Film Screening of "The Geshema Is Born" & Discussion with Producer/Director Malati Rao

Thursday March 11th 2021, 7:00 - 8:30PM
Event Sponsor
The Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford
Virtual via Webinar
Image from "The Geshema is Born"

7:00 p.m. Screening of film

     56 min. | 2019 | Tibetan, English        

8:00 p.m. Conversation between Producer/Director Malati Rao and Professor James Gentry

Webinar link will be sent after registration.


Produced by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust and the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama


Tibetan Buddhist nuns have for centuries sought the audacious idea of equality within their ancient faith. Empowered by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, they now receive the highest monastic degree – the Geshema or Phd degree. The Film explores their journey.


  • Best Woman Director, Bangkok International Documentary Awards
  • Silver Award, International Screen Awards, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Best Documentary, Indic Film Utsav
  • Internationales Festival Zeichen der Nacht (Signs of the Night) - Berlin, Germany
  • Mumbai International Film Festival
  • Imagineindia International Film Festival, Madrid, Spain
  • Madriff Indie Film Festival, Spain
  • Tricycle BuddhaFest Online Festival
  • River to River Florence International Film Festival, Italy
  • I-View-World Human Rights Film Festival/ New York South Asian Film Festival
  • Dialogues, Calcutta International LGBTQIA Film and Video Festival

Co-sponsored by the Tibetan Studies Initiative


Photo of Malati Rao

Malati Rao has been making documentaries for over a decade, several of which have been broadcast on public television. Handmade in India, on India’s craft traditions, and Born Behind Bars, about children growing up in prison, have been applauded and screened at several film festivals. Malati holds an MFA degree in Film and Media Arts from Temple University, USA, and an MA in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.

James Gentry

James Gentry is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. He specializes in Tibetan Buddhism, with particular focus on the literature and history of its Tantric traditions. He is the author of Power Objects in Tibetan Buddhism: The Life, Writings, and Legacy of Sokdokpa Lodrö Gyeltsen, which examines the roles of Tantric material and sensory objects in the lives and institutions of Himalayan Buddhists.



Note: We were fortunate to get a one-time screening right from the filmmakers for "The Geshema is Born." Therefore,  the video  below is  a recording of the discussion of the film with Producer/Director Malati Rao and Professor James Gentry.