First San Francisco Bay Area IBFF Festival: January 28–February 13, 2005

Three Cities, Seventeen Days, Fifty Events

13 December 2004
After sold-out events in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC, the International Buddhist Film Festival (IBFF) will present its first San Francisco Bay Area festival January 28, 2005 through February 13, 2005. Over fifty events are scheduled in San Francisco, Berkeley, and San Rafael.

Filmmakers and guest speakers from over a dozen countries are expected. IBFF Associate Director Tana Lehr, head of programming, says, “We have a great festival planned. At least ten premieres, some wonderful new prints of rare older works, a Focus on Korea series and some special surprises.” She adds, “We are very excited about our Bay Area Filmmakers focus too. This strand allows us to highlight some of the excellent work produced right here by award-winning filmmakers.”

Working with San Francisco’s legendary Castro Theater, UC Berkeley’s Wheeler Auditorium, and Marin County’s Smith Rafael Film Center, the IBFF expects attendance of over 20,000 in the course of the seventeen-day festival.

In addition to the film screenings, Reflecting Buddha, an exhibition and benefit sale of photographs curated by Photo Alliance founder and San Francisco Art Institute faculty member Linda Connor will be held at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery January 19–29; and “Speaking for the Buddha? Buddhism and Media,” a conference organized by the Institute of East Asian Studies and the Center for Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley, will be held February 8–9.

IBFF was founded in Berkeley four years ago and presents festival events with institutional partners around the world; these include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC) Asia Society (New York), Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation (Amsterdam), and others. IBFF has become known for promoting awareness of the great diversity of Buddhist cultures and experiences, and it also functions as an international resource, distributing a collection of films and consulting with film programmers about Buddhist cinema.

Media contact: Adrienne Biggs
Phone: 415.453.4474
E-mail: for more information.