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Nilima Abrams

Nilima Abrams

Documentary Film and Video


Nilima started exploring documentary as an undergrad working and volunteering with a number of NGOs. Her first subjects included an upstart animal shelter, ecotourism in Honduras, and an afterschool program in India. She wrote an award-winning honors thesis on media’s potential to improve Indian education. After an interim year teaching, studying and filming in Thailand and India, Nilima came to Stanford. There her films ranged from exploring family illness, to pet pigs. After the first year, Nilima created a summer camp for Somali refugee children in VT. There she taught filmmaking and also directed the camp. Throughout her time at Stanford, Nilima has mentored youth – which has included creating semi-fictional movies with the kids. Nilima’s MFA thesis film, about a child in foster care, harkens back to her strongest interest. After Stanford, Nilima is headed to India to work at an innovative school, and start filming for a potential long-form documentary.  Nilima has received support for her work from UVM College of Arts and Sciences URECA program, the Lintilhac Foundation, Stanford Department of Art & Art History, and The Enersen Foundation.


Enersen Foundation Production Grant, 2009

Kimmy's Schedule 

hd video
JUNE, 2009

A few months in the far-from-ordinary life of a foster youth.

Pigs in a Blanket 

16mm color film
JUNE, 2008
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Vietnamese Pot Bellied pigs were introduced to the US in the 80s and quickly became fad pets, selling for thousands of dollars. Many owners became disillusioned due to the pigs' size or care requirements. This film features a few current owners and their pet pigs.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Thin Line Film Festival, 2011
Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema, 2010
Maryland Film Festival, 2009

Pie from Scratch 

digital video
Co-directed by Matt Harnack
MARCH, 2008
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Andy lives in the Mission District of San Francisco. He likes skateboarding and goes to community college. His favorite kind of pie is pumpkin, but not the kind from a can.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Eco-Flicks, Palo Alto, CA, 2010
Hearts and Minds Festival, 2008


16mm black and white film
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This film is Nilima's exploration of the reverberations of her father's 1970 stay at the San Francisco Zen Center. She discovers his trip taught him significant life lessons, which impacted her family in unforseeable ways.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Practical Matters: A transdisciplinary journal of religious practices and practical theology, Emory University, Issue 4, Religion, Health and Healing, Winter 2010



June 13, 2009

Free and open to the public

June 10, 2008

Free and open to the public

Cubberley Auditorium
March 18, 2008

Free and open to the public.

December 11, 2007

This event is free and open to the public.