From the sold-out opening night West Coast premiere of When the Iron Bird Flies to the US premiere of Thangka, a Tibetan language feature from China, the first round of the IBFF Showcase 2013 screened nine new films from seven countries to enthusiastic audiences at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center.
Opening night on Friday also included a talk by Tibetan Buddhist teacher Anam Thubten, one of the key on-screen participants in the film. He was introduced by Steven D. Goodman, professor of Asian and Comparative Studies at California Institute of Integral Studies, and in a surprise, the film’s director Victress Hitchcock, unable to attend due to a hospitalization, spoke with Anam Thubten on speakerphone to cheers from the audience. When the Iron Bird Flies’ editor and associate producer Catherine Hollander handled the Q&A.
Other highlights included the West Coast premiere on Saturday of Digital Dharma, with the film’s director Dafna Yachin in person right off a flight from Israel, joined on stage by Jeff Wallman, executive director of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center founded by E. Gene Smith who is the subject of the film. KanZeOn co-director Neil Cantwell arrived from London to present the West Coast premiere of his film on Sunday.
IBFF Showcase 2013 was presented by Buddhist Film Foundation and California Film Institute and sponsored in part by a grant from Jeffrey and Sharon Roe.