Within a culture long revered for its spirituality, a maverick Tibetan promoter engages in a most un-Tibetan undertaking: a western-style beauty pageant. Miss Tibet follows Tibetan-American teen Tenzin Khecheo, as she travels to India to compete in this “pageant with a difference. The pageant founder sees the pageant as a way for young Tibetan women to both immerse themselves in Tibetan culture and add their voices to the Free Tibet struggle using the pageant as an unlikely platform, while also bringing a bit of glamour into his corner of the world. Khecheo finds herself immersed in her ancient culture and its current struggle. With slim hopes the situation inside Tibet will improve in the imaginable future, the stakes for holding onto “Tibetan-ess” has reached an all-time high. Yet the film’s main characters defy stereotypes, and despite a surprising controversy that overshadows the pageant’s aftermath, Khecheo returns home with a stronger connection to her Tibetan identity than she ever imagined was possible.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Norah Shapiro is a Minneapolis-based public defender turned documentary Producer/Director. Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile world premiered at 2014 DOC NYC. Her latest project follows a Somali activist in Minneapolis as she vies to be the 1st East African-born woman elected to U.S. office.