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He lost his parents, his country and his language, but not his passion for what it means to be Tibetan and to remain openhearted.
185 backers pledged NZ$ 24,656 to help bring this project to life.
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NZ$ 24,656

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The feature-length documentary TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home presents a story about Tibetan issues from a fresh perspective. It takes us on a journey through the eyes of Thuten Kesang, New Zealand’s first Tibetan refugee, who has lived in exile for more than fifty years. He has dedicated his life to raising awareness of the plight of Tibetans and the preservation of Tibetan identity.  Thuten's charismatic personality and commitment to the values of compassion and non-violence make him an endearing and powerful messenger of the complex environmental and political issues at hand -- and a role-model for the positive power of perseverance. 

Thuten with EARTH Platinum Atlas
Thuten with EARTH Platinum Atlas

 THE UNFOLDING STORY

Born in Lhasa, Tibet in 1944, Thuten grew up believing the world was flat. He became a Tibetan Buddhist monk at the age of six, but his penchant for running away from the monastery eventually led his father to take him to Kalimpong, India for boarding school in 1954.

Thuten at Hart Cottage, Dr. Graham's Homes, Kalimpong, 1960
Thuten at Hart Cottage, Dr. Graham's Homes, Kalimpong, 1960

It was at the home of Thuten's surrogate father Mr. Crow in Calcutta where Thuten's life-long love of tennis began.  An avid player for over forty years, Thuten credits tennis for keeping him young.  And the film's title takes its inspiration from one of his tennis teams, 'Team Tibet'.

Thuten Kesang, Browns Bay Racquet Club, Auckland
Thuten Kesang, Browns Bay Racquet Club, Auckland

In 1988, thirty-five years after leaving his homeland, Thuten had his first chance to visit Tibet again. What he witnessed with his own eyes multiplied his efforts to do everything possible to raise awareness about the situation in Tibet, both in New Zealand and internationally.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has often affirmed that a small country like New Zealand can do a lot for Tibet.  

The film delves into parallels between the isolation of New Zealand and Tibet -- and explores the interconnectedness between environment, human rights and trade issues in our increasingly interdependent world.   

It's our hope that TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home and Thuten's inspiring story will help to build new bridges of understanding between diverse communities -- and to celebrate the interconnected values that people share beyond cultural or religious beliefs.

Thuten with His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Rt. Hon. David Lange, Auckland 1996
Thuten with His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Rt. Hon. David Lange, Auckland 1996

HOW YOU CAN HELP!

After twenty-two years of research and filming, our feature-length film TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home is now in the early stages of editing!   

Our independent film has gotten this far thanks to the incredible generosity of time and skills from numerous friends in New Zealand and internationally -- and a pivotal seed grant from the Hartley Film Foundation, USA!

We now need YOUR HELP to raise needed completion funds for editing and post-production!  All editing/post-production will take place in Wellington, New Zealand at substantially reduced rates, whilst ensuring the highest possible quality. 

OUR GOAL is to complete the film in time for a World Premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival 2017, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of Thuten's arrival to New Zealand. We've just been informed that  TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home is now officially on the festival's "radar", which is encouraging!  

We greatly appreciate your assistance with NETWORKING and SUPPORT to help us reach the finish line in time for the festival's consideration early 2017!   Many thanks in anticipation! Thu-je-che ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ་།

 [NOTE: For the future, in the unexpected event of any profit from this labor-of-love documentary, the filmmaker will donate 50% of any proceeds to the charities of Thuten's wish.]

Thuten & Tenzin Atisha
Thuten & Tenzin Atisha

 HOW IT ALL STARTED...

Filmmaker Robin Greenberg spent several long stints in Dharamsala, India during the 1990s doing volunteer educational video work with the Tibetan Department of Health of the government-in-exile.  In 1994, she happened to meet Mr. Tenzin Atisha, Director of Environment and Development Desk.  He approached Robin to assist with a local community project. During that collaboration, an idea was seeded for a film, originally with a focus on the Tibetan environment.  Over the years, the documentary evolved into its current creative form with Thuten Kesang as the main character.

Robin first met Thuten Kesang during His Holiness the Dalai Lama's first visit to New Zealand in 1992.  Thuten's positive approach to life's challenges and his incredible generosity continue to be a great inspiration to Robin, which she feels a wider audience will also appreciate. Moreover, Thuten's life journey serves as a special vehicle through which to share the broader story of Tibet in an intimate way, and with a unique perspective from New Zealand.  

Thank YOU for becoming part of our international team to help complete TEAM TIBET!

Thuten with Robin and her son Jasper, Dorje Chang Institute, Auckland
Thuten with Robin and her son Jasper, Dorje Chang Institute, Auckland

OUR 'TEAM TIBET' TEAM:

Director & Producer - ROBIN GREENBERG

Executive Producer - VINCENT BURKE

Associate Producer - RUTH KORVER

CINEMATOGRAPHY - WAKA ATTEWELL, COSTA BOTES, JOHN CHRISSTOFFELS, RUTH KORVER, CHRIS LI

2nd Unit Camera: JAMES BROWN

Editor - PETER METCALF, 195 SUITES

Sound-mix - IAN LESLIE

Featuring:  THUTEN KESANG, GWEN KESANG, TENZIN ATISHA, GEORGE BORTHWICK, JOHN BUCKLAND, NEIL CAMERON, CHHIME CHOEKYAPA, IAN COUPER,  LEONIE COUPER, SIMON HARRISON, MELISSA LEE, PETER LOVE, JEAN NUTTALL, GANDEN PALJOR, IAN REVELL, ROGER SMITH, JANET TAN, BHUCHUNG TSERING, TENZIN TETHONG,  DENISE WADSWORTH, ALYN WARE, VENERABLE GESHE WANGCHEN, TSERING KESANG, ELIZABETH KESANG and HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA

Music: JAMES KIMO WEST, TENZIN CHOEGYAL & more...

Thuten & Gwen Kesang
Thuten & Gwen Kesang

 

Risks and challenges

The challenges of this documentary have been multi-faceted over the years, not the least of which has been striving for the highest possible production values over two decades despite elusive financial resources.

A documentary relating to the 'hot potato' topic of Tibet is not without its share of risks. And our team has been committed every step of the way to ensuring sensitivity, integrity and balance in handling the issues and visuals, as well as the personal safety of all concerned.

A key personal challenge for director Robin Greenberg has been to uphold the film's underlying positive message, which, despite the complexity of the issues at hand, remains one of transcendent hope for the future.

**PLEASE NOTE: IF we're fortunate enough to exceed our campaign target, then any additional funding will be prioritized for the following:

- inclusion of additional archival television footage from New Zealand (which has been largely out of reach due to exorbitant costs)
- ensuring that we get the film seen as widely as possible on international film festival circuit (hopefully near you!)
- grassroots outreach for the film, including screenings & discussions.

Many thanks in anticipation. We can't wait to share our film with you soon!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 5 or more About US$ 4

    $5 NZD

    At this generous level of support, you will receive a THANK YOU - ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ (thu-je-che) - on the official TEAM TIBET website.

    Every dollar brings us closer to making this film a reality!

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    Pledge NZ$ 25 or more About US$ 16

    $25 NZD

    At this generous level of support, you will receive our gratitude, a thank you - ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ (thu-je-che) - on the official TEAM TIBET website, PLUS: a Digital thank-you postcard featuring an image from the feature-length film.



    Every dollar brings us closer to making this film a reality!

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    31 backers
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    Pledge NZ$ 50 or more About US$ 32

    THANK YOU film credit

    At this generous level of support, you will receive:
    - a THANK YOU - ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ (thu-je-che) - on the official TEAM TIBET website
    - a Digital thank-you postcard featuring an image from the feature-length film.
    - PLUS you will get a THANK YOU in the credits of the feature-length documentary

    Every dollar brings us closer to making this film a reality!

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    Estimated delivery
    31 backers
    NZ$

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 100 or more About US$ 64

    Digital download of TEAM TIBET

    At this generous level of support, you will receive:
    - a THANK YOU - ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ (thu-je-che) - on the official TEAM TIBET website
    - a THANK YOU in the film credits of TEAM TIBET
    * PLUS: We'll send you a link to Digital Download of the film TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home

    Every dollar brings us closer to making this film a reality!

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    51 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 250 or more About US$ 160

    Autographed Blu-ray DVD and Tibetan flag

    At this generous level of support, you will receive:
    - a THANK YOU - ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ (thu-je-che) - on the official TEAM TIBET website
    - a THANK YOU in the actual film credits of TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home
    - a link to Digital Download of TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home
    * PLUS: We'll send you a large Tibetan flag -- and a Blu-ray DVD of TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home (autographed by Thuten Kesang & Robin Greenberg)

    Every dollar brings us closer to making this film a reality!

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    17 backers
    NZ$

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 500 or more About US$ 320

    Bonus Scenes & another Digital Download

    At this generous level of support, you will receive:
    - a THANK YOU - ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ (thu-je-che) - on the official TEAM TIBET website
    - a THANK YOU in the actual film credits of TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home
    - a link to Digital Download of TEAM TIBET
    - a large Tibetan flag
    - a Blu-ray DVD of TEAM TIBET (autographed by Thuten Kesang & Robin Greenberg)
    * PLUS: We'll send you links to 2 additional Digital Downloads: of special Bonus scenes from TEAM TIBET (including extended interviews of several key characters); and Robin Greenberg's documentary 'Chenrezig Sand Mandala: the Living Art of Tibet' (New Zealand 2000, 29 mins.)

    Every dollar brings us closer to making this film a reality!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    NZ$

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,000 or more About US$ 640

    SPECIAL THANKS & Autobiography

    At this generous level of support, you will receive:
    - a THANK YOU - ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ (thu-je-che) - on the official TEAM TIBET website
    - a link to Digital Download of TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home
    - a large Tibetan flag
    - a BLU-RAY DVD of TEAM TIBET (autographed by Thuten Kesang & director Robin Greenberg)
    - links to 2 more Digital Downloads: of Special Bonus Scenes (including extended interviews of several key characters); and Robin Greenberg's documentary 'Chenrezig Sand Mandala: the Living Art of Tibet' (New Zealand 2000, 29 mins.)
    * PLUS: You'll receive a signed copy of Thuten's forthcoming autobiography -- and an upgrade to 'SPECIAL THANKS' in the actual film credits of TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home

    Every dollar brings us closer to making this film a reality!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    NZ$

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 2,500 or more About US$ 1,598

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER, photo & 2 more DVDs

    At this generous level of support, you will receive:
    - a THANK YOU - ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ (thu-je-che) - on the official TEAM TIBET website
    - a link to Digital Download of TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home
    - a large Tibetan flag
    - links to 2 more Digital Downloads: Special Bonus Scenes from film (including extended interviews); and Robin Greenberg's documentary 'Chenrezig Sand Mandala: the Living Art of Tibet' (New Zealand 2000, 29 mins.)
    - a Blu-ray DVD of TEAM TIBET (autographed by Thuten Kesang & director Robin Greenberg)
    - a signed copy of Thuten's forthcoming autobiography
    * PLUS: a full ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit in the film; two Blu-ray DVDs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Auckland, 2013: Public talk "Compassion: the Pillar of Peace" and Teaching "The Four Noble Truths"; and a special photograph of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    NZ$

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 5,000 or more About US$ 3,196

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit

    At this generous level of support, you will receive:
    - a THANK YOU - ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ (thu-je-che) - on the official TEAM TIBET website
    - a link to Digital Download of TEAM TIBET
    - a large Tibetan flag
    - a link to Digital Download of Greenberg's documentary 'Chenrezig Sand Mandala: the Living Art of Tibet' (New Zealand 2000, 29 mins.)
    - a Blu-Ray DVD of TEAM TIBET - Home away from Home (autographed by Thuten Kesang & director Robin Greenberg)
    - a link to Digital Download of special Bonus Scenes (including extended interviews of several key characters)
    - a signed copy of Thuten's forthcoming autobiography
    - two Blu-ray DVDs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Auckland, 2013: Public talk "Compassion: the Pillar of Peace" and Teaching "The Four Noble Truths"
    - a special photograph of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
    * PLUS: You'll receive an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit in the film; two complimentary TICKETS to the film's premiere (near you) -- and DINNER with the film's star Thuten Kesang & director Robin Greenberg in Auckland, New Zealand
    (*Note: sorry, travel not included.)

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    NZ$

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    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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Funding period

- (24 days)