The Search
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    The Search

    Xunzhao zhimei gengdeng

    Directed by

    China, Tibet


    122 min

    • Tibetan

    A film director is accompanied by his friend and a business owner, who serves as a guide, to find an actor and actress to play the roles of Prince Drimé Kunden and Princess Mande Zangmo. In a village known for its Tibetan opera performance, the director finds a girl, an ideal candidate for the role of princess. Her melodious voice touches everyone. However, she decides to take the role only on the condition that the director and his friend find her ex-boyfriend, who had previously acted as the prince along with her. The director consents to her wish. On the way to find her ex-boyfriend, the business owner narrates his touching love story as a young man. Throughout their search, the story gradually draws in both the director and the girl with the covered face. The initial simple search for an acting cast eventually becomes a complex inner and outer search for existential and spiritual meaning. Finally, although they find the girl’s ex-boyfriend, her face is still not revealed.


    • Jury Award - Shanghai IFF
    • Jury Award - Bangkok IFF


    Manla Kyab
    Lumo Tso
    Pema Tseden
    Sonthar Gyal
    Zhou Hailing

    Director's Statement

    I want to follow the camera into the heart of Tibet, unhurriedly absorbing what I see. I want to walk across grasslands, into village, monasteries and towns, embarking on a soul search with ever-changing horizons.



    A simple and poetic evocation of love.

    Maggie Lee, The Hollywood Reporter

    Pema Tseden

    Pema Tseden


    Films are a medium of the new modern culture. But this is a new form of art in Tibet. I want to create a new system of culture.

    Pema Tseden (Wan Ma Cai Dan), born in 1969 in Amdo, graduated from the Northwest University for Nationalities, Beijing Film Academy and Lu Xun College respectively. Chairman of the Directors Association of China, he is also a member of the Filmmakers and Literary Societies of China. Since 1991, he has published more than forty novels and short fiction in both Tibetan and Chinese. THARLO (2015), premiered at the Venice IFF, Orizzonti Competition. His latest film BALLOON (2019) had its world premiere in the Orizzonti section of the 76th Venice International Film Festival.

    Selected Filmography