Three City Event January 28–February 13, 2005
1 November 2004
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, who heads up programming, says, “We have a great festival planned. At least ten premieres, some wonderful new prints of rare older works and some special surprises. And that doesn’t even include films to be gleaned from our international Call For Entries which went out in August.” She adds, “We are very excited about our Bay Area filmmaker focus too. This strand allows us to highlight some of the excellent work produced right here by world class 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, there will be a conference on the campus of UC Berkeley, “Speaking for the Buddha? Buddhism and Media” presented by the Group in Buddhist Studies and the Institute of East Asian Studies. “Reflecting Buddha,” an offsite exhibition and benefit sale of photographs, is being curated for the IBFF by Photo Alliance founder and San Francisco Art Institute faculty member Linda Connor.
The IBFF was founded in Berkeley four years ago and presents film festivals with institutional partners around the world. The ethnically and culturally diverse Bay Area has historically been very supportive of Buddhist activities on all levels and from all persuasions: for many it’s the center of the growing phenomenon of Buddhist culture thriving in North America.
It’s also a major filmmaking center, with local feature film legends Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope, George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic, Steve Jobs’ Pixar and Saul Zaentz’s Fantasy Studios joined by thousands of independent film professionals working in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, with supporting institutions including Film Arts Foundation and Bay Area Video Coalition.