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When: February 21 to 24, 2019
Where: Various venues in Washington, D.C.
Why: Through digital storytelling, we amplify the work of diverse practitioners who explore the power of language to connect the past, present, and future.
As one of the partners in the Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices initiative, we invite you to join us for the fourth annual Mother Tongue Film Festival, celebrating cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world over four days of free screenings. This year, we present six feature films, fifteen shorts, and one immersive audiovisual installation, together representing sixty-two languages. The films are spread across nine different events in D.C.—all free and open to the public. From drama to documentary, animated shorts to a rooftop music video, there is something for everyone. Many of the screenings will be followed by discussions with our guest filmmakers and actors. View the full schedule.
The contrasting dreams of two generations clash within the microcosm of an ancient Buddhist monastery in Bhutan, when Gyembo—an ordinary teen—is chosen as the next guardian of the family monastery.
In a remote village in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, sixteen-year-old Gyembo and his sister Tashi, age fifteen, aimlessly roam while their father meticulously polishes the ancient relics inside the altar of their private monastery. This family has been taking care of the monastery from one generation to the next for thousands of years. Unlike their father, whose life revolves around the monastery, Gyembo and Tashi have other desires. Gyembo wants to become a soccer player, and he is the only confidante for Tashi, who identifies herself as transgender. Following tradition, their father wants Gyembo to carry on the family heritage. He believes that the only way for Gyembo to accumulate good karma is to leave school and dedicate his life to religion and become the next guardian.
Followed by a Q&A discussion with the filmmakers Dorottya Zurbó and Arun Bhattarai, andCommunication and Program Manager for the Bhutan Foundation in Washington, DC, Tshering Yangzom.
This program is offered as part of the Mother Tongue Film Festival, an annual collaborative Smithsonian event initiated by the Recovering Voices Program of the National Museum of Natural History.
Directors: Dorottya Zurbó, Arun Bhattarai
Runtime: 74 minutes
The National Museum of Natural History is committed to providing inclusive experiences for all audiences. Please contact 202-633-3611 or email [email protected] for access services. To view and print a map with accessible entrances, curb cuts, designated parking, and more for Smithsonian facilities on the National Mall, please download the Accessibility Map here.
If you would like to have a sign language interpreter or real-time captioning (CART), you should call (202) 633-3611 or send an e-mail to [email protected]. Please allow time to schedule the request by contacting the Accessibility Office at least 2 weeks prior to the program. We will do our best to accommodate last-minute requests.
Time: 6:45 PM – 8:30 PM
Ground Floor, National Museum of Natural History
10th St. and Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20013-7012