In the heart of the Nepalese Himalayas, the spirited Pema embraces a polyandrous marriage with Tashi and his two younger brothers. They initially lead a harmonious life, but when Tashi fails to return from a trading trip to Lhasa, the legitimacy of Pema’s unborn child is questioned by her community. Determined to prove her love and purity, she embarks on a quest to find Tashi. Accompanied by her brother-in-law, her now de facto spouse Karma, she goes into the wilderness. Karma is a monk. After initially resisting giving up his monastic life, he gradually comes to appreciate the simple existence of a secular life. However, urgent duties call him back to the monastery and Pema is left alone. As she navigates the harsh Himalayan terrain, her quest transcends the search for her missing husband. Pema becomes increasingly immersed in a spiritual search for meaning in which every step brings her closer to self-discovery and liberation.
by Min Bahadur Bham
with Thinley Lhamo, Sonam Topden, Tenzin Dalha, Karma Wangyal Gurung, Karma Shakya
Nepal / France / Norway / Hong Kong, China / Turkey / Taiwan / USA / Qatar 2024 Tibetan, Nepali, Subtitles: English, German 150' Colour World premiere


  • Thinley Lhamo (Pema)
  • Sonam Topden (Karma)
  • Tenzin Dalha (Tashi)
  • Karma Wangyal Gurung (Dawa)
  • Karma Shakya (Ram Sir)
  • Loten Namling (Rinpoche)
  • Tsering Lhamo Gurung (Pema’s Friend)
  • Janga Bahadur Lama (Shepherd)


DirectorMin Bahadur Bham
ScreenplayMin Bahadur Bham, Abinash Bikram Shah
CinematographyAziz Zhambakiyev
EditingLiao Ching Sung, Kiran Shrestha
MusicNhyoo Bajracharya
VocalsAni Choying Drolma
Sound DesignTu Duu Chih, Tu Tse Kang
SoundDikesh Khadgi Shahi, Samrat Khanal
Production DesignRam Lal Khadka
CostumesDorjee Dradhul Gurung
CastingMin Bahadur Bham
Assistant DirectorsTsering Choden, Kiran Shrestha, Nipil Sharma
ProducerMin Bahadur Bham
Executive ProducersDebaki Rai, Ching-Sung Liao, Roger Huang, Ruben Thorkildsen, Can Aygor, Salina Shakya
Associate ProducersRajesh Prasad Khatri, Jeremy Chua, Lee Chi Lin
Co-ProducersCatherine Dussart, Verona Meier, Shuk Fong Chong, Zeynep Koray, Justine O., Bibhakar Sunder Shakya
Co-ProductionCDP, Paris
Ape&Bjørn, Oslo
Aaru Production, Hong Kong
ZK Films, Istanbul
Yi Tiao Long Hu Bao, Taipeh
Bangdel & Shakya Production, Virginia

Produced by

Shooney Films

Kathmandu, Nepal

World Sales

Best Friend Forever

Brüssel, Belgium

Additional information

Supported by Doha Film Institute

Min Bahadur Bham

The Nepalese filmmaker studied Buddhist philosophy and political science while pursuing a doctorate in anthropology. His short film The Flute was the first Nepalese film to screen at the Venice International Film Festival. His debut feature The Black Hen won the Best Film Award in the Settimana Internazionale della Critica at Venice and was Nepal’s official entry for the Oscars. Shambala is the first Nepalese film to be selected for the Berlinale Competition.


2012 Bansulli (The Flute) 2015 Kalo Pothi (The Black Hen) 2023 Shambhala

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024


Fri Feb 23 15:15

Berlinale Palast

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Sat Feb 24 09:30

Verti Music Hall

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Sat Feb 24 18:45

HKW 1 - Miriam Makeba Auditorium

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Sat Feb 24 21:00

Haus der Berliner Festspiele

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Sun Feb 25 15:30

Verti Music Hall

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