PRESENTED BY THE BUDDHIST FILM FOUNDATION AND CALIFORNIA FILM INSTITUTE

JUNE 9-11

The Buddhist Film Foundation celebrates its 18th festival and partners with the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center to present seven new programs of great cinema with a Buddhist touch. Additional filmmakers and guests have been invited; new confirmations will be posted online.

ADMISSION TO THESE PROGRAMS: $12 General | $10 Seniors | $8 CFI Members
Please note that Rafael passes and matinee prices are not applicable for these programs.

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THE LAST DALAI LAMA?
FRIDAY, JUNE 9 • 7:30

IN PERSON: FILMMAKER MICKEY LEMLE
LIVE PERFORMANCE BY TIBETAN MUSICIAN AND SINGER TENZIN CHOEGYAL, CO-COMPOSER WITH PHILIP GLASS OF THE FILM’S SCORE

Screened at the Mill Valley Film Festival, this new documentary by Mickey Lemle (Compassion in Exile, Ram Dass Fierce Grace) takes an intimate look at the enduring good humor and gentle wisdom of His Holiness at the age of 81. Addressing his own mortality, the Dalai Lama considers the challenges of the prospect of his reincarnation, with Tibet still in Chinese control. His urgency and dedication come through powerfully. Filmed on location in India, and featuring vivid archival footage, with an original score by Philip Glass and Tenzin Choegyal. (USA 2016) 81 min. plus discussion.

CLICK HERE to watch Tenzin Choegyal performing Heart Strings with Tibetan children

ADMISSION TO THIS PROGRAM: $15. General  |  $13. Seniors  |  $11. CFI Members

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WANDERING
SATURDAY, JUNE 10 • 1:30

Directed by former Thai Buddhist monk Boonsong Nakphoo, Wandering follows a man as he slowly engages with a forest monk, and begins to rebuild a life after a tragedy. Beautifully filmed in rural locations in Thailand with a non-professional cast, the film is infused with a deep regard for Buddhist teachings, and never loses sight of the humanity and individuality of the search for peace. In Thai with English subtitles. (Thailand, 2016) 120 min.
North American Premiere

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TZU CHI: DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD
SATURDAY, JUNE 10 • 4:30

IN PERSON: CINEMATOGRAPHER ASHLEY JAMES

Tzu Chi is a remarkable nonprofit in Taiwan that runs hospitals, schools, recycling services, and emergency humanitarian aid efforts. The blue-jacketed Tzu Chi volunteers may be seen at disaster sites like earthquakes, tsunamis and floods all over the world. Master Cheng Yen, a Buddhist nun, leads this organization that she began single-handedly. Director Babeth VanLoo takes us behind the scenes to explore a unique approach to living a compassionate, engaged life. In English and in Taiwanese with English subtitles. (Netherlands/Taiwan 2017) 88 min. plus discussion.
Bay Area Premiere

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TRIBUTE TO LEONARD COHEN
LEONARD COHEN: I’M YOUR MAN & RECENT SHORT WORKS

SATURDAY, JUNE 10 • 7:30

SKYPE INTERVIEW WITH LUNA LUNSON, DIRECTOR OF LEONARD COHEN: I’M YOUR MAN

Celebrated writer/musician/performer Leonard Cohen spent several years as a Zen Buddhist monk with Japanese teacher Joshu Sasaki Roshi in Los Angeles. As tribute to Cohen and his music, this program offers a reprise of the excellent 2005 film by Australian Lian Lunson, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man (featuring live performances of his songs by Bono, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Antony, Martha Wainwright and others), along with two new short films with Cohen, produced for the memorial events for Joshu Sasaki Roshi and Cohen himself. Program approximately 115 min.

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MY BUDDHA IS PUNK
SUNDAY, JUNE 11 • 1:30

The new Myanmar is one of the last places one would expect to find a vibrant punk rock scene, but filmmaker Andreas Hartmann reveals the beginnings of a youth culture newly released from martial law. Twenty-five year old Kyaw Kyaw performs with vigor, and offers his audiences a synthesis of Buddhism and punk that rejects religious dictates and political doctrine. (Myanmar/Germany, 2015)

Filmed on location at a rural Buddhist nunnery in Myanmar by noted cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, director Kim Shelton’s A THOUSAND MOTHERS is an intimate look at the refuge and opportunity that a monastic life offers girls and women there, even as the nation begins to change. (Myanmar/USA, 2017) In English and Burmese with English subtitles. Program 107 min. plus discussion. BAY AREA PREMIERE

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FUKUSHIMA MON AMOUR
SUNDAY, JUNE 11 • 4:30

The compelling new film from German director Doris Dörrie (Enlightenment Guaranteed, Cherry Blossoms) intentionally evokes the French classic Hiroshima, Mon Amour, but gracefully reveals her own unique vision. Two women—one an older geisha, the other an aimless young German—try to build lives in “The Zone,” a wasteland beset by abandoned buildings and lingering radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. There is sly humor amidst the confusion and the memories. Co-starring Clowns Without Borders founder Moshe Cohen. (Germany/Japan 2016) German and Japanese with English subtitles.108 min.

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HEMA HEMA: SING ME A SONG WHILE I WAIT
SUNDAY, JUNE 11 • 7:30

INTRODUCED BY WES “SCOOP” NISKER

The new feature by Tibetan Buddhist lama Khyentse Norbu (The Cup, Travellers and Magicians) unfolds mysteriously and surprisingly to reveal a world of masks and secrets in a rural Bhutan rarely seen. It’s strange, unpredictable, dreamlike, beautiful… a film about sex, death, identity, gender, and delusion. “Dazzling… self-discovery lies at the heart of this mesmerizing new film…a colorful plunge into a world where ancient rites can summon our noblest and our basest instincts” (Toronto International Film Festival). In Dzongkha with English subtitles. (Bhutan, 2016) 95 min.
Bay Area Premiere

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