Snow Leopard

Source: Mani Stone Pictures / Rediance

‘Snow Leopard’

Beijing-based Rediance has acquired worldwide rights to Snow Leopard, the final film completed by late Tibetan director Pema Tseden, ahead of its premiere at the 80th Venice International Film Festival.

The company has also secured worldwide rights to Short Story, a short film from Absence director Wu Lang, which will play in Venice’s Horizons Short Films Competition.

Snow Leopard will screen Out of Competition and centres on an argument between a father and son after a snow leopard breaks into the sheep pen of a nomad and kills nine rams. The father insists on releasing the snow leopard, but the son wants to kill it.

The Tibetan-language drama is produced by Mani Stone Pictures and was shot during the Covid pandemic on location in Three-River-Source National Park, Golog in Qinghai province. The film marks the last to be completed Pema Tseden before he died from heart failure on May 8. He was also in post-production on another film Singpangtra and was working on a new project titled Have A Nice Trip.

A renowned Tibetan director, screenwriter and author, most of his films were shot by Tibetan teams and told in the Tibetan language. His films screened at Venice, Locarno, Toronto and other major international film festivals and won more than 40 awards.

His history with Venice can be traced back to Tharlo, which played at the festival in 2015; Balloon, which was also handled by Rediance when it premiered in 2019; and Jinpa, which won best screenplay in 2018. All premiered in the Horizons sidebar. Further acclaimed films include The Silent Holy Stones, The Search and Old Dog.

Rediance has also taken the worldwide rights to Chinese director Wu Lang’s Short Story, which stars Huang Jue (Long Day’s Journey Into Night) and Li Meng (Absence). Wu’s first feature, Absence, premiered at the Berlinale in February.