The Rubin is transforming. Read important updates from our Executive Director.

Ganden: A Joyful Land

World Premiere Screening and Talkback

Friday, December 10, 2021
7:00 PM–9:00 PM

Ganden: A Joyful Land (film)

Ngawang Choephel | 2019 | India and USA | 76 minutes

World Premiere

Ganden is the most influential monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, likened by Buddhists to the Vatican. It is here where the Dalai Lama’s lineage began. For more than five hundred years, monks lived in Ganden in simplicity and contentment, before a brutal invasion drove them from their beloved home to start anew in India.

Directed by Sundance Jury Award Winner Ngawang Choephel, whose film Tibet in Song thrilled Rubin audiences and critics alike, and made in collaboration with creative consultant singer Annie Lennox, Ganden: A Joyful Land embodies the strength and joy taught by the Buddhist faith. Featuring contemporary interviews with survivors of the exodus, animations, and remarkable documentary footage from 1940s Tibet, the film honors the stories of the monks’ lives in both the old and new Ganden.

The screening will be followed by a talkback with the director, Ngawang Choephel, and a reception in the K2 lounge which is open to all ticket holders.


Ngawang Choephel was born in Dawa, a small county in western Tibet. During the height of the Cultural Revolution, at the age of two, Ngawang and his family escaped to India. He grew up in a vibrant Tibetan refugee community in Southern India. Because of his lifelong passion for Tibetan music, he has devoted himself to its preservation and dissemination. Discovering his talent at an early age, he pursued and received a degree in Tibetan music from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamsala, India. Arriving in the West in 1994, he became a Fulbright Fellow at Middlebury College in Vermont and continued studies in video production and international music in preparation for the production of his award-winning film, Tibet in Song. After being arrested by Chinese authorities in Tibet during filming and subsequently spending six and a half years in prison, in 2002 he received the Courage of Conscience Award from Peace Abbey for showing resilience in the face of adversity. That same year he was awarded an honorary doctor of arts degree from Middlebury College, as well as the Best Act in Exile Award from Lobsang Wangyal Productions for his outstanding musical talent.

K2 Friday Night is sponsored by New York Life*

*”NEW YORK LIFE” and the NEW YORK LIFE Box Logo are trademarks of New York Life Insurance Company. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Suggested Ticket Price: $19

Pay what you wish for this program. A generous ticket purchase shows your support of the Museum and helps us develop future offerings.