About this project
Tashi Delek Means Hello. These are the words Tashi and Zander will finally be able to say face-to-face for the first time in their lives. This is a story of two teenage boys, an extraordinary journey of friendship, and one remarkable meeting. Documenting Zander’s coming of age journey, he will be traveling to Dharamsala, India to meet his lifelong pen pal, a fifteen year-old Tibetan Buddhist refugee. Tashi and Zander, from the moment they first learned to write, have treasured a long-distance friendship and brotherhood through shared letters, photos, and drawings. This film will chronicle their meeting and their time together, fulfilling their shared hope to bridge their worlds. It all began with a photograph of a Tibetan baby boy chosen by Zander’s mother to be Zander’s future pen pal. Tibet Aid was seeking western sponsors for Tibetan monks and children at an event of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tashi’s picture called out to her. Destined to be connected, like two needles in a haystack of humanity, these two boys, are now finally and remarkably fulfilling a larger destiny. This is a unique and sweet story worth telling and will make a poignant, compelling documentary. Come along for the journey, please help us fulfill Tashi’s dream, and make Zander’s wish come true by contributing whatever you can so we can produce an unforgettable film about this meeting of young inspired pen pals from different worlds. We deeply appreciate your support!
TASHI DELEK Means Hello... also means, may all good things come to you.
WHY IS THIS STORY RELEVANT
The documentary film, Tashi Delek Means Hello, will also highlight Tashi’s personal story within the backdrop of recent Tibetan history, set among the breathtaking foothills of the Himalayas. Since 1980, over 15,000 Tibetan children have fled the brutal Chinese occupation in Tibet to seek safety and political asylum in India. Tashi and his parents escaped Tibet when Tashi was only a baby. His impoverished family dared to cross the Himalayas on foot. Tragically, only Tashi and his mother survived the journey and found freedom in India. His father died on that crossing. Countless other Tibetans who have fled Chinese-ruled Tibet have died either from the harsh trek across the highest mountains of the world, or from being deliberately slain by pursuers. Why would they risk it? Under Chinese Occupation, Tibetans have had no human rights in their homeland. The Chinese have sought to utterly wipe out the Tibetan people’s rich, ancient heritage, peaceful religion, and cultural identity. To date, over 1.2 million people have died: innumerable monks, nuns, and civilians, including children, have been imprisoned or killed simply for practicing Buddhism. 6,000 ancient monasteries have been destroyed, only six remain. Such searing painful facts will be indelibly woven into this story, as all Tibetans living in exile, including Tashi, have been shaped by their history. Zander has a desire to understand the world that exists outside his everyday reality. How will he be affected by his friend’s story? This film will capture that meeting of young minds and hearts, and brand new insights. Zander will be spending time with Tashi at TheTibetan Children’s Village immersed in a vastly different culture and will never look at life the same way again. Through the documentary he will raise awareness about the community, the culture and people of Tibet.
In Zander’s words... “I know this is going to be an amazing experience meeting Tashi, experiencing his culture and beliefs ... life changing.” As for Tashi, meeting Zander and getting a first hand account of life in the US, from an American teenage boy’s perspective will undoubtedly be met with enthusiasm. In one of his letters, Tashi wrote: “I pray we will meet.” In his last card, he wrote: “I will meet you in life!” He believes this has always been their destiny.
Our goal for this Kickstarter campaign is to reach $5,800 in 30 days.
Realistically, we need about $7,000 but hope to raise above our goal. We need a community of supporters to donate and spread the word. Your contribution will go towards:
- Camera and sound equipment
- Post: editing and sound
- Graphic design/animation
- Color correction
- Travel and lodging
- Festival submissions fees
- Various costs for labor and supplies
We are deeply grateful for any contribution you make and ask that you please spread the word about our campaign to your friends and colleagues by forwarding this page.
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MAY ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO YOU!
Susan Ladd was the former Head of Development for Hexagon, a subsidiary of Le Studio Canal +, and Gramercy Pictures, a subsidiary of Universal Pictures and Polygram. Susan has also co-produced “Stand And Be Proud”, a short form documentary produced by Bob Ezrin for Propaganda Films. She produced two lines of yoga videos entitled “Yoga Fusion”, for Artisan Home Entertainment, which ranked #8 on Amazon, out of hundreds of home fitness videos. She has been teaching yoga for the past twenty years to adults and children and studied in India.
Eric Ladd is an award winning creative director, graphic designer and editor. He has spent his twenty eight year career working with the major film studios and television networks in Hollywood producing and directing motion picture and television advertising and promotional material. He has produced two feature films, four pilots for major networks and a documentary film series. In addition, he has lectured and taught classes at UCLA, USC and AFI.
Chris Williamson is a seven time Emmy winner and nominee for graphic design and editing. His career has spanned over thirty years and he was a pioneer in the development of paint systems for broadcast purposes.
Michael "Crash" Levine, is a cinematographer/cameraman. He has worked for over twenty five years in Hollywood and his career has included documentaries, interviews, travel shows, red carpet arrivals, EPK's, and reality shows. Some of his shows include MTV, E! and Extra.
Risks and challenges
A documentary in and of itself involves it own risks and challenges such as stolen or damaged equipment, meetings being rescheduled, etc. but traveling in India raises the bar. Adapting to local conditions such as altitude and trekking from the village where we will be staying in possible bad weather, the lack of daily comforts ie. “bucket showers”, disease and contaminated water and food will present its challenges. Crime has also been a rising issue in Delhi.
As far as a finished product, we are confident that with our small dedicated team of seasoned professionals who are committed to the project’s completion, we will achieve our goal. Please join our team and be a part of our experience by donating whatever you can to help raise the funds we need and make our documentary film possible.
Thanks for coming along on this journey with us.
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