PRESENTED BY BUDDHIST FILM FOUNDATION & CALIFORNIA FILM INSTITUTE

April is National Poetry Month, and in honor of the 20th anniversary of this annual celebration, we join our friends at the Buddhist Film Foundation in presenting a festival of compelling contemporary films about inspiring American poets.

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THE PRACTICE OF THE WILD: A CONVERSATION WITH GARY SNYDER AND JIM HARRISON
SUNDAY APRIL 3 • 4:15
PRODUCER WILL HEARST IN PERSON

Producer Will Hearst will present and discuss a rare screening of this film profile of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder. Along with Kerouac and Ginsberg, Snyder was a central figure of the Beat Generation, spent several years studying Zen in Japan, and has been living the life of a poet-ecologist in the Sierra Nevada since 1970. This lyrical film follows Snyder and fellow poet and novelist Jim Harrison in dialogue while trekking along California’s Central Coast. Producers: Will Hearst, Jim Harrison. Director: John J. Healey. (US 2010) Film 60 min. plus discussion.

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FERLINGHETTI: A REBIRTH OF WONDER
SUNDAY, APRIL 3 • 7:00

DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER FELVER IN PERSON

Filmmaker and photographer Chris Felver will show and discuss his long-gestating portrait of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the iconic poet, artist, publisher and First Amendment activist, who helped forge many of the most significant cultural movements of the past 60 years. Beginning with the inception of City Lights Bookstore in 1953, Ferlinghetti has established himself as one of the most influential figures in American arts and letters. Producer/Director: Christopher Felver. (US 2013) Film 82 min. plus discussion.

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EVEN THOUGH THE WHOLE WORLD IS BURNING
SUNDAY, APRIL 10 • 4:15
INTRODUCED BY JANE HIRSHFIELD

Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin has won almost every major poetry prize that exists, including two Pulitzers. However, his legacy is based not only upon his writings, but also his singular environmental activism and land stewardship. Merwin has dedicated over 30 years to preserving and regenerating native plants and palms on the north shore of Maui, Hawaii. This film is a portrait of a vibrant, humorous and challenging subject widely considered a national treasure. Director: Stefan A. Schaefer. (US 2014) 85 min.

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ROBERT BLY: A THOUSAND YEARS OF JOY
SUNDAY, APRIL 10 • 7:00

DIRECTOR HAYDN REISS IN PERSON

Featured at the Mill Valley Film Festival, this intimate portrait traces the life of poet Robert Bly, in his singular path from Minnesota farmer’s son, to radical anti-Vietnam War activist, to instigator and mentor of the 1990s men’s movement. This politically and spiritually engaged poet was one of the first to translate Pablo Neruda and Rumi, and his work with Joseph Campbell led to the unexpected pop culture phenomenon of Iron John. Producer/Director Haydn Reiss will present and discuss. (US 2015) 81 min. plus discussion.

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BADDDDD SONIA SANCHEZ
SUNDAY, APRIL 17 • 4:15
INTRODUCTION BY PRARTHO SERENO, MARIN COUNTY POET LAUREATE

For 80-year-old Sonia Sanchez, writing is both a personal and political act. She emerged as a seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement, raising her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women’s liberation and peace. Maya Angelou called her “a lion in literature’s forest,” and in this spirited film we understand why. Directors: Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon. (US 2015) 90 min.

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ALICE WALKER: BEAUTY IN TRUTH
SUNDAY, APRIL 17 • 7:00
DIRECTOR PRATIBHA PARMAR IN PERSON

This exquisite and intimate documentary tells the compelling story of an extraordinary woman’s journey from her birth in a paper-thin shack in the cotton fields of Georgia to her recognition as a key writer of 20th century America. Alice Walker’s early life unfolded in the midst of racism and poverty, and she made history as the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (The Color Purple). Her inspiring journey is also a story of a country and a people at the fault line of historical changes. Writer/Director: Pratibha Parmar. (US 2013) 90 min.


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