Thomas Ciulei was born in 1965 in Bucuresti, Romania as a son of famous Romanian theatre and film director Liviu Ciulei (He has been described by Newsweek as "one of the boldest and most challenging figures on the international scene"). Thomas moved to New York in 1979 where he studied fotography at the School of Visual Arts. In 1990 he studied documentary filmmaking at the University of Television and Film Munich. In 1992 he graduated at the film department of the New York University. Between 2003 and 2007 he produced documentaries and fictions. His films have been selected to several film festivals and won numerous awards.
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