‘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" told AFP.

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.