The Tibetan plateau in the 1980s. No more condoms. No more children allowed. No easy answers.
A lyrical and beguiling film from one of the world’s finest directors.
Sex, faith and politics collide in Pema Tseden's exceptional new film. When Drolkar’s two boisterous youngest sons blow up the household’s few remaining condoms, mistaking them for balloons, she’s left with an impossible decision. China has just introduced its One Child Policy and with three children already, there’s no way she can have another. But her husband, Dargye, is still as horny as one of his prize rams...
Tseden deftly balances his challenging subject matter with moments of humour and great tenderness. With its cool colour palette, attentive handheld camerawork, and painterly passages that seem to transpire somewhere between this world and the next, Balloon approaches its story with a sense of wonder and features scene-stealing performances from the two young boys.
Nominated: Best Film — 76th Venice International Film Festival (Horizons Section)
Special Mention: Sfera 1932 Award — 76th Venice International Film Festival
Winner: Silver Hugo, Best Screenplay — Chicago Interational Film Festival 2019
Winner: Grand Prize — Tokyo Filmex 2019
Winner: Best Director & Best Screenplay — Shanghai International Film Festival 2020
Nominated: Best Director, Best Screenwriter & Best Cinematographer — Asian Film Awards 2020
Nominated: NETPAC Award, Best Picture & Best Director — Asian Film Critics Association Awards 2020
The first ethnic Tibetan to attend the Beijing Film Academy, Pema Tseden has established himself as one of the most talented filmmakers working in China today.
Tseden's films are shot in the Amdo region and feature performers speaking in his native Amdo-Tibetan language.
His work has been championed by Wong Kar Wai, who produced his 2018 feature, Jinpa, winner of Best Screenplay in the Horizons category at Venice. His previous feature, Tharlo was nominated for Best Film in the Horizons category at Venice and released in the UK and Ireland by Day for Night in 2016.
Tseden is also an award-winning author. His works have been translated into English, French, German, Czech and Japanese.
Written and Directed by Pema Tseden
Cast: Sonam Wangmo, Jinpa, Yangshik Tso
Director of Photography: Lu Songye
Editors: Liao Ching-Sung, Jin Di
Music: Peyman Yazdanian
Producers: Huang Xufeng, Jacky Pang
Co-Producers: Liang Ying, Song Jia
A BFI FAN NEW RELEASE
We're delighted to be partnering with the BFI Film Audience Network for the release of Balloon.
As a BFI FAN New Release title, BFI FAN members can expect:
Audio descriptive and captioned versions of the film
Marketing pack and assets including programme notes
Freelance marketing support in every Film Hub area
Pre-recorded Q&A with film talent available (information coming soon)
Advice from Inclusive Cinema for exhibitors putting on accessible screenings
Budget for Facebook/social media ads
Click here to find out more about the BFI FAN New Release scheme.
FOR BOOKINGS OF BALLOON PLEASE CONTACT:
Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI.
THE BALLOONS OF CINEMA
To celebrate the launch of Balloon, we partnered with BFI FAN to commission a short essay film from the writer and video essayist, Jessica McGoff. The film explores the role of balloons in film across the ages. You can watch it below. To find out details of when our own Balloon will take flight in cinemas, scroll down for a list of Upcoming Screenings.