First International Buddhist Film Festival in Mexico

by Oot, Phayul, October 2, 2008

New York, USA -- The first International Buddhist Film Festival in Mexico is scheduled to be held in Mexico City from October 29 to November 9, 2008.

The International Buddhist Film Festival has been held in Asia, Europe and USA; this will be the first time it will be held in a Spanish Speaking country as well as in the Latin American Region.

The ten-day Festival, organized jointly by the Mexico based Fundacion Cultural Samaya, the California based Buddhist Film Society, the Boston based The Prajnopaya Foundation, and the Mexico based Garuda Tibetan Culture Association, will screen more than 40 films and organize a series of panel discussions and symposiums.

Among the films to be screened at the festival include, among others, Dreaming Lhasa, The Cup, Himalaya, Compassion In Exile, The Lion's Roar, Karma, Milarepa, Travellers and Magicians, Little Buddha, Words of My Perfect Teacher, and Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche.

The special attraction of the festival will be the showcase presentation of a rare 1925 German/Indian co-production based on Sir Edwin Arnold’s Light of Asia and known by its Indian name of Prem Sanyas (Light of the East). The film tells the story of the historic Prince Siddhartha and his journey to becoming Buddha, or awake. A live performance of an original musical score will accompany the silent black and white work, which features a cast of literally thousands of extras provided by the Maharajah of Jaipur, who also lent the production some of his legendary palaces and over two dozen bejeweled elephants.

TGIE's Liaison Officer to Latin America, Tsewang Phuntso, applauded the organizers for undertaking the task of building bridges between cultures through cinema and lectures.

In his message to the organizers, Tsewang wrote: "One can clearly see the role of aesthetics in the dissemination and understanding of Buddha's teachings in traditional music and visual arts. Such methods were encouraged from the days of great teachers of Nalanda and Tibet. Technology in the present day has allowed us to create new tools in learning and for sharing ideas. Media has emerged as the new method of communication among masses--a simple image or sound can convey deep feelings of intimacy that we share as human kind".