The Golden Age of the Tibetan Empire | The Animated History of Tibet | Episode 1

The Golden Age of the Tibetan Empire | The Animated History of Tibet | Episode 2


Thanks to your generous contribution and the support of backers like you, we were able to release the first two episodes of The Animated History of Tibet, which are now available online, and we have also begun production on episodes three and four, which will air in May and July. We have also signed a licensing agreement with the Bhutan Broadcasting Service Channel 3 to air The Animated History of Tibet in the Kingdom of Bhutan, which brings our work to new audiences in a way that we had never imagined. Thus far, the series has had a glowing reception and our public screenings at Tibet House in New York and Frankfurt were also significant successes.

The Animated History of Tibet is a nine-episode, fully-animated historical documentary series, written, directed, and animated by historians and artists passionate about Tibetan history and culture. The series covers the entire history of Tibet, from the earliest instances of writing on the Tibetan Plateau, through the 20th century, and into the present day. Each twenty-five minute episode is published on YouTube, where it is free to watch, along with interviews with collaborating historians, and comprehensive reading lists for students and educators who want to expand their knowledge of Tibetan history, culture, and the history of Tibetan Buddhism. 

The series is written and narrated in English; however, if this campaign is successful, we will be able to translate and re-release each episode, fully-narrated, in both Tibetan and Mandarin-language versions.

We were able to finance pre-production and the first four episodes of the series with a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2022, which raised $64,300. We now need your help to finish the journey and bring The Animated History of Tibet into the 20th and 21st centuries! Back us today to fund episodes five through nine and support our Tibetan and Mandarin-language localization.   

The series is written and directed by Dr. Alexander K. Smith, who holds a PhD in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies from the University of Paris (EPHE – PSL) and an MA in Tibetan Studies from Oxford University. Episodes will be published through the educational YouTube channel Armchair Academics ( in collaboration with our co-producers at Tibet House US ( There is also a production Instagram where you can learn more about the project and get in touch with the producers and our art team (  





Our funding goal for each of the five remaining episodes is $18,000, which brings us to a total production budget of $90,000 to finish the English-language version of the series. This covers our entire production pipeline for episodes five through nine, which includes character design and storyboarding, character animation, background animation and matte painting, post-production animation, editing, and audio design.

While the English-version of the series is obviously important, we feel that the translation and re-release of the series in Tibetan and Mandarin is the true heart of what we hope to achieve with The Animated History of Tibet. Therefore, whatever amount we raise through this campaign, we will earmark $30,000 for localization in Asian languages. If we achieve our fundraising goals, this would bring us to a total budget of $120.000. This includes the full translation of the series into Tibetan and Mandarin (allowing for subtitles on Youtube), as well as financing the narration of each episode in both Tibetan and Mandarin by native-speaking voice actors.    

As with our first campaign, we’re not planning any overhead. So every dollar pledged to the series will go towards the project’s production costs. 

But… if there’s no overhead, what do we get out of making The Animated History of Tibet? 

Well, our main goal isn’t financial. We love Tibetan history and have benefitted enormously from our involvement with Tibetan friends, colleagues, and institutions and we want to continue to give something back to that community. With that said, by publishing the series through our YouTube channel, Armchair Academics, there will be back-end profits that compensate the writer and producers — but only if the series is a success! 

Most importantly, you will be part of the reason that The Animated History of Tibet is able to be made and every donation at or beyond $50 will get your name in the credits of episodes five through nine along with the names of our Patreon patrons ( If you were one of our backers during the 2022 campaign, don’t worry —  your name will still appear in the credits of each episode. But, if you choose to continue supporting us by donating to this campaign, we’ve organized a special, secret perk just for you! 

If you’re interested in more than getting your name in the credits, contributions between $50 and $1,000 will also be able to pick from a bunch of additional perks: verbal shout-outs, framed and unframed prints featuring our original artwork and maps, postcards and bookmarks featuring art from the series, or official mugs designed by our artists. 

Looking for something even bigger? You can choose to fund a specific episode. Donations at or beyond $9,000 will make a huge impact on the production and backers can choose to receive executive production credits for a specific episode (or episodes) of their choice. Would you like to fund an animated history of Tibet during the 20th century? Or maybe the life of the great 5th Dalai Lama and the unification of Tibet under the Ganden Phodrang? We’ve got you covered — check our episode list below and let us know what parts of Tibetan history you would like to sponsor.  

Last but certainly not least, donations at or above $30,000 will receive executive production credits for episodes five through nine, as well as for each episode of the Tibetan and Mandarin-language versions. Join us and Tibet House US as co-producers and help us create a lasting and impactful resource for teaching Tibetan history that will stand the test of time