Bringing Tibet Home

: Documentary
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Completed


A Tibetan artist smuggles 20 tonnes of native Tibetan soil from Tibet to India for an art project to bring Tibet closer to its people.


BTH is a documentary that tells the story of Tibetan artist Tenzing Rigdol, as he sets out on a mission to bring Tibet closer to Tibetan exiles through an unprecedented art project, inspired by his late fathers unfulfilled wish to breath his last in his homeland. As a result of the experience of his fathers death, Tenzing realized that this wish to return home must be common among all Tibetans living and dying in exile. Thus an art project was born to make this common dream a reality and that could be shared and experienced by all the exiled Tibetans.


Like artist Tenzing Rigdol, I am also a second-generation Tibetan refugee born and raised in India. I first met Tenzing many years ago as primary school students at a Tibetan refugee school in North India. We were merely 7 years old and both of our parents were refugees who escaped from occupied Tibet in 1959. A couple of years later, Tenzing moved to another school in Nepal and I never saw him for more than 20 years. In 2009 I moved to the United States and as fate would have it, I met Tenzing again here in New York City. By now, Tenzing had become a well-known Tibetan contemporary artist but at the time, Tenzing was recovering from the death of his father who passed away due to an cancer. A year later, Tenzing told me about his plan to do this unique art project (the soil project) that was inspired by the last days that he spent with his father. The moment I heard about it, I had no doubt, this project would allow him not only to fulfill his fathers unfulfilled dream but at the same time be able to touch the hearts of all the Tibetan refugees living all over the world and set a new landmark in the Tibetan art movement. I also equally saw a great opportunity to follow and to be able to tell a story, which would be an important documentation in the history of groundbreaking art and of the Tibetan exile experience. Thus I decided to make a film that tells the story of Tenzings struggle to make this project a reality and how this artwork effects the people who view it and how art can make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged people.


Tenzin Tsetan Choklay - Producer, Writer, Director

Tenzin Tsetan Choklay is a Tibetan filmmaker currently working out of New York City. Tenzin graduated from the prestigious Korean Academy of Film Arts in 2008. Tenzin has made a number of short films in South Korea and has worked as an Associate Producer at White Crane Films In India for the award winning film, The Sun Behind the Clouds.

The filmmaker and the artist Tenzing Rigdol were classmates at the Tibetan refugee school in India when they were in elementary school. After more than two decades of separation, they finally met again in 2009 when the filmmaker moved to New York City.

Bernadine Colish - Editor

Bernadine Colish is an editor who worked on a number of award-winning documentaries. Recently, Body of War (2007), directed by Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue, was named Best Documentary by the National Board of Review and was on the 2007 Academy Award short-list. A Touch of Greatness (2004) aired on PBS and was nominated for a 2006 Emmy Award. The Buffalo War (2001) was given a Golden Gate Award for Best Environmental Film at the 2001 San Francisco International Film Festival. Her career began at Maysles Films, where she worked with Charlotte Zwerin on such projects as Toru Takemitsu: Music for the Movies and the PBS American Masters documentary, Ella Fitzgerald: Something To Live For. Additional credits include Herb and Dorothy, Absolute Wilson and Muslims for PBS Frontline.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2018
Young European Jury Award - FIPA, France
Emerging Director Award, Asian American Int'l Film festival, New York
Official Selection: Busan International Film Festival
Official Selection: Brisbane International Film Festival
Official Selection: International Festival of Audiovisual Programs, France
Official Selection: CAAMFest2014


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