At only twelve years old Namgyal Wangchuk Trichen Lhagyari was the only recognized descendent of the first Dharma King of Tibet Songsten Gampo, who died in 698 A.D. Carrying the unique responsibility of representing Tibet’s unbroken history and heritage, Namgyal was crowned by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in June 2004 in Dharamsala, India where he still lives, in exile.
My Country is Tibet, is not only a story of the Kingâ€™s struggle with the responsibility of the one-thousand-year-old heritage of Tibet’s Dharma Kings, but also with a new responsibility of representing and leading the a generation of young Tibetans who are caught between the peaceful traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and a desperate desire to fight for their freedom. â€œWe Tibetans are losing our identity,â€ Namgyal says. â€œWe do not seem to realize that our rich culture is enormously unique and we should instill our energy to preserve and furnish it to the coming generations.â€
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama calls the King â€œan important historical figure in the Tibetan communityâ€ and supports his involvement with BYkids and the making of his film.
The King first met BYkids mentor Dirk Simon at his coronation ceremony six years earlier shortly following his fatherâ€™s death. Touched by the Kingâ€™s maturity and kindness Dirk set out to help the new King tell his tale.
“With his devotion to the principles of Tibetan Buddhism, his kindness and modesty, he touches the heart of everyone who meets him,â€ said Dirk Simon. â€œThrough the efforts of BYkids, we are helping him tell his story.”
The film had its world premiere Thursday, May 20, 2010 at a private benefit for BYkids. Following the premiere, the King continues his tour of the United States screening his film at schools in New York City and answering questions. The film then makes its festival premiere at AFI/SilverDocs in Washington.