The Cup (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 movie was shot in the Tibetan refugee village Bir in India (Himachal Pradesh) (almost entirely between Chokling Gompa and Elu Road).
Producer Jeremy Thomas had developed a relationship with Norbu when he was an advisor on Bertolucci's Little Buddha. 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.
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.