The film director and writer was born in 1969 in Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai province. Son of Tibetan nomads, he is the only one of three siblings to have finished school. He studied Tibetan Language and Literature at the Northwest University and has worked as a primary school teacher and a civil servant. He returned to school as an older student at China’s most prestigious film school, Beijing Film Academy, with a scholarship from the Trace Foundation and became the Academy’s first ever Tibetan student. As a writer, Pema Tseden has published novels and essays widely, in both Tibetan and Chinese. As a filmmaker, he has made many features to date. His films have been recognized internationally but most notably for garnering top honors in China including a Golden Rooster Best Directorial Debut Award (for The Silent Holy Stones) and a Shanghai International Film Festival Jury Grand Prix (for The Search).