* DokFest Münich (Germany)
* DOCSDF (México DF, Mexico)
* Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (Nepal)
* Pärnu International Film Festival (Estonia)
* Museum of Modern Art Contemporasian (U.S. Premire)
* Selected as the inaugural film at the new Center for Documentary Studies (Beijing, China)

* Special Mention of the Jury at the Millenium International Documentary Film Festival in Brussels

Nowhere to Call Home: A Tibetan in Beijing

Category |Conflicts, Education, Ethnography, Justice, Migration, Social Issues, Women, Youth
Year | 2014
Country | China / USA
Running time | 52’&76’
Format | HD & HDV
Production | Stories that Matter LTD
Director |Jocelyn Ford

Nowhere To Call Home is the first documentary to shine a light on ethnic discrimination in Beijing, and abuse of women in traditional Tibet. Shot in the gritty slums of Beijing and a picturesque Tibetan village, the inspirational and ultimately uplifting story shows the transformation of a rural Tibetan as she departs her age-old village, and becomes caught up in the globalized world. The film is unique in winning critical acclaim from both PRC Tibetans and Chinese alike.

Widowed at 28, Tibetan farmer Zanta defies her tyrannical father-in-law and refuses to marry his only surviving son. When Zanta's in-laws won't let her seven-year-old go to school, she flees to Beijing to become a street vendor. Destitute, she inveigles a foreign customer into helping pay her boy's school fees. Soon the unwitting American journalist faces a tough decision: does she step into the violent family dispute, or watch in silence as Zanta faces the abuses typically suffered by Tibetan widows and their children.


FILM WEBSITE : www.tibetaninbeijing.com


"Inspiring Dialogue, Not Dissent, in China" - The New York Times

"A New Perspective on Tibet"- Forbes Magazine

After Battling Chinese Authorities and a Tight Budget, a First-time Filmmaker Emerges - PBS POV

PRESS IMAGES: (click to preview)




Jocelyn Ford
Jocelyn Ford

- Director's Statement

I have devoted my professional life to being a foreign correspondent because I sincerely believe a better-informed world community is m

ore likely to make better decisions. The evening I stooped to talk to Zanta as she sold trinkets on a pedestrian overpass I was pondering how little I knew of her world.  I had  talked with Tibetan Lamas and educated Tibetans. I was familiar with views of overseas Tibetans, but I knew almost nothing about the lives of  Tibetans with little formal education, nor of Tibetans who were migrating to China’s developed cities. What was Zanta’s experience? What was she thinking?

That evening I had no idea I would become so deeply involved in Zanta’s life, and that our unlikely encounter would be the genesis for a film. This documentary is a dramatic personal story of a mother, in the face of adversity, seeking to do her best for her child. It also tells of the discrimination  faced by families in Zanta’s community with no able-bodied men-folk, and the trials and occasional acts of preferential treatment extended to Tibetans who seek a better living in Han Chinese cities.

Through this story, I hope to make a small contribution to a discussion that may lead to a better-informed world and more enlightened policies, as well as provide food for thought to anyone who has ever reached out to, or is contemplating assisting someone less fortunate.

- Director's Bio

Beijing-based radio correspondent and filmmaker Jocelyn Ford has been a pioneer in giving a voice to marginalized groups and pushing for media freedom in East Asia for three decades.

She served for over ten years as Tokyo and Beijing bureau chief for U.S public radio’s premier national business show, Marketplace, and her reporting has been heard on a wide range of U.S. programs, including Radio Lab, The World, On the Media and Studio 360.

 But her favorite way to glean insights into a country is to work for local media.

In Tokyo, as the first foreigner in the prime minister’s press corps for Japan’s Kyodo News, she persistently challenged unspoken taboos. Her reporting on the WWII “comfort women” was a catalyst for the Japanese government to acknowledge a role in WWII forced prostitution.

In 2001 Jocelyn broke through barriers to become the first foreigner to co-produce and co-host China Radio International’s first live drive-time news show. There she got an inside view of China’s state-run media, and experienced a self-criticism session following her failure to heed state censors while reporting on 9/11.

Jocelyn has chaired the Foreign Correspondent Club of China’s media freedom committee and was a key strategist in the lobbying effort to reduce government controls on foreign media.

Her professional honors include an Overseas Press Club, a National Press Club award and a Jefferson Fellowship from the Hawaii-based East West Center. “Nowhere To Call Home” is her first feature-length documentary.