San Francisco Examiner

May 20, 2015 – Q&A by Ed Moy

Set high in the Indian Himalayan epicenter of the exiled Tibetan world, filmmaker Norah Shaprio’s “Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile” captures the true story of a Tibetan-American teenager who travels to India to participate in a a Tibetan-American teenager travels to India to participate in an most un-Tibetan spectacle: a western-style beauty “pageant with a difference” where she is forced to confront the intersection between her cultural identity and her life in the western world.


July 2015

Miss Tibet follows Tibetan-American teenager Tenzin Khecheo as she competes in the finals of the 2011 Miss Tibet pageant in Dharamsala. Born in India and raised in Minnesota, Khecheo is a third-generation Tibetan in exile.

Exclusive Interview: Tenzin Khecheo on “Miss Tibet” Documentary Film

April 28, 2015—Tenzin Pelkyi [Tibetan Feminist Collective]

Catwalks and culture – film explores Miss Tibet pageant

April 20, 2015—Melissa Colorado [KARE]
When Minneapolis-based filmmaker Norah Shapiro first came across a beauty pageant for Tibetan women, she thought to herself, “it seemed like an impossible combination.”

But she was intrigued.

In ‘Miss Tibet,’ exiles use beauty pageant as a survival tool

April 16, 2015—Euan Kerr [MPR]
When Tenzin Khecheo first heard about the Miss Tibet pageant, she thought it made no sense.

That’s because a pageant runs contrary to Tibetan cultural values, which stress modesty and cooperation over competition.

Almanac: Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile

We watched a clip of the documentary film Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile and then chatted with the films star Tenzin Khecheo and the films director Norah Shapiro.
Original Broadcast: 04/17/2015
Length: 8 minutes, 6 seconds.

Minneapolis student in ‘Miss Tibet’ seeks to spread the message of oppression

April 6, 2015 – By Jim Walsh [MINNPOST]
Early in Norah Shapiro’s fascinating and beautiful documentary “Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile,” a Tibetan official proclaims that Western culture-inspired beauty pageants are antithetical to Tibet’s Buddhist ways of being and believing, because “competition is at the heart of all conflict.”

Minn. documentary ‘Miss Tibet’ chronicles a beauty pageant for exiles

April 10, 2015 – By Kristin Tillotson [STARTRIBUNE]

A young Minneapolis woman represents a country she’s never been to in the documentary “Miss Tibet.”

What’s most surprising about the Miss Tibet beauty pageant held in Dharamsala, India, is not that none of the contestants live in the country it’s named for. It’s that the “talking” round is so much more popular with audiences than the swimsuit competition.

Behind the Camera and on the Screen, Women Thrive at DOC NYC 2014

January 14, 2015–Feature by Wanda Bershen [IDA Documentary Magazine] […]A portrait of cross-cultural coming-of-age, Norah Shapiro’s Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile is the story of Tibetan-American teenager Tenzin Khecheo, who travels to India to compete in a “beauty pageant with a difference.” The founder, Lobsang Wangyal, sees his Dharamsala event as an opportunity for exiled Tibetan women to both immerse themselves in Tibetan culture and contribute to the fight for a free Tibet by using the pageant as an unlikely political platform.

Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile

January 14, 2015–Review by Amy Lee Ketchum [TINY MIX TAPES]

Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile, directed by Norah Schapiro highlights the little heard or seen event Miss Tibet, which takes place annually in Dharamshala, India. As the title suggests, the pageant is, for the organizers and the contestants, more than just a venus to parade oneself; it is an avenue to assert Tibet’s independence from China and gives Tibetan women one of the only public platforms to be leaders and speak on political issues.