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Light For freedom
Short Film

Light For Freedom | Trailer (2017)

Light For Freedom | Trailer (2017)

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Light For Freedom is a guided journey through live performance, music and painting, towards an understanding of the recent and recurring Tibetan self-immolations. Prominent Tibetan artists, activists and allies from the global diaspora are brought together in Toronto, Canada, to create an immersive theatrical experience that acknowledges these acts of resistance.


Light For Freedom was originally a live event. This short film captures its essence. 

Since the 1950's, Tibet has been occupied by the Chinese Communist Government. As a result, and right up to the present day, Tibetans have been suffering a cultural genocide. Over 150 Tibetans have set themselves on fire as a final act of resistance, most calling for freedom in Tibet and for the return of His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

"#LightForFreedom" was performed in Toronto,  as an off-site element of the art exhibition Time Travellers | The Art of Tashi Norbu. The "Time Travellers" exhibition co-producers teamed up with Students For A Free Tibet Canada and developed an event that would weave together story-telling, theatrical performance, live-painting, and improvised musical performance. We determined the name "#LightForFreedom " and collectively agreed there would be no graphic images used to convey the issue as our goal was to engage, not repel. Tibetan artists in exile based in Toronto, New York and the Netherlands gathered with local artists, allies and friends in Toronto to contribute to the final work.


Filmmakers Guillermo de la Rosa and Alec Bell were brought on board originally to document the multi-dimensional live performance. However, Guillermo's personal empathy with Tibetans experience of statelessness inspired a vision of a stand alone film work that could condense the 2 hour duration of the live work, (performed in 2 parts with 1 intermission), convey the emotional arc of the whole piece, and extend the collective voice of the work, long after the single performance was completed. 

Directed and Edited by 

Guillermo De La Rosa

with Alec Bell

Produced by

Guillermo De La Rosa

Andrea Battersby

Geoff Doner

Colour Correction

Jon Elliot

Live Sound by

Karim Rizkallah

Live Painting by

Tashi Norbu


Sheng Xue

Tenzing Rigdol

Tashi Nangsetsang

Sonam Chokey

Musical Performers

Phenpo Tendhar (Voice)

Geshe Ngawang Choden-la and Geshe Ludup Palden-la (Voice)

Tibetan Opera Art Performance Group, TCCC (Voice)

Cassandra Norton (Violin)

Geoff Doner (Piano)

SEPTEMBER 28-30, 2018

Eye Film Museum

IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam

Light For Freedom will enjoy it's EUROPEAN PREMIER at the Buddhist Film Festival Europe in Amsterdam ! Our film screens with the closing feature film The Sound Of Silence September 30.

Thank you so much to everyone at BFFE !


JULY 6 - 8, 2018

Dairy Arts Center

Boulder, Colorado

Light For Freedom will enjoy it's U.S. PREMIER at the Buddhist Arts And Film Festival in Boulder, Colorado! We are thrilled to have another opportunity to share this story with a wider audience.

Thank you so much to everyone at BAFF!


World Premier
Jayu Human Rights Film Festival  
Dec. 09, 2017
toronto, can

We are thrilled to announce that our short film “Light For Freedom” will enjoy a WORLD PREMIER at  JAYU's 6th annual Human Rights Film Festival before the feature documentary "Armed With Faith".

We are grateful to Jayu for this opportunity to bring this human rights issue to the forefront.

Thank you Gilad Cohen and the Jayu team for for believing in us and for your vigour in elevating human rights through the arts !

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