with the fact that Tibet as a country “doesn’t even appear on this map!” It was a special moment to hear Thuten la and Roger concur that maps are  drawn by the ‘conquerer’, but perhaps in the future the map may again change.   (

The thing that makes me the proudest of my team in my film is.....
Generosity, dedication and excellence exemplify the spirit of our incredible team to whom I’m grateful. 

The reason I carried on with this film when things got tough was.....
Ha, things were tough from the start with tackling this complex topic, so seeing the film through was never in question, only a matter of time.  Steady encouragement from my main character Thuten-la who always said to me, ‘Never give up.” and “All good things come to those who wait.” was also invaluable.  Just as Thuten-la refers to “fate or what Tibetans call ‘karma’” in relation to certain chapters of his life, so too I feel this applies to my journey in completing this film.

The moment I think that will resonate most with the audience when they see my film is.......
It’s hard to choose only one, so here are two:
I find the following line in the film particulary empowering by Trisur Tenzin Tethong (former Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Central Tibetan Administration), who was referring to Thuten-la and New Zealand:
“One person can make a difference. One person can speak the truth. And even small communities or governments can stand up and and say do the right thing. “
Also, without giving away too much of the film’s story, I think the moment when Thuten-la reflects on his life journey of ‘giving without expecting in return’ is a key moment of the film. 

The thing I hope most people will take from watching my film is.....
I hope audiences will gain insights and appreciation of Tibet issues and the Tibetan Diaspora – and be inspired to explore further. 

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