How I Got Into A Norwegian Film Festival

How I Got Into A Norwegian Film Festival

Human Rights, Human Wrongs Film Festival - Joe Baur

Hanging around Norway this week? Well, you’re in luck!

Somehow the film Gods have conspired to allow a short travel-documentary I directed, Modern Enlightenment, to run at this year’s Human Rights, Human Wrongs Film Festival.

My film — a look at how exiled Tibetans in Dharamsala, India are preserving their culture — uses footage from a college trip in the summer of 2008, just months before the Beijing Olympics. I finally made something of the footage this past summer, drawing inspiration from recent Anthony Bourdain binge-watching and Bill Bryson binge-reading.

In reconnecting with my old Tibetan contacts, I reached out to Voice Of Tibet radio in hopes of grabbing their intro music for the film. This led me to Mr. Oystein Alme, who works in Voice Of Tibet’s Oslo-based office. At the time I had no idea there was an Oslo office. But it strikes me as an incredible achievement for a people who are already up against seemingly insurmountable odds in “WE DO NO WRONG!” China.

A few weeks ago, I woke up to a Google Hangout message from Oystein asking me if I would allow him to use my film as an opener for his Tibetan film, Banned Expressions.

“Would I?” I thought to myself sarcastically, as if I needed to spend any brain power at all thinking the opportunity through. “Of course!”

Any disbelief I was harboring that my film would play in Oslo, Norway of all places was recently alleviated with the unveiling of this year’s program.

So if you happen to be around Norway on February 6 at 8 p.m., go ahead and swing by the Human Rights, Human Wrongs Film Festival to listen to the story of my time with exiled Tibetans before tuning into what is sure to be a much better film, Oystein’s Banned Expressions.


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Joe Baur
Joe Baur
Joe is a travel author (Talking Tico) and podcaster who's constantly looking to get off the tourist trek in search of new stories. He enjoys few things more than a hoppy beer and chorizo in good company. Give him these things and he will be your friend for life.