Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam Ritu Sarin - Producer and Co-Director
Tenzing Sonam - Writer and Co-Director

Ritu was born in New Delhi. She finished her schooling in London and completed her undergraduate studies at Delhi University. She then did an MFA in Film and Video from the California College of the Arts in Oakland.

Tenzing was born in Darjeeling in India to Tibetan refugee parents. After graduating from Delhi University, he worked for a year in the Tibetan Government-in-exile in Dharamsala. He then specialized in documentary filmmaking at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley.

Ritu and Tenzing’s first film together was their student effort, The New Puritans: The Sikhs of Yuba City, which was completed in 1985. It won a number of awards in America and was broadcast on national PBS and the Learning Channel.

In 1987, they moved to London to help the Meridian Trust, a Buddhist film and video archive, develop its archives. As part of their efforts, they documented on video a number of historic trips made by the Dalai Lama, including the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Norway.

In 1990, they started White Crane Films and made The Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche. The film was screened at numerous international film festivals and was broadcast throughout the world. It also had a successful theatrical release in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the USA.

Their subsequent films, some of which were commissioned by the BBC, include The Trials of Telo Rinpoche, A Stranger in My Native Land and The Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet. Their most recent work is a video installation, Some Questions on the Nature of Your Existence, which was commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna.

Ritu and Tenzing have two children, Mila and Maya, and are currently based in New Delhi and Dharamsala.

indiewire interview