Smith Rafael Film Center and the Buddhist Film Foundation in Berkeley are celebrating virtually identical anniversaries, with the latter organization founded in 2000. Over the years we’ve maintained a warm working relationship with BFF, which has included our presentations of the International Buddhist Film Festival. These four films with Buddhist themes or connections were produced the same year the restored Rafael opened its doors.

Each show will include a discussion with a special guest and will be introduced by Gaetano Kazuo Maida, executive director of Buddhist Film Foundation.

Admission to Each Program: $13 General | $11 Seniors | $9 CFI members


SPECIAL GUEST: Dairyu Michael Wenger, head of Dragon’s Leap Meditation Center (SF)

Doris Dörrie’s delightfully quirky film follows the misadventures of two middle-aged German professionals seeking the solace of Zen Buddhism in a Japanese monastery. German with English subtitles. 105 min.  

Sunday, June 9  • 4:15

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SPECIAL GUEST: Steven D. Goodman, CIIS professor and board member of Khyentse Foundation


Young Tibetan monks in a monastery in India obsess over World Cup soccer in the brilliant and funny directorial debut by Khyentse Norbu, a noted Tibetan Buddhist teacher. In Tibetan & Hindi with English subtitles. 93 min.

Sunday, June 16  •  4:15

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SPECIAL GUEST: Rev. Heng Sure, director of Berkeley Buddhist Monastery

Director Yang Zhang’s comedy about a family-run bath house demonstrates how a Vajrayana Buddhist spirit survived China’s cultural revolution. In Mandarin with English subtitles. 95 min. 

Sunday, June 23  • 4:15

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SPECIAL GUEST: Tsering Bawa Dorjee, Tibetan musician and cast member of the film

Still one of the Rafael’s all-time hits, Eric Valli’s breathtaking adventure film about a Tibetan caravan will be screened in a beautiful new restoration. In Tibetan with English subtitles. 

Sunday, June 30  •  4:15

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