About

Buddhist Film Foundation (BFF) is the world’s leading resource for Buddhist-themed and Buddhist-inspired cinema. The independent BFF presents, archives, preserves and promotes films of all kinds: features, documentaries, animation, experimental work, children’s films and television programs. BFF serves audiences, educators and filmmakers in partnership with presenting institutions around the world.

The BFF mission is to utilize the powerful medium of motion pictures to foster knowledge and appreciation of core Buddhist principles: the practice of compassion, and respect for impermanence and the interdependent web of connectivity of our world.

The BFF mission has four components:
exhibition of film and video works—to use cinema to foster communication about Buddhist ideas to the widest possible cross section of society;
education—to provide a comprehensive, accessible resource for teachers, filmmakers, funders and diverse audiences;
production—to promote and facilitate quality independent filmmaking in this arena; preservation—to serve as an accessible repository of films.

BFF is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization based in Oakland, California, USA (see Board of Directors). BFF was founded in 2000 by filmmakers Ellen Bruno, Richard Kohn, and Gaetano Kazuo Maida, along with others, originating from earlier efforts by Tricycle magazine in New York. Gaetano Kazuo Maida, a founding director of Tricycle, has served as executive director and chief programmer from the beginning.

PROGRAMS

The International Buddhist Film Festival (IBFF) offers cinema as a vehicle for wider appreciation and better understanding of Buddhism by general audiences, particularly for the remarkable ethnic and cultural diversity evident in the Buddhist arena worldwide today. Works exhibited are chosen through a combination of program committee invitations as well as through an international open Call For Entries solicitation. Films include English language or subtitled works from all over the world, and embrace a very broad and fluid definition of “buddhist.” more>

Buddhist Film Channel (BFC) is our unique new online resource offering feature films, shorts, television programs, and video talks and interviews from all over the world that include Buddhist content or are the work of Buddhist directors/writers. Programs will be available to consumers on a pay-per-view basis as rentals or download-to-own (transactional video on demand—TVOD), and will be presented in English (or with English subtitles) and in a number of other languages via subtitles. BFC is the first independent international digital platform for this extensive and diverse cinema. more>

SERVICES

BFF offers programming and facilitation services to presenting institutions including museums, universities, film societies and film festivals. more>

BFF serves as fiscal sponsor to qualified film projects seeking tax-deductible production funding contributions in the USA. more>

Festival Media is the distribution service of BFF. Selected works from IBFF presentations are marketed as DVDs through educational and consumer retailers in North America. Proceeds benefit the not-for-profit BFF, the filmmakers, and often, through them, the subjects of their films or other designated charities. more>


“International Buddhist Film Festival,” “IBFF,” “IBFF.org,” “FestivalMedia.org,” “Buddhist Film Foundation” and “Buddhist Film Archive,” and the associated logos, are trademarks of Buddhist Film Foundation, Inc. The logos for Buddhist Film Foundation and International Buddhist Film Festival were designed by Milton Glaser.