Founded in 2000, the organization that presents the International Buddhist Film Festival has come a long way. To celebrate its 10th anniversary and to focus on its mission with clarity and purpose, the California nonprofit has embraced a new name: Buddhist Film Foundation, Inc. (BFF).
BFF has presented or co-presented films to general audiences in over a dozen cities in eight countries on three continents, with total attendance in excess of 50,000. Associated public events have drawn over 100,000 visitors.
The International Buddhist Film Festival (IBFF) debuted in 2003 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Since then there has been an IBFF in a different city every year: Washington DC (2004), San Francisco (2005), Amsterdam, Holland (2006), Singapore (2007), Mexico City, Mexico (2008) and London, England (2009). Cities in discussions for upcoming IBFFs include New York, Vancouver, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Kyoto and Dublin.
Our Festival Media distribution service has released a dozen titles on DVD, distributing over 30,000 units and generating gross revenues of over US$500,000 for the benefit of the filmmakers, the subjects of the films, and support for BFF programs.
The fiscal sponsorship program has helped raise a total of over US$300,000 for eight film projects to date, five of which have been released and one of which won the Best Documentary Feature award at the prestigious AFI Film Festival.
PRESENTATION PARTNERS AND CO-PRESENTERS
From around the world, these have included Asia Society, Asian American International Film Festival, Barbican Centre (London, England), BOS-TV (Amsterdam, Holland), BuddhaFest (DC), Buddhist Film Festival Pvt. Ltd. (Singapore), Buddhist Film Festival Europe (Amsterdam, Holland), Free Speech TV (US), Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, International Latino Film Festival, I’ve Seen Films Festival (Milan), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MBC-TV (Seoul, South Korea), Melbourne Buddhist Film Festival (Australia), Mill Valley Film Festival, Mt. Shasta Film Festival, Rafael Film Center, Real to Real Film Festival (SF), the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, Rubin Museum of Art (NY), Samaya Foundation for the Arts and Peace (Mexico), San Francisco International Film Festival, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Smithsonian Institution, South Asian Film Festival (NY), Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival, UCLA Fowler Museum, University of California at Berkeley, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), and others.
Today the film arena is undergoing an historic transformation on several fronts, and BFF is evolving to meet the new needs of its key constituencies: audiences, filmmakers, educators and sponsors.
In the coming year there will be additional news on the Buddhist Film Archive now in development at UC Berkeley, home of Pacific Film Archive; a video-on-demand (VOD) service soon to be available; a traveling IBFF package; the Buddhist Film Fund for completion and production funding, and a publication program.