Dubbed films give Tibetans a window to the world

Participants attend a seminar on the history and achievements of dubbing and film production in the Tibet Autonomous Region in Lhasa. PALDEN NYIMA / CHINA DAILY

The history and achievements of dubbing and film production in the Tibet Autonomous Region over the past 60 years were reviewed at a seminar in Lhasa, the regional capital, last month.

Over 3,000 films and 50 TV series have been dubbed into Tibetan over the past six decades.

Some popular films that received the treatment, including The Founding of an Army, Amazing China and 40,000 Kilometers, have been screened at the same time as other Chinese provinces and autonomous regions, the Tibet Film Public Service Center, which has hosted the seminar, mentioned.

Zhang Jianhua, secretary of the Center Party, said that with the support of Changchun Film Studio, China’s first film production company based in Jilin province, Tibet began exploring dubbing in 1957.

“A Tibetan dubbing crew was formed in the region in 1965, and the first Tibetan dubbed film was produced,” he said. “Since then, more and more films are available.

“They have provided scientific knowledge to farmers and shepherds and enriched the spiritual life of residents.”

This year, the center translated 93 films: 30 scientific and educational documentaries and 63 feature films.

Tsering Yudron, deputy head of the Tibetan Language Committee’s regional office, said Tibetan-language dubbing is a key part of China’s ethnic film work, and the regional government views it as an important cultural endeavor.

“The regional government has given great support in the areas of building facilities, cultivating talents and upgrading equipment,” Tsering Yudron said, adding that dubbing has greatly contributed to social stability and high-quality development of the region.

Wang Yifeng, director of the dubbing center of the state production base of China Film Group, said that China has started dubbing public service films in different languages ​​to bridge ethnic groups, enrich the cultural life and expand people’s exposure to innovation, poverty reduction and society transformation.

“By dubbing more films into the languages ​​of different ethnic groups, people can learn more about national policies and knowledge related to science, culture, security, health, and social and economic development,” Wang said.

Socho Drolma, a voice actress at the Tibet Film Public Service Center, said the working conditions were terrible when the dub started, with the sound insulation in the dubbing room so bad that the sounds of birds and chickens were heard. recorded with the original soundtrack.

Socho Drolma, who was born into a rural family, started working for the region’s film company after graduating from college in 1965.

She said she had to take on different roles, including that of a translator, performer, projectionist and sound engineer, as well as a voice actress.

“Films with Tibetan soundtracks have become popular among farmers and herders,” she said. “The lack of transportation did not prevent them from traveling long distances to watch films; they even came on horseback and on the back of yaks.

Basang Norbu, a sound engineer at the center, said the number of staff working on dubbing increased from four in 1965 to 36.

“Over the years, dubbing has always been about giving audiences the chance to watch movies, providing them with good entertainment and making them understand the meaning of movies,” he said.

“For decades, these dubbed films have been a window for Tibetans to get to know the outside world.”

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