SD CINEMATOGRAFICA was formed in 1961 as a production company. Since its founding, the company has produced Films, Variety Programmes, and Science and Cultural documentaries for the Italian public broadcaster RAI and other leading international television companies. In recent years the company has focused on wildlife, Science and History documentaries with such success that it now counts National Geographic Channels, Discovery Channels, TF1, ARTE, NHK, TSR, ARD/BR, PBS and ZDF, as well as RAI and Mediaset, among its clients. Many SD documentaries have won major international prizes at the world’s leading festivals, including Academy Award, Emmy and Banff nominations. Today SD Cinematografica has over 800 hours of programming to its name. [abs]







Eloïse Barbieri

SD Cinematografica

52 Min.


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In the mid-80s Akhyuk Lama, a Buddhist monk, went to meditate on the sacred plateau of eastern Tibet. Little by little countless pilgrims joined him, thus founding Yaqen gar, an immense “Buddhist settlement” where about 20,000 monastics reside, two thirds of them are nuns. It is a holy site that the Chinese government wants to demolish. The female quarter is a village made up of shacks, the nuns are of all ages and are united by the same spiritual quest and desire for emancipation, many of them belong to the Chinese Han ethnic group. The director is the only Western woman to have managed to live alongside them, she stayed in Yaqen gar for a month, despite the police searches. She recounts the life they lead in this very special place that may soon cease to exist.

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