Machik x Eaton House Tibetan Film Series: Balloon @ Eaton House

A Tibetan family confronts the intricate complexities imposed by culture, policies, spiritual beliefs, and the pursuit of gender equity.


Balloon Trailer

This is a memorial screening in honour of Pema Tseden, writer & filmmaker from Tibet.

Balloon is a story about Dargye and Drolkar and their family who live in rural Tibet.  A 'balloon' triggers a chain of events that challenges the family's harmony. The film delves into the intricate complexities of changing gender norms, personal autonomy, broader policies and the pursuit of equality. After the screening, there will be time for a discussion of the themes and insights sparked by the film. 

In Memory of Pema Tseden, Writer & Pioneering Tibetan Filmmaker

Pema Tseden was born in the Amdo region of Tibet. He was a son of pastoralists and studied at the Northwest Nationalities University in Lanzhou. Pema worked as a teacher and civil servant while writing and publishing to critical acclaim in Tibetan and Chinese. In 2002, he was the first Tibetan to attend the Beijing Film Academy and in 2005 his film, Silent Holy Stones (2005), won the Golden Rooster Award, the PRC's top film award, for Best Directorial Debut. The Search (2009) won the Special Jury Award at the 12th Shanghai International Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize at the Bangkok International Film Festival. Old Dog (2011) won Best Picture in the Tokyo International Film Festival and won Best Native Feature at the Brooklyn Film Festival. Tharlo (2015) won the Golden Horse Award in Taiwan for Best Adapted Screenplay and the Best Film award at the Tokyo Filmex, among other awards. Jinpa (2018) won Best Screenplay at the Venice International Film Festival and won Best Director at the Golden Horse Awards. Balloon (2019) premiered in North America at the Toronto International Film Festival and won Best Screenplay at the Chicago International Film Festival, among others.

Pema Tseden served on Machik's Advisory Board for many years. He passed away suddenly on 8 May 2023, leaving behind one of the greatest storytelling legacies in Tibetan history.

Machik x Eaton House Tibetan Film Series

Machik and Eaton House are pleased to present the final film from a series of six films made by and about people in Tibet. The year-long film series is a platform to spotlight the power of storytelling by filmmakers in Tibet today. It is also an opportunity to go deeper into the contemporary Tibetan experience and gain insight into the complexity of Tibet's land and people. The series includes both feature and documentary films, all in Tibetan language with English subtitles. All films will be screened at Eaton House. Films are free and donations are welcome.

Warmest gratitude to Sheldon, Shirin, Pete and the entire team at Eaton House for their incredible care and support in making this year long program possible.

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Metro/Public Transportation

  • McPherson Square Metro Station (orange, blue, silver lines)
  • Metro Center (red line)​

Parking Options

  • "American Parking Inc," 1301 K St NW (below Washington Post building)
  • "1101 K St NW Parking," 1101 K St NW (underground parking)
  • SP+ Parking, 1042 12th St NW (above ground parking)
  • Metered street parking

Program details

Venue: Eaton House, 1203 K Street NW, Washington DC 20005

Date/Time: Friday, 29 Sept 2023, 6:30pm ET

                                              6:00pm:  Doors open

                                              6:30pm:  Film starts

                                              8:15pm:  Discussion & refreshments