BUDDHIST FILM FOUNDATION http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org Tue, 20 Jun 2017 00:05:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 It’s A Wrap! IBFF 2017 Completes Runs in LA and the Bay Area http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/news/its-a-wrap-ibff-2017-completes-runs-in-la-and-the-bay-area/ Tue, 13 Jun 2017 20:45:41 +0000 http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/?p=4943 Packed houses at the Writers Guild Theater in LA and the Smith Rafael Film Center in the Bay Area welcomed IBFF 2017’s offering of films from seven nations.

Highlights included …

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Packed houses at the Writers Guild Theater in LA and the Smith Rafael Film Center in the Bay Area welcomed IBFF 2017’s offering of films from seven nations.

Highlights included a tribute to the late Leonard Cohen featuring the concert documentary Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, plus two new shorts from the team producing the documentary Roshi, about Leonard Cohen’s Zen teacher, Joshu Sasaki Roshi. Author Pico Iyer introduced the film in LA to a sold out opening night house, with a surprise impromptu appearance on stage by Jim Carrey, plus a prayer chant by Tibetan Buddhist teacher Khen Rinpoche Tsetan, and a performance by musicians Amy Correia and Peggy Baldwin; poet Jane Hirshfield did the honors at the Smith Rafael Film Center screening, and directors Lian Lunson (Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man) and Don Farber and Carole Wilson (Roshi) participated in post-screening Q&As.

Director Mickey Lemle (Ram Dass Fierce Grace, Compassion In Exile) presented his new documentary, The Last Dalai Lama? to full houses at both venues, with Tibetan musician/composer Tenzin Choegyal in person at each, performing songs from the film’s score he wrote in collaboration with Philip Glass. Lemle announced the upcoming theatrical release of the film, opening in the San Francisco Bay area on July 7, with a special screening event on July 6, the Dalai Lama’s 82nd birthday, at the Smith Rafael Film Center.

IBFF 2017 presented the US premiere of the new dramatic feature from director Khyentse Norbu, Hema Hema: Sing Me A Song While I Wait filmed on location in Bhutan; producer Denise Di Novi (Batman Returns, Catwoman, Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands), who is also a meditation teacher, introduced the film in LA, and author/performer/meditation teacher Wes “Scoop” Nisker introduced the film in the Bay Area. Buddhist Film Foundation has a special connection with the films of Norbu, the Tibetan Buddhist teacher who is also known as Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, having presented the US premieres of his Travellers & Magicians and Vara, and distributing his first film, The Cup, on DVD.

Other films presented include Wandering, a dramatic feature from Thailand, by director and former monk Boonsong Nakphoo, with Rev. Heng Sure, abbot of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery introducing; Golden Kingdom, a drama filmed at a rural Buddhist monastery in Myanmar, with producer Jessica Ballard in person; dramatic feature Fukushima Mon Amour (aka Greetings from Fukushima), filmed on location in the radiation zone of Fukushima, Japan, by German director Doris Dörrie (Enlightenment Guaranteed, Cherry Blossoms, Men), with co-star Moshe Cohen on stage in San Rafael; the feature documentary Tzu Chi: Doing Good in the World, filmed on location in Taiwan, by director Babeth VanLoo, who attended with cinematographer Ashley James, and were joined on stage by members of Tzu Chi Foundation USA; and two shorter documentaries filmed in Myanmar, A Thousand Mothers, by Kim Shelton, who attended, playing with My Buddha Is Punk, by Andreas Hartmann, together introduced by filmmaker, BFF board member, and Yongon (Myanmar) Film School instructor Ellen Bruno (Satya, Sacrifice, Samsara, Split).

IBFF 2017 LA was copresented at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills by BuddhaFest LA and Lion’s Roar Foundation, with additional events there including meditation talks and conversations (Sharon Salzberg, Noah Levine, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Mushim Patricia Ikeda, Christian Wolf, Dawa Tarchin Phillips, and Trudy Goodman), and a concert by Tibetan Buddhist nun Ani Choying Drolma, from Nepal.

This was the first time back in LA for the IBFF since its very first festival, in 2003, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

IBFF 2017 Bay Area was copresented by California Film Institute at its Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, California. This was the fifth IBFF to run at this key Bay Area cinema, and the eighteenth IBFF since its founding.

The full schedule for both locations is available online.

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IBFF 2017 Comes to San Rafael June 9-11 After A Triumphant Run in LA http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/events/ibff-2017-bay-area-schedule/ Wed, 07 Jun 2017 18:35:33 +0000 http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/?p=4933 International Buddhist Film Festival 2017 completed a packed June 2–4 run at BuddhaFest LA in Los Angeles, and will be held June 9-11 at the Smith Rafael Film Center, a …

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International Buddhist Film Festival 2017 completed a packed June 2–4 run at BuddhaFest LA in Los Angeles, and will be held June 9-11 at the Smith Rafael Film Center, a venue of the California Film Institute, a presenting partner with IBFF since 2005. With an additional two films added to the program, the festival represents six nations, with half the works directed by women.

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IBFF 2017 BAY AREA Schedule http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/events/ibff-2017-bay-area-schedule/ Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:24:25 +0000 http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/?p=4925
  • The Last Dalai Lama? directed by Mickey Lemle.
  • Fukushima Mon Amour directed by Doris Dörrie.
  • Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man directed by Lian Lunson.
  • A Thousand Mothers directed by Kim
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  • The Last Dalai Lama? directed by Mickey Lemle.
  • Fukushima Mon Amour directed by Doris Dörrie.
  • Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man directed by Lian Lunson.
  • A Thousand Mothers directed by Kim Shelton.
  • Hema Hema directed by Khyentse Norbu.
  • Golden Kingdom directed by Brian Perkin.
  • Tzu Chi directed by Babeth VanLoo.

Buddhist Film Foundation celebrates its 18th International Buddhist Film Festival (IBFF), and partners with California Film Institute in San Rafael and BuddhaFest in Los Angeles to present new programs of great cinema with a Buddhist touch. Since the inaugural IBFF at LACMA in 2003, IBFF has been to ten cities on three continents, screening over 300 films from 22 nations. As always, there will be filmmakers and special guests attending—new confirmations will be posted online.

[green buddha head with yellow top knot, blue ears, and orange triangle at third eye, above international buddhist film festival in black type and 2017 bay area in green]

TICKETS

Please visit Smith Rafael Film Center for online ticket purchase, and screening and venue information. Tickets can also be purchased at the SRFC box office which opens one-half hour prior to the first showing of the day; 415.454.1222 info-line for showtimes, 415.454.5813 main office.

CHRISTOPHER B. SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER SCHEDULE

OPENING NIGHT WITH LIVE PERFORMANCE
The Last Dalai Lama?
Directed by Mickey Lemle
USA / 2016 / English / 81 min plus discussion / Documentary
Friday, June 9, 7:30 pm
In Person: Director Mickey Lemle
Special Guest: Tenzin Choegyal, singer-songwriter

[smiling man with glasses, shaved head, and gold and maroon robes looks to camera while seated near a buddhist statue]Mickey Lemle (Ram Dass Fierce Grace) updates his groundbreaking Compassion in Exile profile of the Dalai Lama with this intimate look at the enduring good humor and gentle wisdom of His Holiness, now eighty-one. Addressing his own death, the Dalai Lama considers the challenges of the prospect of his reincarnation, with Tibet still under Chinese control; his urgency and dedication come through powerfully. Filmed on location in India, and featuring vivid archival footage, with original score by Philip Glass and Tenzin Choegyal.

The screening will be preceded by a live performance by the extraordinary Tibetan singer-songwriter Tenzin Choegyal who collaborated on the film’s score with Philip Glass.

Trailer


Wandering
Directed by Boonsong Nakphoo
Thailand / 2016 / Thai with English subtitles / 120 min / Drama
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Saturday, June 10, 1:30 pm
Special Guest: Rev. Heng Sure, abbot of Berkeley Buddhist Monastery

[barefooted man with shaved head, wearing dark orange robes walks with back to camera along railroad tracks]Former Thai Buddhist monk Boonsong’s film Wandering was a finalist for consideration as Thailand’s entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and features a small cast of nonprofessionals. Set in a rural area, the film follows a man, depressed after a tragedy and separated from his wife, as he slowly engages with a forest monk and begins to rebuild a life. Beautifully filmed on location in Thailand by cinematographer Uruphong Raksasat, Wandering is infused with a deep regard for Buddhist teachings, and never loses sight of the humanity and individuality of the search for peace.

Trailer


Tzu Chi: Doing Good in the World
Directed by Babeth VanLoo
Netherlands, Taiwan / 2017 / English, and Taiwanese with English subtitles / 88 min plus discussion / Documentary
BAY AREA PREMIERE
Saturday, June 10, 4:30 pm
In Person: Director of Photography Ashley James

[four agitated asian men in white lab coats with arms intertwined]Tzu Chi is a remarkable nonprofit in Taiwan that runs hospitals, schools, recycling services, and emergency humanitarian aid efforts. The blue-jacketed Tzu Chi volunteers may be seen at disaster sites like earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods all over the world. The organization is led by an extraordinary woman, Master Cheng Yen, a Buddhist nun who began single-handedly by reaching out to neighbors to help offer health services where they were lacking in post war Taiwan. This film introduces us to her and takes us behind the scenes to explore a unique approach to living a compassionate, engaged life.


TRIBUTE TO LEONARD COHEN
TRIBUTE TO LEONARD COHEN
Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man

Directed by Lian Lunson
Shorts: In Memoriam and In His Words
Directed by Carole Wilson and Don Farber
Australia / 2005; USA / 2016 / English / 115 min plus discussion / Documentary
TRIBUTE, BAY AREA PREMIERE
Saturday, June 10, 7:30 pm
Special Guest: Director Lian Lunson via Skype
Special Guest: Jane Hirshfield

[man holding mike speaks and gestures with left hand against a glittering red and black background]The much celebrated writer, musician, and performer Leonard Cohen famously spent several years as a Zen Buddhist monk with Japanese teacher Joshu Sasaki Roshi in Los Angeles. As tribute to Cohen and his music, this program offers a reprise of the excellent film by Australian Lian Lunson, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man (featuring live performances of his songs by Bono, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Antony, Martha Wainwright and others), along with two new short films with Cohen, produced for the memorial events for Joshu Sasaki Roshi and Cohen himself.

Trailer


My Buddha Is Punk
Directed by Andreas Hartmann
Myanmar, Germany / 2015 / English, and Burmese with English subtitles / 68 min plus discussion / Documentary
Sunday, June 11, 1:30 pm
Special Guest: Ellen Bruno

[young asian man with spiked hair wearing a black t-shirt bows head and clasps hands in prayer alongside a white buddha statue draped in white flowers]The new Myanmar is one of the last places one might expect to find a vibrant punk rock scene, but here we see the beginnings of a youth culture newly released from martial law. Twenty-five year old Kyaw Kyaw performs with vigor, and offers a synthesis of Buddhism and punk to his audiences and friends that rejects religious dictates and political doctrine.

Trailer

with
A Thousand Mothers
Directed by Kim Shelton
Myanmar, USA / 2017 / English / 39 min plus discussion / Documentary
BAY AREA PREMIERE
In Person: Director Kim Shelton

[young nun in pink robes and covered head walks alongside a clothesline with drying clothes and pink robes while reading a book]Filmed on location at a rural Buddhist nunnery in Myanmar by noted cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, A Thousand Mothers is an intimate look at the refuge and opportunity that a monastic life offers girls and women there, even as the nation begins to change.

Trailer


Fukushima Mon Amour
Directed by Doris Dörrie
Germany, Japan / 2016 / German and Japanese with English subtitles / 108 min / Drama
Sunday, June 11, 4:30 pm
In Person: Co-star Moshe Cohen, founder of Clowns Without Borders

[black and white image of blond young woman gazing out a door alongside an asian woman seated and working outside]Doris Dörrie’s (Enlightenment Guaranteed, Cherry Blossoms) compelling new film intentionally evokes Alain Resnais’ masterpiece Hiroshima, Mon Amour, and gracefully reveals her own unique vision. Two women—one an older geisha, the other an aimless young German—try to build lives in “The Zone,” a wasteland beset by abandoned buildings and lingering radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. There is sly humor amidst the confusion and the memories. Co-starring Clowns Without Borders founder Moshe Cohen, and filmed in lustrous black and white by Hanno Lentz.

Trailer


Hema Hema: Sing Me A Song While I Wait
Directed by Khyentse Norbu
Bhutan / 2016 / English, and Dutch with English subtitles / 95 min plus discussion / Drama
BAY AREA PREMIERE
Sunday, June 11, 7:30 pm
Special Guest: Wes “Scoop” Nisker

[asian woman with short black hair, pale skin, and red lips, slightly parted, stares to cameera]The new feature film from Tibetan Buddhist teacher Khyentse Norbu (The Cup, Travellers & Magicians) unfolds mysteriously and surprisingly to reveal a world of masks and secrets in a rural Bhutan rarely seen. It’s strange, unpredictable, dreamlike, beautiful…a film about sex, death, identity, gender, and delusion. “Dazzling… self-discovery lies at the heart of this mesmerizing new film…a colorful plunge into a world where ancient rites can summon our noblest and our basest instincts.” –Toronto International Film Festival.

Trailer

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IBFF 2017 Tickets on Sale! http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/events/ibff-2017-full-schedule/ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 23:02:14 +0000 http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/?p=4882 International Buddhist Film Festival 2017 will be presented June 2–4 in Los Angeles, and June 9–11 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lineups have been announced and tickets are …

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International Buddhist Film Festival 2017 will be presented June 2–4 in Los Angeles, and June 9–11 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lineups have been announced and tickets are on sale for both venues.

IBFF 2017 LOS ANGELES is being presented as part of BuddhaFest at the Writers Guild Theater. BuddhaFest is in LA for the first time since its move from Washington, DC, and is being co-presented by Lion’s Roar Foundation. This is the first time IBFF has been back in LA since its very first festival, in 2003, at LACMA.

IBFF 2017 BAY AREA will be held at the Smith Rafael Film Center, a venue of the California Film Institute, a presenting partner with IBFF since 2005.

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IBFF 2017 Lineups Announced, Tickets on Sale! http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/news/ibff-2017-lineups-announced-tickets-on-sale/ Fri, 07 Apr 2017 23:18:31 +0000 http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/?p=4869 International Buddhist Film Festival 2017 will be presented June 2–4 in Los Angeles, and June 9–11 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lineups have been announced and tickets are …

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International Buddhist Film Festival 2017 will be presented June 2–4 in Los Angeles, and June 9–11 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lineups have been announced and tickets are on sale for both venues.

Highlights include the new film by Mickey Lemle (Ram Dass Fierce Grace), The Last Dalai Lama? with the director attending and a performance by Tibetan singer/composer Tenzin Choegyal; the US premiere of Khyentse Norbu’s latest film, Hema Hema: Sing Me A Song While I Wait introduced (at the Smith Rafael Film Center) by Wes “Scoop” Nisker; a tribute to Leonard Cohen, with new shorts and Lian Lunson’s Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, introduced in LA by noted author Pico Iyer.

IBFF 2017 LOS ANGELES is being presented as part of BuddhaFest at the Writers Guild Theater. BuddhaFest is in LA for the first time since its move from Washington, DC, and is being co-presented by Lion’s Roar Foundation. This is the first time IBFF has been back in LA since its very first festival, in 2003, at LACMA.

IBFF 2017 BAY AREA will be held at the Smith Rafael Film Center, a venue of the California Film Institute, a presenting partner with IBFF since 2005.

Programs, schedules, ticket sales, and venue information here.

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IBFF 2017 Full Schedule http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/events/ibff-2017-full-schedule/ Fri, 07 Apr 2017 22:33:38 +0000 http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/?p=4840
  • The Last Dalai Lama? directed by Mickey Lemle.
  • Fukushima Mon Amour directed by Doris Dörrie.
  • Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man directed by Lian Lunson.
  • A Thousand Mothers directed by Kim
…]]>
  • The Last Dalai Lama? directed by Mickey Lemle.
  • Fukushima Mon Amour directed by Doris Dörrie.
  • Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man directed by Lian Lunson.
  • A Thousand Mothers directed by Kim Shelton.
  • Hema Hema directed by Khyentse Norbu.
  • Golden Kingdom directed by Brian Perkin.
  • Tzu Chi directed by Babeth VanLoo.

Buddhist Film Foundation celebrates its 18th International Buddhist Film Festival (IBFF), and partners with BuddhaFest in LA and California Film Institute in San Rafael to present new programs of great cinema with a Buddhist touch. Since the inaugural IBFF at LACMA in 2003, IBFF has been to ten cities on three continents, screening over 300 films from 22 nations. As always, there will be filmmakers and special guests attending—new confirmations will be posted online.

Tickets are now on sale.

Please visit BuddhaFest.org for IBFF 2017 LOS ANGELES venue, ticket information, and online ticket purchase.

Please visit Smith Rafael Film Center for IBFF 2017 BAY AREA venue, ticket information, and online ticket purchase. Tickets can also be purchased at the SRFC box office which opens one-half hour prior to the first showing of the day; 415.454.1222 info-line for showtimes, 415.454.5813 main office.


[green buddha head with yellow top knot, blue ears, and orange triangle at third eye, above international buddhist film festival in black type and 2017 los angeles june 2-4 in green type]

WRITERS GUILD THEATER SCHEDULE

Tickets are now on sale. Please visit BuddhaFest.org for IBFF 2017 LOS ANGELES venue, ticket information, and online ticket purchase.

PROGRAM

TRIBUTE TO LEONARD COHEN
Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man

Directed by Lian Lunson
Shorts: In Memoriam and In His Words
Directed by Carole Wilson and Don Farber
Australia / 2005; USA / 2016 / English / 115 min plus discussion / Documentary
Friday, June 2, 7:30 pm
Special Guest: Pico Iyer
In Person: Director Lian Lunson, Filmmakers Carole Wilson and Don Farber

[man holding mike speaks and gestures with left hand against a glittering red and black background]The much celebrated writer, musician, and performer Leonard Cohen famously spent several years as a Zen Buddhist monk with Japanese teacher Joshu Sasaki Roshi in Los Angeles. As tribute to Cohen and his music, this program offers a reprise of the excellent film by Australian Lian Lunson, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man (featuring live performances of his songs by Bono, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Antony, Martha Wainwright and others), along with two new short films with Cohen, produced for the memorial events for Joshu Sasaki Roshi and Cohen himself.

The evening will include a live musical performance of “Hallelujah” by legendary folk artist Amy Correia on vocals/guitar with virtuoso cellist Peggy Baldwin.

Trailer


SPECIAL SCREENING
Golden Kingdom

Directed by Brian Perkins
USA, Myanmar / Burmese with English subtitles / 103 min
Saturday, June 3, 1:00 pm
In Person: Director Brian Perkins and producer Jessica Ballard

[three young monks in dark red robes sit behind a low wooden table with a burning lamp in front of each of them]Brian Perkins feature film debut is a beautifully filmed neo-realist work featuring very young monks in a rural Buddhist monastery. They are suddenly left to their own devices when their abbot is called away during a time of violent conflict beyond the monastery’s simple and calm environment. There are echoes here of The Cup, Uncle Boonmee Who Could Recall His Past Lives, and The Silent Holy Stones, but the unique location in remote Shan State and historic timing of Golden Kingdom offer a compelling case for this breakthrough film.

Trailer


Fukushima Mon Amour
Directed by Doris Dörrie
Germany, Japan / 2016 / German and Japanese with English subtitles / 108 min / Drama
Saturday, June 3, 3:30 pm
Special Guest: Patricia Mushim Ikeda

[black and white image of blond young woman gazing out a door alongside an asian woman seated and working outside]Doris Dörrie’s (Enlightenment Guaranteed, Cherry Blossoms) compelling new film intentionally evokes Alain Resnais’ masterpiece Hiroshima, Mon Amour, and gracefully reveals her own unique vision. Two women—one an older geisha, the other an aimless young German—try to build lives in “The Zone,” a wasteland beset by abandoned buildings and lingering radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. There is sly humor amidst the confusion and the memories. Co-starring Clowns Without Borders founder Moshe Cohen, and filmed in lustrous black and white by Hanno Lentz.

Trailer


Tzu Chi: Doing Good in the World
Directed by Babeth VanLoo
Netherlands, Taiwan / 2017 / English, and Taiwanese with English subtitles / 88 min plus discussion / Documentary
USA PREMIERE
Sunday, June 4, 1:30 pm
In Person: Director Babeth VanLoo

[four agitated asian men in white lab coats with arms intertwined]Tzu Chi is a remarkable nonprofit in Taiwan that runs hospitals, schools, recycling services, and emergency humanitarian aid efforts. The blue-jacketed Tzu Chi volunteers may be seen at disaster sites like earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods all over the world. The organization is led by an extraordinary woman, Master Cheng Yen, a Buddhist nun who began single-handedly by reaching out to neighbors to help offer health services where they were lacking in post war Taiwan. This film introduces us to her and takes us behind the scenes to explore a unique approach to living a compassionate, engaged life.


Hema Hema: Sing Me A Song While I Wait
Directed by Khyentse Norbu
Bhutan / 2016 / English, and Dutch with English subtitles / 95 min plus discussion / Drama
USA PREMIERE
Sunday, June 4, 4:00 pm
Special Guest: Denise Di Novi

[asian woman with short black hair, pale skin, and red lips, slightly parted, stares to cameera]The new feature film from Tibetan Buddhist teacher Khyentse Norbu (The Cup, Travellers & Magicians) unfolds mysteriously and surprisingly to reveal a world of masks and secrets in a rural Bhutan rarely seen. It’s strange, unpredictable, dreamlike, beautiful…a film about sex, death, identity, gender, and delusion. “Dazzling… self-discovery lies at the heart of this mesmerizing new film…a colorful plunge into a world where ancient rites can summon our noblest and our basest instincts.” –Toronto International Film Festival.

Trailer


The Last Dalai Lama?
Directed by Mickey Lemle
USA / 2016 / English / 81 min plus discussion / Documentary
LOS ANGELES PREMIERE
Sunday, June 4, 7:30 pm
In Person: Director Mickey Lemle

[smiling man with glasses, shaved head, and gold and maroon robes looks to camera while seated near a buddhist statue]Mickey Lemle (Ram Dass Fierce Grace) updates his groundbreaking Compassion in Exile profile of the Dalai Lama with this intimate look at the enduring good humor and gentle wisdom of His Holiness, now eighty-one. Addressing his own death, the Dalai Lama considers the challenges of the prospect of his reincarnation, with Tibet still under Chinese control; his urgency and dedication come through powerfully. Filmed on location in India, and featuring vivid archival footage, with original score by Philip Glass and Tenzin Choegyal.

The screening will be preceded by a live performance by Tibetan singer-songwriter Tenzin Choegyal, co-composer with Philip Glass of the film’s score.

Trailer


[green buddha head with yellow top knot, blue ears, and orange triangle at third eye, above international buddhist film festival in black type and 2017 bay area in green]

CHRISTOPHER B. SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER SCHEDULE

Tickets are now on sale. Please visit Smith Rafael Film Center for venue, ticket information, and online ticket purchase. Tickets can also be purchased at the SRFC box office which opens one-half hour prior to the first showing of the day; 415.454.1222 info-line for showtimes, 415.454.5813 main office.

PROGRAM

The Last Dalai Lama?
Directed by Mickey Lemle
USA / 2016 / English / 81 min plus discussion / Documentary
Friday, June 9, 7:30 pm
In Person: Director Mickey Lemle

[smiling man with glasses, shaved head, and gold and maroon robes looks to camera while seated near a buddhist statue]Mickey Lemle (Ram Dass Fierce Grace) updates his groundbreaking Compassion in Exile profile of the Dalai Lama with this intimate look at the enduring good humor and gentle wisdom of His Holiness, now eighty-one. Addressing his own death, the Dalai Lama considers the challenges of the prospect of his reincarnation, with Tibet still under Chinese control; his urgency and dedication come through powerfully. Filmed on location in India, and featuring vivid archival footage, with original score by Philip Glass and Tenzin Choegyal.

The screening will be preceded by a live performance by Tibetan singer-songwriter Tenzin Choegyal, co-composer with Philip Glass of the film’s score.

Trailer


Wandering
Directed by Boonsong Nakphoo
Thailand / 2016 / Thai with English subtitles / 120 min / Drama
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Saturday, June 10, 1:30 pm

[barefooted man with shaved head, wearing dark orange robes walks with back to camera along railroad tracks]Former Thai Buddhist monk Boonsong’s film Wandering was a finalist for consideration as Thailand’s entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and features a small cast of nonprofessionals. Set in a rural area, the film follows a man, depressed after a tragedy and separated from his wife, as he slowly engages with a forest monk and begins to rebuild a life. Beautifully filmed on location in Thailand by cinematographer Uruphong Raksasat, Wandering is infused with a deep regard for Buddhist teachings, and never loses sight of the humanity and individuality of the search for peace.

Trailer


Tzu Chi: Doing Good in the World
Directed by Babeth VanLoo
Netherlands, Taiwan / 2017 / English, and Taiwanese with English subtitles / 88 min plus discussion / Documentary
BAY AREA PREMIERE
Saturday, June 10, 4:30 pm
In Person: Director of Photography Ashley James

[four agitated asian men in white lab coats with arms intertwined]Tzu Chi is a remarkable nonprofit in Taiwan that runs hospitals, schools, recycling services, and emergency humanitarian aid efforts. The blue-jacketed Tzu Chi volunteers may be seen at disaster sites like earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods all over the world. The organization is led by an extraordinary woman, Master Cheng Yen, a Buddhist nun who began single-handedly by reaching out to neighbors to help offer health services where they were lacking in post war Taiwan. This film introduces us to her and takes us behind the scenes to explore a unique approach to living a compassionate, engaged life.


TRIBUTE TO LEONARD COHEN
TRIBUTE TO LEONARD COHEN
Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man

Directed by Lian Lunson
Shorts: In Memoriam and In His Words
Directed by Carole Wilson and Don Farber
Australia / 2005; USA / 2016 / English / 115 min plus discussion / Documentary
TRIBUTE, BAY AREA PREMIERE
Saturday, June 10, 7:30 pm
Special Guest: Director Lian Lunson via Skype
Special Guest: Jane Hirshfield

[man holding mike speaks and gestures with left hand against a glittering red and black background]The much celebrated writer, musician, and performer Leonard Cohen famously spent several years as a Zen Buddhist monk with Japanese teacher Joshu Sasaki Roshi in Los Angeles. As tribute to Cohen and his music, this program offers a reprise of the excellent film by Australian Lian Lunson, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man (featuring live performances of his songs by Bono, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Antony, Martha Wainwright and others), along with two new short films with Cohen, produced for the memorial events for Joshu Sasaki Roshi and Cohen himself.

Trailer


My Buddha Is Punk
Directed by Andreas Hartmann
Myanmar, Germany / 2015 / English, and Burmese with English subtitles / 68 min plus discussion / Documentary
Sunday, June 11, 1:30 pm
Special Guest: Ellen Bruno

[young asian man with spiked hair wearing a black t-shirt bows head and clasps hands in prayer alongside a white buddha statue draped in white flowers]The new Myanmar is one of the last places one might expect to find a vibrant punk rock scene, but here we see the beginnings of a youth culture newly released from martial law. Twenty-five year old Kyaw Kyaw performs with vigor, and offers a synthesis of Buddhism and punk to his audiences and friends that rejects religious dictates and political doctrine.

Trailer

with
A Thousand Mothers
Directed by Kim Shelton
Myanmar, USA / 2017 / English / 39 min plus discussion / Documentary
BAY AREA PREMIERE
In Person: Director Kim Shelton

[young nun in pink robes and covered head walks alongside a clothesline with drying clothes and pink robes while reading a book]Filmed on location at a rural Buddhist nunnery in Myanmar by noted cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, A Thousand Mothers is an intimate look at the refuge and opportunity that a monastic life offers girls and women there, even as the nation begins to change.

Trailer


Fukushima Mon Amour
Directed by Doris Dörrie
Germany, Japan / 2016 / German and Japanese with English subtitles / 108 min / Drama
Sunday, June 11, 4:30 pm
In Person: Co-star Moshe Cohen, founder of Clowns Without Borders

[black and white image of blond young woman gazing out a door alongside an asian woman seated and working outside]Doris Dörrie’s (Enlightenment Guaranteed, Cherry Blossoms) compelling new film intentionally evokes Alain Resnais’ masterpiece Hiroshima, Mon Amour, and gracefully reveals her own unique vision. Two women—one an older geisha, the other an aimless young German—try to build lives in “The Zone,” a wasteland beset by abandoned buildings and lingering radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. There is sly humor amidst the confusion and the memories. Co-starring Clowns Without Borders founder Moshe Cohen, and filmed in lustrous black and white by Hanno Lentz.

Trailer


Hema Hema: Sing Me A Song While I Wait
Directed by Khyentse Norbu
Bhutan / 2016 / English, and Dutch with English subtitles / 95 min plus discussion / Drama
BAY AREA PREMIERE
Sunday, June 11, 7:30 pm
Special Guest: Wes “Scoop” Nisker

[asian woman with short black hair, pale skin, and red lips, slightly parted, stares to cameera]The new feature film from Tibetan Buddhist teacher Khyentse Norbu (The Cup, Travellers & Magicians) unfolds mysteriously and surprisingly to reveal a world of masks and secrets in a rural Bhutan rarely seen. It’s strange, unpredictable, dreamlike, beautiful…a film about sex, death, identity, gender, and delusion. “Dazzling… self-discovery lies at the heart of this mesmerizing new film…a colorful plunge into a world where ancient rites can summon our noblest and our basest instincts.” –Toronto International Film Festival.

Trailer

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IBFF 2017 Dates Announced http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/news/ibff-2017-dates-announced/ Thu, 23 Feb 2017 01:39:21 +0000 http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/?p=4820 International Buddhist Film Festival 2017 will be presented June 2-4 in Los Angeles, and June 9-11 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Final program selection is underway and will be …

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International Buddhist Film Festival 2017 will be presented June 2-4 in Los Angeles, and June 9-11 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Final program selection is underway and will be announced in early March.

IBFF 2017 LOS ANGELES is being presented as part of BuddhaFest at the Writers Guild Theater. BuddhaFest is in LA for the first time since its move from Washington, DC, and is being co-presented by Lion’s Roar Foundation. This is the first time IBFF has been back in LA since its very first festival, in 2003, at LACMA.

IBFF 2017 BAY AREA will be held at the Smith Rafael Film Center, a venue of the California Film Institute, a presenting partner with IBFF since 2005.

Programs, schedules, ticket sales, and venue information will be announced in early April.

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Your Support Will Help Us Continue Our Work http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/news/your-support-will-help-us-continue-our-work/ Sat, 31 Dec 2016 00:39:44 +0000 http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/?p=4808 What better way to communicate Buddhist ideas to a wide and diverse audience than through the powerful medium of cinema?

The Buddhist Film Foundation (BFF) was founded back in 2000 …

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What better way to communicate Buddhist ideas to a wide and diverse audience than through the powerful medium of cinema?

The Buddhist Film Foundation (BFF) was founded back in 2000 with a mission to utilize this powerful medium 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.

With film and video works, BFF is also able to provide an accessible and comprehensive resource for teachers, as well as filmmakers, and funders. We continue to promote and facilitate quality independent filmmaking in this arena.

Your support will help us continue our work!

Please give what you can comfortably afford; any amount you can give is meaningful and will make a difference.

Use the PayPal button for your one-time donation, or for recurring monthly support, in any amount.

For donations via PayPal:

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For donations by check or money order:
Buddhist Film Foundation
Zaentz Media Center
2600 Tenth Street, Suite 409
Berkeley, CA 94710-3104 USA

Thank you!

BFF is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization and donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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One Mind Premieres December 18 at SRFC http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/news/one-mind-premieres-december-18/ Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:42:04 +0000 http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/?p=4798 The premiere of the new film, One Mind, by Edward A. Burger (Amongst White Clouds), will be presented by Buddhist Film Foundation at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San …

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http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/now-showing-one-mind-poster.jpgThe premiere of the new film, One Mind, by Edward A. Burger (Amongst White Clouds), will be presented by Buddhist Film Foundation at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, California, on December 18. The filmmaker will be joined by special guest Rev. Heng Sure of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.

One Mind is a rare cinematic portrait of life inside one of China’s most austere and revered Zen communities. The monks at Zhenru Chan Monastery continue to uphold a strict monastic code established over 1200 years ago by the founding patriarchs of Zen in China. In harmony with the land that sustains them, the monks operate an organic farm, grow tea, and harvest bamboo to fuel their kitchen fires. At the heart of this community, a group of cloistered meditators sit in silence for eight hours every day. Suggesting a Zen version of the critically acclaimed film Into Great Silence, One Mind offers an intimate glimpse into a thriving Buddhist monastery in modern China.

Director Edward A. Burger has lived and studied with Buddhist communities in China for over fifteen years, and is the first Western filmmaker to be granted such unprecedented access to the daily rituals and traditions practiced in this remote mountain monastery. He will be joined at the screening by Rev. Heng Sure, director of Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, which is in the lineage of the late Master Xu Yun, who revived Zhenru Chan Monastery in the mid 20th century.

Benefit Screening — One Night Only!
Sunday, December 18, 6:30 pm
Director in Person
Special Guest: Rev. Heng Sure, Berkeley Buddhist Monastery

All tickets $15
On sale now at the Smith Rafael Film Center box office and online.

One Mind trailer.

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New Film on the Dalai Lama Screens at MVFFBuddhist Film Foundation Co-presents http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/news/new-film-on-the-dalai-lama-screens-at-mvffbuddhist-film-foundation-co-presents/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:54:30 +0000 http://www.buddhistfilmfoundation.org/?p=4767 Mickey Lemle’s new feature documentary, The Last Dalai Lama?, will screen at the 39th Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) on October 8 and 9. The programmers described it as “a …

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Mickey Lemle’s new feature documentary, The Last Dalai Lama?, will screen at the 39th Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) on October 8 and 9. The programmers described it as “a very powerful and intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual.” Buddhist Film Foundation is the co-presenter. Lemle’s previous film, Ram Dass Fierce Grace, was an official selection of the 24th MVFF.

Director Lemle filmed extensively with the Dalai Lama, with a palpable intimacy made possible by the 30-year relationship they share. Lemle’s widely seen 1991 film Compassion in Exile: The 14th Dalai Lama was a breakthrough profile that featured extensive rare archival footage from Tibet. In the new film, the Dalai Lama speaks candidly about the issues that come with aging that can disquiet the mind: regrets, unfulfilled dreams, frustrations, and the inevitability of death. His Holiness shared his personal perspective on each of those subjects, and explored the persistent questions about his next reincarnation.

The film also includes interviews with Daniel Goleman, Richard Davidson, Matthieu Ricard, George W. Bush, and members of the Dalai Lama’s family, and features the music of Philip Glass.

The screenings are scheduled for Saturday, October 8, at 11:30 am at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, and on Sunday, October 9, at 5:00 pm at the Lark Theater in Larkspur. Director Mickey Lemle will be attending both screenings and will be on hand for Q&A.

Tickets, directions, parking information and more at the MVFF official website.

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