The historic first presentation of the International Buddhist Film Festival (IBFF) in a Buddhist nation opens June 7 in Bangkok, Thailand for a four day run. Fifteen films from ten nations, most of which are Thailand premieres, will be screened at the SF World Cinema in downtown Bangkok as part of Buddhaleela Bangkok Festival 2012, a multi-event celebration of the 2600th anniversary of the Buddha’s awakening. Here’s the full program and schedule.
“We are very grateful to Dr. Banchar Pongpanich and Venerable Jayasaro Bhikku for inviting the IBFF to Thailand,” said IBFF executive director Gaetano Kazuo Maida. “We couldn’t agree more with Venerable Jayasaro who said that, ‘This project is… meant to be an open door into the Buddhist world, a portal.’ This is what the IBFF is all about, and during our tenth anniversary season it’s a great honor to be able to present a diverse selection of our films from all over the world for the first time in a Buddhist nation.”
Other events during the Buddhaleela Bangkok Festival include music, lectures, a short-film competition, a silent film presentation and a selection of films chosen by Buddhist monks.
Buddhaleela Bangkok Festival is organized by the Buddhadasa Indapanno Archive Foundation (BIA) (website is in Thai), a nonsectarian lay institution founded to continue the educational work of the late Venerable Buddhadasa Bhikku (1906–1993) who was an innovative and influential Buddhist monk and teacher in Thailand. His collection of books, notebooks, letters, film/video and journals is now housed in a modern and airy facility along a lake in Suan Rod Fai Park in the Chatuchak District of Bangkok. The BIA also features open spaces for public talks, classrooms, libraries, a bookstore, exhibition space and meditation rooms.
IBFF 2012 BANGKOK is the third IBFF in this tenth anniversary season, with the successful IBFF 2012 HONG KONG (March) and IBFF 2012 LONDON (April) preceding the June event. Arrangements are being finalized for Vancouver, New York and San Francisco among other cities for later in this 2012–2013 season.