Jean Tsien Won the Golden Horse Award
【人間社記者 Lián yì lán Taipei報導】 2017-12-06
  • 圖說:Though Jean Tsien busy with her film editing projects, she always tries her best to attend Dharma Services whenever the Temple have Dharma Services. 人間社記者Gary Chou攝

  • 圖說:Jean Tsien said that she hope through “Plastic China”film to make people think less plastic and promote plastic can be recycled. 人間社記者Gary Chou攝

Jean Tsien won the 54th Golden Horse Best Film Editing Award with an environmental documentary film “Plastic China”. She is an honorary member and the only Chinese female editor in the American Cinema Editors organization, as well as a Board member of the Oscar Academy Documentary team. All three generations of her family are members of Fo Guang Shan.

Jean Tsien was born in Taiwan and became a Film Editor in the United States. She currently resides in New York and has 35 years of extensive experience in film editing. She immigrated with her parents to United States when she was 11 years old. Although she did not do well on her schoolwork, her love for arts and paintings has led her to enroll in the Film Studies Program at New York University. At age 21, she changed her original aspiration of becoming a photographer after she attended a film editing course on “Bonnie and Clyde” where she gained lots of inspiration. She believes “Being successful in one thing can make changes” and “To edit well is the highest merit and perfection.”

In the film “Plastic China”, there are two scenes that impacted Jean Tsien the most. The first was when the main character, Yi Jie who is 11 years old sees the piles of plastic waste as a playground while her brother puts a used plastic syringe into his mouth. This scene is especially sad and heart breaking. Despite the lack of opportunity to go to school, she shows strong desire of learning. The second scene that impacted her was the despair and grief of an alcoholic father who could not afford to provide education for the little girl.

Although “Plastic China”, a film that has been edited for two years, is a story that happened in China. However, wastes there are being exported from Europe and United States. This cause and conditions affected everyone. Jean Tsien commented, “Through watching this film, I hope people can consider using less plastic thereby drive the recycling of plastic waste. I also hope that it can spread the importance of environment preservation.”

Film Editor in United States held a high status. According to Jean Tsien, her first edited film, “Maljveq” aims to preserve the valuable historic record of the tribe; the film “Please Remember Me” appeals to the public to care more for the people with dementia; Editing “Black Cat Squadron” is her most recent film editing project. The Golden Horse Award winning film, “Plastic China” along with the four documentary films are all nominated for the Best Film Editing Award and “Plastic China” won the award based on the theme of raising environmental awareness. Jean Tsien stressed that the award is not for her own reputation but for raising awareness of the importance of preserving the environment and appeal to the public to protect the environment so that the future generations can have pure land to live on.

Jean Tsien’s well-known editing films include: 2001 Oscar Best Documentary Award Nominee, “Scottsboro: An American Tragedy”; Three George Foster Peabody Award Winning Films, “Malcolm X: Make It Plain”, “Travis”, and “Solar Mamas”; 2008 Grierson Most Entertaining Documentary Award winning film “Please Vote for Me”; Twice Oscar Award winning Best Director, Barbara Kopple’s “Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing” and “Sharon Jones”; and “A Place at the Table” that once played at the White House Special Screening Event.

For three generations, her family has been members of Fo Guang Shan. Jean Tsien said her grandfather taught her recitation of Buddha’s name when she was young. Since her father passed away in 2001, she guided her mother and brother to Participate in the Amitabha Seven-day Retreat in Fo Guang Shan.Because of this, a Fo Guang Family of three generations is born. Every Sunday, her mother and brother will go to Fo Guang Shan New York Temple to attend Dharma Service and activities. Her sister-in-law, He Yun is the English Secretary-General of New York Buddha's Light International Association and her niece who grew up in the temple is currently a member of the Radiance Subchapter.

“With Dharma, there will always be a solution”. Aside from being busy with her film editing projects, Jean Tsien always tries her best to attend Dharma Services whenever the Temple have Dharma Services. She is well loved by the elders as she is always patiently talking with them in the temple even though she is not very fluent in Chinese. She feels that living a life with Buddhist teachings will help enhance herself, and help her become calm through letting go. Her biggest concern right now is her mother who is about to go through a hip replacement surgery. She believes that winning the Golden Horse Award is a strong encouragement boost for her mother. She is very thankful for Fo Guang Shan to provide her mother with a place to rest and practice Dharma. The temple is also her mother’s biggest spiritual support. Jean Tsien also kept a copy of her grandfather handwritten “Heart Sutra” in her wallet, which gives her a sense that the Bodhisattva is always by her side. This calms her mind and gives her strength.