Sonthar Gyal

Sonthar Gyal


One thing that has consistently impressed me in filmmaking is the emphasis on individuality. In Tibetan culture, we lack individualism, individual voices.    


Born in the Tibetan region of Amdo, Sonthar Gyal grew up amongst shepherds in Qinghai Province in China. His art teacher father taught him the traditional ‘thangkhas’ Buddhist painting technique and between 1994 and 2000 he created artistic series and over 50 paintings. He also developed an interest in film and, following studies at Beijing Film Academy, he became a prominent member of the first generation of Tibetan filmmakers. His 2011 directing debut, THE SUN BEATEN PATH, competed at FF Locarno and won numerous awards at Vancouver FF, London FF and Hong Kong FF amongst others. His follow-up, RIVER (GTSNGBO), was selected at the Berlinale Generation in 2015.

Films Selection