Over 10,000 Attendees for Seventeen Days of Films
14 February 2005
The 2005 International Buddhist Film Festival came to a close last night after seventeen days of screenings in three San Francisco Bay Area locations. Thirty-two films were presented from fifteen countries, twenty of these US or Bay Area premieres, and attendance was over 10,000.
The closing night films were the US premiere of Angulimala, from Thailand, by Sutape Tunnirat, which screened in Berkeley, and Words of My Perfect Teacher, from Canada, by Lesley Ann Patten, which screened in San Rafael with the theatrical premiere of I [Heart] Huckabees Infomercial, by director David O. Russell.
“Audiences were enthusiastic” said Associate Director Tana Lehr. “The films in the festival really seemed to strike a chord coming after the elections and the tsunami disaster. The diversity—both in nation of origin as well as in subject and style—offered an extraordinary introduction to the whole arena of Buddhist ideas and cultures.”
Plans are underway to bring the IBFF to New York City within the next year and a half, and return to the Bay Area in 2007. These are to alternate with Los Angeles and Washington, DC festivals in a two year “season.” Screenings of individual films will be presented in the Bay Area occasionally throughout the year.
“The festivals are a key component of our commitment to this cinema and to new audiences” Executive Director Gaetano Maida said. “We are also providing fiscal sponsorship to several new films a year, preparing to launch a specialized co-op distribution unit, adding a storefront to the website, and developing a permanent film archive. We’re very excited about the future of the IBFF.”