In 2006, we were invited to travel to the Kham region of Tibet by the University of Virginia's Tibetan Himalayan Library and Machik. Our team collaborated with a group of professors from the Sichuan Tibetan Provincial Institute (SPTI) to survey and document various cultural sites, schools, and other points of interest in the region. During our travels, we had the opportunity to share our knowledge of filmmaking with a number of Tibetans who were interested in the process. Their enthusiasm was extraordinary, but few had access to the education, resources, or opportunities to further their interest. This inspired us to launch the Kham Film Project.

Our approach has expanded from teaching and facilitating participatory video workshops to programming film series, producing work by Tibetan filmmakers, and making films of our own. During the first few years of our organization, our projects were focused exclusively in Kham, but since then, we have branched out to work with filmmakers in Amdo and Bhutan. We also work actively in the US to promote the films of Tibetan filmmakers. Though the Kham Film Project is constantly evolving, we are guided by a core commitment to collaboration, innovation, and self-expression.

- Lynn True and Nelson Walker


Lynn True

After graduating from Brown University with a joint degree in Urban Studies and Architecture, Lynn worked on independent feature films and documentary programs for NBC News and PBS. She has made numerous films including iThemba|Hope (Sundance Channel, 2005), Lumo (PBS's P.O.V. Series, 2007, Student Academy Award Winner), and Summer Pasture (PBS's Independent Lens Series, 2012), which earned a Peabody Award. In addition to directing the Kham Film Project, she also programs the Congo in Harlem film series at Maysles Cinema in Harlem. Lynn is currently working with veteran filmmaker Albert Maysles on a feature-length documentary portrait of America that takes place entirely on long distance trains.

Nelson Walker III

Nelson began his career working on documentaries for Discovery Channel, History Channel and PBS’s NOVA. He has made numerous films, including iThemba|Hope (Sundance Channel, 2005), Lumo (PBS's P.O.V. Series, 2007, Student Academy Award Winner), and Summer Pasture (PBS's Independent Lens Series, 2012), which earned a Peabody Award. In addition to directing the Kham Film Project, he also programs the Congo in Harlem film series at Maysles Cinema in Harlem, and is currently working on a film about train travel in the U.S. with veteran filmmaker Albert Maysles. Nelson is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MFA in Film Directing from Columbia University.


+ Khashem Gyal

Khashem Gyal graduated from Qinghai Nationalities University with a major in Tibetan Literature. He is a key member of the Plateau Photographers and founder of the Amilolo Film Group, dedicated to educating young Tibetans about digital video production and encouraging a new generation of Tibetan filmmakers. Khashem Gyal has directed numerous short films about Tibetan life and culture. Valley of the Heroes is his first full-length documentary film.

+ Tsering Perlo

Tsering Perlo is founder of Rabsal, a local Tibetan NGO that engages Tibetans in documentary filmmaking to preserve and regenerate Tibetan culture and customs. A native of Dzachuka (Shiqu) County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and a graduate of the Sichuan Provincial Tibetan High School (SPTI), Perlo has worked with the Tibet Fund, The Bridge Fund, and the Tibetan & Himalayan Library at the University of Virginia. Perlo is the first recipient of the Machik Fellowship, a program designed to support dynamic Tibetan change-makers working to strengthen their communities and environments.

+ Françoise Robin

Françoise received a DEA at INALCO in 1999, and has made many trips to Tibet for her research on literature and filmmaking. She is currently Maitre de Conférence at INALCO, and a member of UMR 8155, the Center for Research on Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan Civilizations, and is responsible for the Thematic French-Tibetan Dictionary project.

+ Cecil Matthai Esquivel-Obregón

Cecil is the former Director of Post-Production and Director of the Digital Media Center for the Film Division at Columbia University's School of the Arts. Cecil graduated from MIT with a major in Artificial Intelligence applied to interactive fiction at the MIT Media Lab, and received an MFA from Columbia University in Film. He has written and directed various short films, and worked in production at UltraFilms in Mexico City. He is a cinematographer and still photographer for a forthcoming series of books about trees. His books have been exhibited at the Galeria Pecanins in Mexico City.

+ Robbie Barnett

Robbie Barnett is the Director of the Modern Tibet Studies Program at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. His most recent books include Tibetan Modernities: Notes from the Field, with Ronald Schwartz and Lhasa: Streets with Memories (Columbia University Press, 2006). Robbie has written articles about Tibetan cinema and television, among other subjects, and is a frequent commentator about Tibet and China to the BBC, CNN, NPR, CBS, The New York Times, the Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, and other media.

+ Elizabeth Rao

Coming from a background in science and literature, Liz naturally developed an interest in both the observational as well as the fictional nature of film. After studying at FAMU film conservatory in Prague, she completed thesis work with film theorist Dudley Andrew and graduated from Yale University with a degree in literature and film. Liz freelances as an assistant, web designer and associate producer while writing, directing and producing short films. She is an eager new student of the theremin.

Partners and Supporters

The Kham Film Project is made possible by the generous support of The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.


KFP thanks all of its partners and supporters.