Films & TV Dramas

This website gives examples of films and TV dramas set in Inner Asia (in this case referring to Tibet, Xinjiang, and Mongolia) and made within those areas. The films and dramas, which mostly tell stories about Tibetans, Uyghurs, or Mongolians, are taken from different periods over the last sixty years. Most were made in the People’s Republic of China by ethnic Chinese directors, recorded or released primarily in Chinese language, and funded by the Chinese government or, more recently, by corporations within the PRC. A considerable number of these films, even from early times, used Tibetan, Uyghur, or Mongolian actors, and sometimes singers and musicians from those nationalities too. Only recently do a number of films appear that have directors, scriptwriters or technicians from these nationalities.

The films and dramas illustrate the shifts and continuities in majority attitudes toward minorities at different times. Some of the films, particularly the early ones, had major impact on Chinese audiences, and were exceptionally influential in shaping popular views in China about certain minorities. Several of these are still shown frequently today. A number of films have also been included from Mongolia to allow comparison with Chinese films depicting Mongolians.

This table shows the annual number of Tibet films and tv dramas (meaning films and tv dramas set in Tibet or featuring Tibetan characters) produced in the PRC between 1950 and 2012. The blue lines show the number of films, and the red lines shows television drama series.


Chart of Tibetan-related films and dramas in the PRC

Actors, Directors and Studios

Notes on some of the personalities involved in making Inner Asian films, plus some of the studios they worked in.

Films Set in Mongolia & Inner Mongolia

Examples of some of the films set in Mongolia (the independent republic) or in Inner Mongolia (the prefecture within China) since the 1920s.

Films Set in Xinjiang

Examples of some of the Chinese films produced since the 1950s that are set in Xinjiang.

Films Set in Tibet

A selection from the films made within the PRC that were set in a Tibetan area or that featured Tibetan characters.