UWG in Mammoth Achievement!

December 5, 2008

Yay! We have won an award for Best Documentary 2008 from the Mammoth Film Festival. Fresh out of being pipped by ‘The Boys from Baghdad’ for Best Film at the Foreign Press Association, the UK’s top awards for journalistic endeavour, the committee at Mammoth decided we were worthy of the top prize.

Well done to all the team!

Good news. Unwinking Gaze has been nominated at the Foreign Press Association Awards for best documentary 2008. It has a one in three chance. Prince of Wales will be in attendance at one of the UK’s big media shindigs and I for one will be interested to see what he thinks knowing his affinity for the Buddhist leader. Their situations are remarkably similar, although culturally worlds apart. 

It will also be interesting to see how UWG fares in front of UK commissioning editors who have so far, unlike the rest of the world, resisted showing UWG on UK television…Here’s hoping!


Dalai Lama gives up?

November 4, 2008

The BBC has widely reported that the Dalai Lama has given up on the dialogue with China.


But on closer inspection, it looks more like the game of cat and mouse is back on. After reports of the death of the ongoing discussions between the two sides, it looks once again as though the dialogue is back on. The question is whether the Chinese will be feeling confident enough to make the larger commitment to something more than just discussions. Undoubtedly there will need to be substantial concessions on both sides for an ultimate resolution, but China knows that when the door is open, and the decision for meaningful dialogue is on, that change is going to happen. The big question for them is what will that change mean.

See phayul for more on this.


Chinese Translation

July 25, 2008

Every time I do another Q&A for the film, it becomes ever more apparent that a translation into Chinese is needed. If anyone would like to help with this endeavour please get in touch. If ever there was a film that the Chinese government and people needed to see, this is it, I reckon. It is a film for China, not for the West. A translator would be helpful but not only for the film but also for a website. Anyone?

Terrorist Alert

July 25, 2008

So, the Chinese have raised the terrorist threat in China ahead of the Olympic Games. I suppose this is to be expected. They are going to be on red alert to make sure one of the ‘terrorist groups’ doesn’t derail the games. Also provides the perfect excuse to keep the strong military presence and stranglehold over China at this time. Will the Dalai Lama be sending out his terrorist cohorts to disrupt the games? Well, Documentary Films have an interesting take on the film which does well to explain the importance of the film.

Take a look: http://www.documentaryfilms.net/index.php/the-unwinking-gaze-the-inside-story-of-the-dalai-lamas-struggle-for-tibet/

So, the Dalai Lama has been and gone. Hardly noticed by the UK although not suprising as his office seemed to have turned down interviews left, right and centre. Even Trevor Macdonald was refused an audience apparently – so it can be of little suprise that his visit passed with so little coverage. Could this be a planned strategy? I don’t think so. Knowing the veneration of their leader and the reluctance of some, naming no names, to embrace the western circus, I suspect that hassle was kept to a minimum and therefore pesky journalists were kept well away. But I can’t help but feel this is unhelpful to their cause. I know he is 72, about to be 73, but the next few weeks represent the greatest and possibly last opportunity to put China on the back foot, and turning down journalists probably means giving their editors the hump, and the story being relegated to the last page. I am not the first and won’t be the last to think that their media strategy needs a bit of foresight and pre-planning to ensure that they have the best chance of achieving their aims. If there was one aim it should be to put the Dalai Lama above politics and give him the best possible platform to articulate his views on the earthquake and his feelings for the Chinese people. I think this was a missed opportunity.

Dalai Lama Visit

May 23, 2008

So HHDL is in town…but interesting how the media aren’t really focussing on his visit. Have the earthquakes in China, consumed his cause? The China story is not Tibet anymore but the earthquake, and maybe it has become the ‘Asia story’. Burma seems to have been knocked off the news agenda quite effectively when it seems that there are more than double the fatalities than the earthquake. Interesting how news moves. Anyway the Give Peace a hand event seemed to go quite well, but hardly any reporting on it. Everyone wants to know about Crewe and Nantwich.

Radiohead Support

May 15, 2008

Wonderful news. Radiohead have given us permission to use one of their most haunting tracks – haunting even by Thom Yorke’s standards – and it really adds to the overall effect of the film. Check out the new trailer at www.theunwinkinggaze.com to see how.

Give Peace a Hand

May 15, 2008

Avaaz.org have come up with an interesting event. They are creating a human chain from the Royal Albert Hall when the Dalai Lama comes to town to give a public talk, all the way to the Chinese Embassy, over 2 miles. The Avaaz petition will be handed over to the Chinese Embassy at around 4.30pm when the human chain reaches its destination.

Check http://www.avaaz.org/en/give_peace_a_hand_london/?cl=89569812 for more info.

Screening Details

May 15, 2008

Picturehouse Cinemas have now confirmed some of the venues for the screenings of The Unwinking Gaze from the 29th May including:- the Gate Cinema, Notting Hill; The Ritzy, Brixton; Greenwich Picturehouse; Clapham Picturehouse; Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh; Harbour Lights Cinema, Southampton; Little Theatre Cinema, Bath; Phoenix Picturehouse, Oxford; Picturehouse, Exeter; Belmont Picturehouse, Aberdeen; Cinema City, Norwich; and City Screen, York.
Please go to www.picturehouses.co.uk for screening times. Please tell everyone you know about these screenings as the more successful the showing, the more impact we will have.