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NANGCHEN SHORTS is a series of short films about life in remote, rural Tibet. They were filmed in and around Kala Rongo, a Buddhist Monastery exclusively for women in Kham, Tibet.

These films would not have been possible without the generous support of The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, The Corporation of Yaddo, and Digital Arts. And of course, the wonderful people of Nangchen, Tibet and the kindness of Lama Norlha Rinpoche. For more information about Kala Rongo, visit our companion website for the feature film DAUGHTERS OF WISDOM. And be sure to follow our blog for screening updates.

Produced, Directed and Edited by Bari Pearlman             Cinematograpy by Gena Konstantinakos


RITUAL OBJECTS explores three traditional Buddhist rituals via the implements that are used in them. A young nun shares the meaning and mechanics of the iconic Tibetan PRAYER WHEEL. The visit of a High Lama to their remote monastery prompts a group of nuns to prepare a customary welcoming PROCESSION. And an old monk gently instructs one of the nuns on how to prepare the TORMA for an intricate Tibetan Buddhist ceremony. (TRT: 14:49)



In the developing world, water-gathering is primarily a woman's job - rural Tibet is no exception. Several times a day, she carries a bucket to a potable source of water and brings it back home 80-pounds full. Though necessary for her family's survival, this task is physically debilitating, and the time spent collecting water keeps her from seeking wage-earning jobs, education and much-needed rest from her other exhausting tasks. In WATER, we watch a Tibetan woman as she collects water near her family's yak farm, in a ritual that takes her an hour to complete. (TRT: 7:32)


Tsampa - sometimes called the Tibetan national food - is a mixture of roasted barley flour, yak butter and tea, and is often the only food available to the subsistence farmers and yak herders of rural Tibet. In TSAMPA we watch as a young nun quietly preparing tsampa in a traditional yak tent, and are treated to a brief lesson in how to make eating a mindful act. (TRT: 7:10)

Here's a video of a Q&A from one of our screening at the Salem Film Festival.