The Cup (1999 film)

The Cup (ཕོར་པ། or Phörpa) is a 1999 Tibetan-language film directed by Khyentse Norbu. The plot involves two young football-crazed Tibetan refugee novice monks in a remote Himalayan monastery in India who desperately try to obtain a television for the monastery to watch the 1998 World Cup final.

The Cup
The Cup film.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byKhyentse Norbu
Produced byJeremy Thomas
Raymond Steiner
Malcolm Watson
Written byKhyentse Norbu
StarringOrgyen Tobgyal, Neten Chokling
Distributed byPalm Pictures
Fine Line Features (USA)
Festival Media (USA DVD)
Release date
  • 29 August 1999 (1999-08-29)
Running time
93 minutes


The movie was shot in the Tibetan refugee village Bir in India (Himachal Pradesh) (almost entirely between Chokling Gompa and Elu Road).[1]

Producer Jeremy Thomas had developed a relationship with Norbu when he was an advisor on Bertolucci's Little Buddha.[2] Thomas later remembered his experience making the film:

The director Khyentse Norbu is a Tibetan Lama who went to NYC film school, who wanted to make a movie, and I had become friendly with him. There was this charming story, which was a teaching for him but a story for everyone else, about little monks and the World Cup. It was shown in Director’s Fortnight at Cannes, and we brought a lot of the Tibetans to the screening and it was well received and sold all over the world. It was a very happy story for everybody involved.[2]


The Cup was released to DVD on November 13, 2007 in North America by Festival Media (IBFF). The DVD was mastered from a new direct-to-digital transfer from the original film, and includes a bonus documentary entitled Inside The Cup, featuring the director discussing the film, cinema in general and Buddhist philosophy, along with outtakes from the film. There is also a director's commentary audio track.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Susan Jakes (January 27, 2003). "The God of Small Films". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2009-06-13.
  2. ^ a b Thomas, Jeremy; Lieberson, Sanford (2006-04-11). ""At the Cutting Edge" – Producer Jeremy Thomas, interviewed by producer Sandy Lieberson". Berlinale Talent Campus. Archived from the original on 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2010-04-03.

External linksEdit