2009 IBFF Launches in London May 7–17

Barbican Centre to Co-present:
46 Films from 18 Nations, 27 UK Premieres

Part of the The Many Faces of Buddhism series in London

The next International Buddhist Film Festival (IBFF) festival opens in London, England on Thursday, May 7, 2009 for a ten day run at the Barbican Centre, the largest multi-arts center in Europe, which is co-presenting. Forty-six films from eighteen nations—dramatic features, comedies, documentaries and animated works, including twenty-seven UK premieres—will be shown.

“This is world cinema with a Buddhist touch,” said IBFF Executive Director Gaetano Kazuo Maida. “We reached out to filmmakers and archives on three continents to bring over a wide range of works that reflect the incredible diversity of expression and impact of Buddhist ideas today.

The full program, schedule and ticket purchases are available on the Barbican website and at the Barbican box office on Silk Street in London.

Among the special events will be the Opening Night presentation of Prem Sanyas (translated as The Light of Asia) in Barbican’s Cinema One, Thursday, May 7 at 7:30 pm. This rare 1925 German/Indian co-production is based on Sir Edwin Arnold’s famous 19th century book. The film tells the story of the historic Prince Siddhartha and his journey to becoming Buddha. The historic silent film will be accompanied by a live performance of an original score by musicians from Amsterdam led by sitarist Sidartha Siliceo.

Special program strands include Profiles, Mind the Gap, and Showcase: BOS, and a number of the filmmakers and special guest speakers will be attending including Matthieu Ricard (author of the bestseller Happiness) and Neten Chokling Rinpoche, director of Milarepa, having its UK premiere in the festival. Featured filmmakers include Japan’s great animator Kihachiro Kawamoto and US documentary filmmaker Ellen Bruno, and there will be several discussion programs including: Happiness, Buddhism and Change in Bhutan; Buddhist Broadcasting and Media; and Perspectives on The Lost World of Tibet.

The IBFF is one of several major cultural events being presented in London as part of The Many Faces of Buddhism series connected with the opening of the new Gallery of Asian Buddhist Sculpture at London’s V&A Museum. The Gallery and the series are sponsored by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, a philanthropic institution based in Hong Kong that supports and develops arts and culture programs around the world.

IBFF 2009 LONDON Sponsors