Fifteen films from ten nations, most of which were Thailand premieres, were screened at the SF World Cinema (possibly the most modern cineplex in Asia) in downtown Bangkok as part of Buddhaleela Bangkok Festival 2012, a multi-event celebration of the 2600th anniversary of the Buddha’s awakening. This was the eleventh IBFF and the very first time the IBFF was presented in a Buddhist nation.
“We were overwhelmed with the enthusiastic support of our hosts, Buddhadasa Indapanno Archive Foundation, and the really organized efforts of the volunteers,” said executive director Gaetano Maida. “The media were also extremely helpful and available: the IBFF was featured on several television shows and generously covered in both English-language and Thai newspapers in Bangkok.”
Other events during the Buddhaleela Bangkok Festival included 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.