Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam’s independently produced feature The Sweet Requiem will be premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (September 6-16), the filmmakers said in a press release today. Produced by Sarin, Sonam and Shihari Sathe, The Sweet Requiem will be screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section.
The Sweet Requiem, according to the official synopsis, centres on Dolkar, a Tibetan woman living in Delhi. “One day, when she unexpectedly sees a man from her past, long-suppressed memories of her traumatic escape from Tibet come flooding back, and she is propelled on an obsessive search for reconciliation and closure,” the synopsis added.
In a career spanning three decades, Sarin and Sonam have made several films and video installations. They are also the founders of the Dharamshala International Film Festival. The couple made their feature film debut in 2005 with Dreaming Lhasa, which was also premiered at Toronto. Their most recent documentary, When Hari Got Married (2012), narrates the story of a small-town taxi driver who has an arranged marriage with a woman he’s never met. It is available for streaming on Netflix.
Sarin said in a statement, “We knew it was not going to be easy to make a low budget film featuring non-professional actors that required us to shoot at 15,000 feet in sub-zero temperatures and then in the full summer heat of Delhi. But we persevered and with the support and hard work of so many people, we managed to get to this point.”
Sonam said that the film’s premiere at TIFF is a “vindication of the passion and dedication” of the team. “Our film is set among the exile Tibetan community in India, a group about whose lives and experiences so little is known. I can’t express how it means to be able to launch the film at TIFF.”