Kalyanee was born in Battambang, Cambodia. Kalyanee and her family escaped war-torn Cambodia in 1979 and eventually fled to the United States as refugees in 1981. She is a graduate of Yale University and UCLA Law School.
As a filmmaker and lawyer, Kalyanee seeks to engage her experiences in human rights and the law to create documentaries that are both captivating and inspiring. Kalyanee recently served as Director of Photography and Associate Producer for INSIDE JOB, a film by Charles Ferguson and a Sony Pictures Classics release about the global financial crisis, which was chosen as an Official Selection at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2010 Telluride Film Festival, and the 2010 New York Film Festival.
She is also Director and Producer of Between Earth & Sky, a short documentary film that follows the hopes and struggles of four young Iraqi refugees living in Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, and which is the First Place Winner for Best Directing-Short Documentary at the Los Angeles International Film Festival.
As a lawyer, Kalyanee has also worked on human rights issues in various countries including Cambodia, China, South Africa, Mozambique, and Iraq. Kalyanee's work has included assisting refugees in South Africa, documenting the atrocities committed against women during the Khmer Rouge Regime in Cambodia, and working as a lawyer in Iraq.