behind the scenes

A small and mobile film crew comprised local people without prior film-making skills. 


We shot most of Buddha of the Chadar in early January 2016.  Logistical and financial considerations kept equipment basic. We used a Canon EOS M, supplemented by a Nizo 561 super 8 camera shooting Kodak Vision 3 50D film. For sound we used a Tascam DR40 recorder with an Audio-Technica AT875R microphone, sometimes mounted on a boom, but mostly handheld.  

Low temperatures limited battery life to a few minutes. With no way of recharging batteries on location, we carried an impressive number to see us through each trip.


Precarious ice conditions frequently meant diversions onto the vertiginous sides of the gorge. At those times we were particularly glad of our minimalist filming equipment.

We recorded most of the film score and narrative in Leh in summer 2017, under the supervision of Angchuk Ralam and other accomplished Ladakhi musicians.


The film was edited in the UK over a three year period.


Director, camera, producer & editor

Sean Whitaker

Assistant producer 

Sonam Tsering

Editorial consultant

Simon Lex


Urgan Tashi, Sonam Tsering


Mepham Tashi, Tsering Tashi


Rigzin Norboo, Angchuk Ralam

Zangpo Danney, Tsewang Phuntsog


Stanzin Khensal, Dorjey Daya