Old Dog

Old Dog is a 2011 Tibetan feature film written and directed by Pema Tseden, and starring Yanbum Gyal, Drolma Kyab, Lochey Lochey, Tamdrin Tso. Old Dog picks up the story of a father and son against the backdrop of China's escalating trade in Tibetan mastiffs. The film won Best Narrative Feature at the 2012 Brooklyn Film Festival and Best Picture at the 12th Tokyo Future International Film Festival. The film premiered at the 2011 Hong Kong International Film Festival, and was released in China in 2011.


In the late 1990s, somewhere in China's Tibet Autonomous Region, a motorcycle-riding Tibetan named Gonpo sells his father's prized Tibetan mastiff to a dog dealer without his father's permission. Mastiffs are in demand by Chinese businessmen, and they are becoming rare. When his father finds out, he immediately goes to the dog dealer to return the money and retrieve his dog. At first, the dealer refuses but eventually agrees when police officer Dorje (who happens to be the old man's son-in-law) explains the nature of the family conflict. The old man states that the dog has been a good animal in herding the family's sheep. Since the dog has been in his care for 13 years, he wants to ensure a good life for the animal.