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The Myth

My company is named Shambala Creative Group. Shambala (also written Shambhala, meaning paradise) is a Tibetan myth which inspired Shangri-La, a fictional place told by James Hilton in his book Lost Horizon published in 1933. The book was then adapted to the screen by Frank Capra in 1937 in an eponymous film, whose production budget was one of the biggest at the time.

The legend speaks of a mythical kingdom hidden in the Himalayan mountains, in the remotest part of Tibet. A haven of peace, cut off from civilisation and conflict. It is also called “The Pure Land” or “The Land of Tranquility”. The wisdom of mankind is supposed to be conserved there against the threat of imminent catastrophe.

Many communities have tried to find it, from scientists, explorers to hippies ; but no one has ever found this lost valley, perched on a Tibetan plateau and surrounded by the Himalayan mountains. The kingdom is in the shadow of a white crystal mountain, approachable only through a ring of peaks. Next to the mountain are a lake and a palace.

A few words from the Dalaï Lama on Shambala:

“Nowadays, no one knows where Shambala is. Although it is said to exist, people cannot see it, or communicate with it in an ordinary way. Some people say it is located in another world, others that it is an ideal land, a place of the imagination. Some say it was a real place, which cannot now be found. Some believe there are openings into that world which may be accessed from this. Whatever the truth of that, the search of Shambala traditionally begins with as an outer journey that becomes a journey of inner exploration and discovery.”

Shambala represents everything that I love: stories, travel, adventure, and the unknown. The story of Lost Horizon is still very relevant to the world that we live in today.

My Missions

I strive to reach excellence in storytelling, while having a positive impact in everything that I do.

First starting as a junior producer in Paris and then cutting movie trailers in London, I quickly realised that I couldn't stick to one form of telling stories: I needed to try all of them. Film directing, editing, screenwriting, colour grading, photography, blog writing, public speaking... And now entrepreneurship and podcasting.

I am convinced that this holistic approach is making me a better storyteller every single day, and I want to distill this curiosity to others through my podcast, Storytellers & Explorers, and my community platform, Shambala.

I want to tell powerful stories that bring value to the world, that inspire people’s lives, that make them dream for a few minutes or a few hours. I want to tell important stories that help making a difference to the planet that we live in. And I want to help other storytellers like myself to become better at this incredible path that we share. If we all create better stories, the world will benefit from it tremendously. That is my true belief.

In other words, I want to use the magic of storytelling for the greater good.

-Tom F. Pardo

Biography

Tom F. Pardo is a French film director, editor, photographer, entrepreneur and podcaster. After a Bachelor degree in the U.S and a Master degree in Communication & Media at the Paris School of Business, Tom left everything behind to pursue a career in cinema and movie marketing. An avid video editor since his teenage years, he moved to New York and then London to learn the craft of movie trailers. Working at the iconic Film House in Soho for a few years, he was able to work on an extensive range of projets, from small indie films to the biggest blockbusters, and is now a senior editor working on campaigns for Netflix, Pathé, Gaumont, StudioCanal, among others.

His first short film as a writer/director/producer/editor, Submerged, has won 19 nominations around the globe and 5 awards including 3 in the U.S. His second short film, Burning Shores, has been selected at Rhode Island International Film Festival, Venezia Shorts Italy, Hollywood Shorts Fest and New York Indie Shorts Awards.

Steve McCurry and Tom Pardo

Tom aspires to be a polymath in storytelling, and never stops learning and improving his skills. In June 2023, he flew to Rome to learn the art of photography with Steve McCurry and Eolo Perfido. This once-in-a-lifetime experience allowed him to expand his knowledge of composition and colour, skills that he will use in his own photography and filmmmaking work.

In 2024, he launched a podcast on storytelling called Storytellers & Explorers, in which he will invite artists and storytellers to share their work and knowledge with the world. Parallele to that, Tom created Shambala, a community platform aiming to offer the best place for storytellers to meet, discuss and learn from each other. Also ignited by a desire to help others becoming better storytellers, Tom is launching courses on Shambala designed to structure all the knowledge he gathered over the years.