Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam
Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam


Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam are an Indian-­Tibetan couple who have been making films together since the mid­-eighties when, as students, they made their first award winning documentary, The New Puritans: The Sikhs of Yuba City. They lived and worked as independent filmmakers in the San Francisco Bay Area and then in London for many years before moving back to India in 1996.

Through their production company, White Crane Films, which they started in 1991, they have made several documentary films, video installations and one dramatic feature film. Their documentary films include: The Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche (1991), The Trials of Telo Rinpoche (1993), and The Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet (1998), all commissioned by the BBC. Their documentary, The Sun Behind the Clouds (2009), was theatrically released in the US and kicked­ off with a two­ week run at New York’s Film Forum. It won the Vaclav Havel Award at the One World Film Festival in Prague. Their latest documentary, When Hari Got Married (2012), premiered at Films From the South, Oslo, and has shown at DOK Leipzig and IDFA Amsterdam. Their debut feature film, Dreaming Lhasa (2005), was executive produced by Jeremy Thomas and Richard Gere, and had its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival and its European premiere at San Sebastian International Film Festival. It had a theatrical run in the US, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Their video installations have shown at the Contour Biennale (Belgium), Kunsthalle Vienna, Khoj Studios (New Delhi), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Busan Biennale and Thyssen­ Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna), among other venues.

In 2012 they launched the Dharamshala International Film Festival, which is now one of India’s leading independent film festivals.


Directed by Ritu Sarin & Tenzing Sonam

Written by Tenzing Sonam

Produced by Ritu Sarin

Produced by Shrihari Sathe

Director of Photography: David McFarland

Edited by  Jabeen Merchant

Production Designer : Aradhana Seth

Original Music: Michael Montes

Costume Designer: Himani Dehlvi

Make-Up Designer: Dhananjay M. Prajapati       

Sound Recordist: Shalini Agarwal       


Tenzin Dolker

Jampa Kalsang

Rabyoung Thonden Gyalkhang

Shavo Dorjee

Tenzin Dechen

Tenzin Phuntsok

Lhakpa Tsering

Tsetun Dolma