This documentary challenges stereotypes about contemporary Tibetan life and sheds light on long overlooked social injustices.
"This story breaks all the rules and upends popular perceptions of Tibetans and journalists alike. Deeply moving, ethically challenging and utterly compelling."
--Jonathan Watts, China Correspondent, The Guardian
You may have an opinion about Tibet and its future, but do you have any idea about the life and thoughts of a Tibetan migrant in Beijing? What does she think?
I've spent four years filming Zanta's life as a street peddler in Beijing and as a farmer in her village in the foothills of Tibet. We met by chance when I bought a bracelet from her, and struck up a conversation. I didn't set out to make a documentary, but after about a year of assisting with her son's schooling, I felt it was important to share their story. Amidst all the debate about Tibet, her voice is one that has not been widely heard.
I'm asking you to help fund my top-notch editor to do her story justice.
"Zanta" provides an intimate view of the struggles of a Tibetan woman within her own community as well as on the streets of Beijing. Facing discrimination in her village because she opts not to remarry after she is widowed and ethnic tension in Beijing, Zanta seeks to do her best for her seven-year-old child. In her mind, this means trying to give him to a perfect stranger in hopes that he would have a chance to go to school. That stranger was me.
The documentary follows a treacherous and heart-wrenching journey as Zanta tangles in Beijing with police and discriminatory landlords, and despairs as her son flunks out of second grade. Back in their village Zanta and her son are kidnapped by her knife-wielding father-in-law who wants to keep the boy.
The SD Rubin Foundation, a leader in preserving Tibetan culture, has recognized the importance of "Zanta" as the first documentary to record the life of a Tibetan migrant worker and address gender discrimination in her community. The foundation has generously provided funding. We now need to fill a gap of $10,000 by next month to hire the editor. Of course we’d like to raise significantly more to complete the film, and, for example, to pay Tibetan musicians for the soundtrack.
Please help Zanta and her story become an inspiration for many!
SPECIAL BONUS! As a special bonus-- one that is very dear to my heart— I hope a successful film will help Zanta develop her struggling hand-crafted jewelry business. Zanta has virtually no formal education and has picked up Mandarin on the fly. (I challenge other non-Chinese speakers to do that!) Yet, with help from a team of women motivated by her strength and determination, Zanta is learning how to use the internet. She recently opened an online shop. For more on Zanta's latest, browse around in her shop or check out this Facebook page.
HOW TO PLEDGE Click on the green "Back this Project" box at the top of the column to the right. It's easy if you have an Amazon.com account, a major credit card or a U.S. bank account. Your card will be charged on the May 4 funding deadline, as long as I reach my $10,000 goal. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing system. For more information on how the pledge system works, please click https://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq
HOW TO PLEDGE IF YOU DON'T HAVE A U.S. ADDRESS If you want to pledge but do not have a U.S. address, please email your name, address, phone or skype ID (in case we need to reach you by voice), salutation (Mr./Ms) and pledge amount to zantathefilm(at)gmail.com. We will send you instructions.
WANT TO MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION? Donations of $250 or more from U.S. residents and nationals can be tax-deductible. Contact us at zantathefilm(at)gmail.com for details on how to process a donation through our fiscal sponsor www.followyourdreamfoundation.com.
DOES A FOUNDATION OR EMPLOYER WANT TO GIVE A MATCHING TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION? Follow Your Dream Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and is eligible to receive donations from other non-profit organizations. Contact us at zantathefilm(at)gmail.com for instructions.
WANT TO SEE PHOTOS OF ZANTA'S JEWELRY REWARDS? Click here to see unisex bracelet. (Donation of $50 - $999.) Click here and here to see 'wheel of life' necklace. Click here to see Om bracelet. (Donation of $1,000 on up, bracelet and necklace set with bead of your choice.) Click here to see jewelry photos if you are in China and have no access to VPN.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $10,000 goal
seconds to go
Apr 3, 2011 - May 3, 2011 (30 days)
Pledge $10 or more
We will list you on our official website as a contributor to the project.
Pledge $25 or more
The above + a signed thank-you note by the director.
Pledge $50 or more
All of the above + one of Zanta’s unisex bracelets. You’ll be supporting both Zanta and the film! See link to photo at bottom of film description.
Pledge $100 or more
All of the above + two of Zanta's unisex bracelets + a signed copy of the DVD.
Pledge $110 or more
2 backers Limited (48 of 50 left)
SPECIAL REWARD for people who can get to WESTERN MASS! All of the above + Participate in the creative process! On July 7 enjoy an evening of fine wine & cheese, a premiere screening of the work-in-progress and discussion with the director at a unique residence in the woods in Amherst Massachusetts. If you've already made a pledge of $110 or more, you're in! Just send an email confirming you would like to attend by pushing the "Send Message" button under the director bio at the bottom right-hand side of this page. If you've already made a donation and would like to upgrade, please use the "Send Message" button to request instructions.
Pledge $250 or more
All of the above + an online video Q&A session with the film director and Zanta + a thank-you in the film credits. Donations at this level from US residents and nationals can be tax-deductible! Contact us at zantathefilm(at)gmail.com for details.
Pledge $1,000 or more
All of the above + two tickets to a film festival screening (sorry, we cannot provide transportation or accommodation) + a choice of Zanta's custom-made necklace and bracelet sets OR unisex bracelets (see link to photos at bottom of film description.) Donations at this level from US residents and nationals can be tax-deductible! Contact us at zantathefilm(at)gmail.com for details.
Pledge $2,500 or more
All of the above + associate producer credit for the film. Donations at this level from US residents and nationals can be tax-deductible! Contact us at zantathefilm(at)gmail.com for details.