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Dalai Lama Renaissance Film Update – Murder, Forgiveness, Music, Facebook and Twitter
On July 17, 2010 | 0 Comments
Oregon Prison Inmates speaking with Dalai Lama Renaissance Director Khashyar Darvich after a screening of the film in the prison.

Oregon Prison Inmates speaking with Dalai Lama Renaissance Director Khashyar Darvich after a screening of the film in the prison.

Dalai Lama Renaissance Film Update – Murder, Forgiveness, Music, Facebook and Twitter

Dalai Lama Renaissance film (narrated by Harrison Ford) continues to reach across the world

(Thank you for forwarding this to others)

Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for your continued kind support of the ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ documentary film (narrated by Harrison Ford – http://www.dalailamafilm.com ), and for letting your friends know about it.

In these past few weeks, I have experienced murder, forgiveness, music, more positive reviews of the film, and witnessed how ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’  continues to reach and impact audiences around the world.

Our goal and intention when we first accepted the invitation to make the film, was that the film would somehow do good in the world, and inspire and impact audiences in a positive way.

I have taken each step forward with faith that if we have an intention of service to others, that doors will be opened, and that the film will serve the Greatest Good in ways that we could not expect or imagine.

I am grateful and happy that ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ continues to reach outwards and fulfill its purpose in the world:

1) DLR RELEASED IN MORE COUNTRIES AND LANGUAGES – Aside from having screened in theaters in over 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada, and being widely released in cinemas in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Taiwan, South African, New Zealand and other countries, we have just recently receive offers from international distributors to release ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ in Italy, Latin America (in Spanish and Portuguese), as well as on national television in Spain, all later in 2010.

Soon, we will be speaking with other distributors around the world, so that ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ can continue to reach and impact audiences.

Interestingly, every week, we receive international orders for DLR DVD from down under in Australia (and from other countries), and we ship copies of the DVD half way around the world.

2) DLR SCREENING FOR AND IMPACTING PRISON INMATES – As the film makes its outward journey around the world, screening for international audiences in the comfort of their cozy theater chairs, perhaps what feels most deeply satisfying is that the film us also reaching beyond barbed wire and into cold cement floors, where I feel the film might be needed the most.

Last Fall, ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ first screened in a prison in Texas – the first time that I had ever stepped foot onto a prison. I expected an experience of fear and unspoken and unspeakable horrors and suffering.

But, what I discovered instead, during the Q&A with inmates after the screening, and speaking personally with the men afterwards, was transformation, open-heartedness, insight, forgiveness and a deep spirituality.

To my wonderful surprise, I was amazed that the inmate men who choose to spend their time in prison in a spiritual practice, radiated from a profound and heart-felt spiritual experience.

Several months later, in June of this year, ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ and I were invited to screen at a prison in Oregon, where I also participated in a screening and Q&A with inmates.

I had a strong intuitive feeling that the experience would be special (just as it was in Texas). So at the Oregon screening, I brought a film crew with me so that we could film the experience, scenes inside the prison and prison cells, and interviews with inmates, so that we could share the power of the experience others outside the walls of prison.

It’s difficult to fully describe the power and heart-openness of the experience. (I probably will need to write a separate email describing what I experienced 🙂  ).

Speaking with men who have, in their immaturity and ignorance, killed others with their bare hands, and then hearing how they chose to spend their time working on redeeming themselves, on making themselves better spiritual human beings through meditation, deep personal reflection and spiritual practice, made me aware how anyone one of us, no matter how difficult or challenging our situation, can endure, transform ourselves, and find inner peace and happiness, not matter what our circumstances.

Just as I did with ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance,’ I recognize and feel a calling within myself to create a documentary film about the experience.

In Oregon in June, I interviewed 4 men individually, each convicted of murder, and each with a story of how they faltered, what led to a spiritual transformation. What I experienced were men who had traveled from a place of human darkness, to acknowledging what they had done, and using their time to reflect, open their hearts, almost like monks confined in a monastery.

We are going back to film again in Oregon in mid-August, and back to Texas probably in late August, also to film.

It is powerful to hear how the men listened to the words and wisdom of the Dalai Lama, and applied his example of compassion, kindness and spiritual practice to their own lives in a sincere real way.

I will write more about that later, but let it be said that I was deeply moved, surprised, and experienced a profound opening of my heart.

You may read more about the Texas prison experience, here:  http://dalailamafilm.com/dalai-lama-renaissance-film-inspires-prison-inmates-to-resolve-conflicts-537

3) DLR VOL 1 AND VOL 2 ARE AVAILABLE ON DVD – If you would like to share the DVD of ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ Volumes 1 or 2 with friends and family, either now or for Christmas gifts, you may do so here: http://www.dalailamafilm.com

4) MORE POSITIVE REVIEWS FOR DLR – We continue to receive positive reviews for the film by National and International journalists and film critics. Here are quotes by some recent journalists and film critics:

4.A) MINNEAPOLIS – ST. PAUL STARTRIBUNE

“[The Dalai Lama’s] compassionate patience… is therapeutic to behold.”

4.B) LIGHT AND CONSCIOUSNESS MAGAZINE:

“…Dalai Lama Renaissance gives rare glimpses of Tibet’s spiritual leader and reveals how true transformation has to come from within each one of us.”

4.C) BUDDHADHARMA MAGAZINE:

“…Garnering a lot of attention is ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’… Participants and facilitators alike are transformed by the Dalai Lama’s wisdom.”

And here is some National Press from Germany:

4.D) STUTTGARTER NACHRICHTEN:

“Freed from their daily academic work, from the comforts and consumerism, thrown into the completely different culture of India, perspectives and thought processes change. The result is an authentic picture of buddhist teachings, to the essence of which the following sentence belongs: ‘Words are bubbles of water, deeds (acts) are drops of gold’.”

4.E) PRISMA SCHWABEN:

“‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ is a wonderful and fresh perspective of the Dalai Lama and on us in the world who are socially conscious and caring.”

4.F) SKIP.AT:

“A fascinating documentary (film)”

4.G) HAMBURG PUR:

“A Discussion forum of the highest level”

5) DLR INVITED TO SCREEN FOR THE DALAI LAMA’S BIRTHDAY IN MINNEAPOLIS – On July 5 and 6, ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ was invited to screen in Minneapolis in honor of the Dalai Lama’s birthday. I attended the birthday celebrations with thousands of Tibetans from all over the Midwest, and I was grateful and honored at the experience.

During one of the screenings of ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ at a theater in Minneapolis, a man came up to me afterwards and shared that he had cried during the entire film. This kind of story makes flying to a new city, doing 2 Q&A’s per day while shaking off jetlag, 100% worth it.

At another screening, a Tibetan lady was in tears, and told me she was grateful that I had made a film about the Dalai Lama, and how the film has captured the intimate presence of the Dalai Lama.

At almost every screening of the film that I have attended, I have enjoyed people warmly hugging me and sharing their heartfelt stories about how the film has touched them. What more could I ask for.

I am very grateful that I had the honor and blessing to have been a part of this.

People regularly tell me that they had tears during the film.

I have made a commitment to attend as many screenings as I possibly can.

6) INVITED TO SCREEN IN HUNGARY FOR THE DALAI LAMA’S VISIT – In honor of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Hungary in the Fall of 2010, ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ has been invited to screen in Hungary by the sponsoring organization of the Dalai Lama’s visit. It will screen in the Hungarian language.

Earlier this year, it screened in the Czech Republic in the Czech language, where it was the most popular and well-attended film at the Tibetan film festival there.

I am grateful and humble that ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ has been asked to screen in preparation for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit in Hungary.

Previously, ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ has been chosen to screen for the Dalai Lama’s visits in Los Angeles, Iowa, Florida, and other states, cities and countries.

7) MORE DLR SCREENINGS PLANNED ON A WEST COAST AND EAST COAST TOUR

We continue to receive requests to screen ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance,’ and for me to attend and participate in Q&A’s with audiences.

So, Hal Lockwood, a warm-hearted and generous person who I met a few months ago at a screening in Sacramento, CA, has been coordinating a tour of ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ (and Q&A’s afterwards) on both the West and East Coasts in September (West Coast Tour) and October (East Coast and Midwest Tour).

We are going to try to fit as many screenings as possible, and accommodate as many requests as possible.

It will be tiring to fly and drive so much, but… being present for the screenings, and speaking with audiences and hearing their stories and experiences, is worth it.

Please contact us if you you know of a church, spiritual center, group or theater that might want to host a screening and Director Q&A, at:  Bookings @ DalaiLamaFilm.com

8) FACEBOOK and TWITTER: We have created ways that you can follow the spiritual and cinematic journey of the film, through Facebook and Twitter.

A) If you would like to keep updated via the official movie page of the film, then please visit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dalai-Lama-Renaissance/34770593391

B) I could always use more friends  ?  , so please feel free to add my as a “Facebook Friend,”on my personal Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/khashyar

C) You can also receive the most recent updates and news about the film, through Twitter, at: http://twitter.com/dalailamafilm

9) WORKING ON NEW FILMS ABOUT THE DALAI LAMA – I can’t say too much at this stage, but I would like to share with you that I am working on two additional films that will be featuring the Dalai Lama.

One of the films, which we are editing now, features the Dalai Lama speaking about how each person can make a positive difference in the world, and can find inner peace and happiness, and how each person has a special purpose in the world.

I have never heard the Dalai Lama speak about inner peace, happiness and service to the world in a more clear and powerful way.

To receive updates about these new films, please add yourself to the Twitter and Facebook pages above.

10) DALAI LAMA RENAISSANCE SOUNDTRACK CD – Our Music Producers for the ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ film, Michel and Rosa Tyabji, have produced and released the official Soundtrack CD for the ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ film, which has the same title.

It is available here: http://www.dalailamacd.com

It is an extraordinary and beautiful blend of music, and the voices of the Dalai Lama and Harrison Ford woven in a creative and unexpected way.

The CD has been released internationally, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

For example:

10.A) WORLD MUSIC AND TRAVEL REVIEW:

“…you can dance to it, or just listen in contented bliss…Cost of the soundtrack album: not so much; value of hearing Harrison Ford do Buddhist spoken word with the Dalai Lama: priceless.”

“…Fortunately the Dalai Lama is disciplined enough to stay within his field and domain, which is the place of the individual- and his happiness… or not- in the world. His social message is fairly simple, similar to the Four Noble Truths themselves, and can be summarized as such: 1) change is constant, 2) man’s nature is essentially good, 3) bad things happen, 4) society can become corrupt, 5) change it.

Best of all, you can dance to it, or just listen in contented bliss. What Khashyar Darvich has accomplished cinematically, Michael Tyabji has seconded musically, pulling together a group as diverse as it is accomplished. This includes guitarist Larry Mitchell, composer Medicine Bear, The Yoginis, Heyraneh, and… the list goes on. Though incorporating many different instruments and sounds of Nature, too, the soundtrack leans heavily on classical sitar and the voice of the Dalai Lama himself, offering choice helpings of Buddhist wisdom mixed with good ol’ common sense. When the music starts to drift off into trance, the Dalai Lama’s voice brings it right back down to Earth. And if that’s not enough, you can hear Harrison Ford apparently teaching William Shatner how to rap in ‘Drops of Gold’: “words, words, words are mere bubbles of water… but deeds are drops of gold… you, yourself, must make the effort… the Buddhas are only teachers.” Cost of the soundtrack album: not so much; value of hearing Harrison Ford do Buddhist spoken word with the Dalai Lama: priceless. The release is timed to coincide with the Dalai Lama’s speaking tour of the US May 12-23. Is there Tibetan politics behind all this? Probably so, and that’s where it’ll stay. Hardie K says check it out.

Posted by Hardie K at

Hardie K – Thailand to Timbuktu to La Paz – World music and travel (Apr 22, 2010)

10.B) LA YOGA MAGAZINE REVIEW:

“This important album was assembled and produced by Michel Tyabji and Rosa Costanza Tyabji as part of a documentary titled Dalai Lama Renaissance. The soundtrack album consists of twenty-six tracks of Tibetan-influenced chants and pieces of music that work as a perfect audio accompaniment to the visual images of the Dalai Lama. Each offering on this album is part of a collective providing a narrative that is overwhelmingly beautiful, compassionate and enlightened. There are numerous amazing artists on this collection and if you are a devotee, or just a supporter of the Dalai Lama’s journey, this album is a must-have.

Producer, music director and performer on many pieces, Tyabji has appeared playing drums and percussion throughout the world and is known for his work with legendary African artists including Ndala Kasheba and Garikayi Trikoti. Tyabiji is only one of many exceptional artists here, in the company of Larry Mitchell, Ralph “Kito” Rodriguez and composer, keyboardist and arranger Henry Medicine Bear Reid, all of whom produce music worth a listen. Tibetan singer/songwriter Techung plays traditional Tibetan instruments and prayers for the Dalai Lama on instrumental tracks and Roop Verma offers an inspired “Alap,” along with other gorgeous tracks. In “Bassant Blue,” and “Jog Jazz,” the New Delhi-based ensemble called Yoginis’ deep thoughtful drones were produced by Seattle-based composer Yogi McCaw. Also noteworthy, Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche had me in tears with his delivery of “Lady of Great Bliss.”

Along with many of the musical tracks offered on this special CD, the listener can also enjoy hearing the words of His Holiness which helps to bring his message of “hope” home. I highly recommend this album for anyone interested in world music and a follower of the Dalai Lama’s journey throughout the world and hopefully back into his homeland someday soon. whiteswanrecords.com .
Michael R. Mollura – LA Yoga Magazine (Feb 15, 2010)

11) TIBETAN CHILDREN CD BY DALAI LAMA RENAISSANCE TIBETAN MUSICIAN TECHUNG

Semshae-Heart Songs CD

Contact: Tashi Sharzur (650-312-9010) or semshae@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.semshae.org

The new Semshae-Heart Songs album is comprised of contemporary and traditional Tibetan songs composed especially to help children learn some basic vocabulary of the Tibetan language. The songs teach the Tibetan numbers, colors, days of the week, and seasons, and convey cultural information about daily chores, visiting a temple, gardens, musical instruments, and peace. The CD notes provide the song lyrics in Tibetan script, phonetic Tibetan, and English translation, so children of any cultural background can sing along.  The primary goal of this charming album is to ensure that Tibet’s language and culture of compassion are preserved through children’s music for all ages.

Semshae-Heart Songs was officially released in New York City at Tibet House on May 22, 2010.   The release was scheduled in conjunction with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit. The first copy was offered to His Holiness to receive His blessing.

Project founder and director, Tashi D. Sharzur (a.k.a Techung) will then conduct a CD Release Tour to introduce the CD to Tibetan communities in North America, Europe and Asia.  Tashi’s tour schedule can be viewed by clicking “Upcoming Events” on Semshae’s website (http://www.semshae.org/).

Tashi Sharzur is a Tibetan traditional/contemporary singer who grew up in Tibetan refugee camps in Dharamsala, India and now lives with his daughters in the Bay Area, California.  His parents followed the Dalai Lama into exile after the Communist invasion of his native country, Tibet, in 1959.  His parents and many thousands of refugees searching for work and better life were hired by Indian government to build roads across the Himalayan region.  Tashi, like many other children, was born in these makeshift refugee camps at a very difficult time.  As Tibetan refugees gradually settled in India, the exiled Tibetan government, with guidance and support from Indian Government, built schools and monasteries.  Tashi was sent to the Tibetan Dance and Drama School to learn music and folklore. After moving to United States to join a theatrical group, he co-founded Chaksampa Tibetan Dance and Opera Company and was the artistic director till 2008. He also worked with the Milarepa Foundation in the 1990s and was involved in organizing its Tibetan Freedom Concerts and grassroots campaigns.  He has made 7 albums of folk and contemporary Tibetan music, and recently performed at Carnegie Hall.

***

Thank you again for sharing news of the film with your friends, family and colleagues.

I hope to meet and speak with you in person in the near future.

Peace and Blessings,

Khashyar Darvich
Producer-Director
‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’
http://www.dalailamafilm.com

**********************

Reviews and Praise for “Dalai Lama Renaissance”:

“SPELLBINDING . . . An uplifting cathartic journey that grips the soul.”
“An inspirational revelation for mankind . . . An everlasting awakening of the heart and mind.”

– Actress Diane Ladd – 3-time Oscar & Emmy nominee, winner of the British Academy Award, and author of “Spiraling Through the School of Life”

***

“Yes I like your questions…”
“Certainly, your effort can make some contribution—there’s no doubt.”

– The 14th Dalai Lama – (to “DLR” Producer-Director Khashyar Darvich)

***

“I narrated ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance,’ because I believe His Holiness is making a positive influence in our world. For me, the film represented an opportunity to continue assisting the optimistic efforts of an extraordinary individual.”

– Harrison Ford – actor, narrator of “Dalai Lama Renaissance”

***

“a provocative, even enlightening film.”
“fascinating, ravishingly beautiful and sonically soothing.”

– John Griffin – Montreal Gazette (review)

***

“Marvelous film!”
“Dalai Lama Renaissance reminds us of some most important lessons.”

– Frederick Marx – Co-Filmmaker, “Hoop Dreams,” and Academy Award nominee

***

“a moving form of visual poetry”
“Captures… momentous magic. Applause to the filmmakers for revealing the jewel in the lotus… The film is an intimate and stirring testimony…”

– Donna Strong – Awareness Magazine

***

“Dalai Lama Renaissance is a fascinating and inspiring juxtaposition of human nature and transcendence.”

– Thom Hartmann – Air America Radio Host

***

“The Comedy sensation of the summer is coming soon to a theater near you and the latest laughers from Ben Stiller, Anna Faris or Brad Pitt can’t even begin to hold a candle to it. The movie’s star? The Dalai Lama.”
“I can’t remember the last time a movie made me laugh so hard.”
“There are scenes here every bit as comically absurd [as] ‘The Life of Brian.’ [‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’] plays more like a Monty Python parody of new age workshops.”

– Rick Kisonak – Film Threat Magazine

***

“This is a fine film and worth seeing”

– Jordan Colburn – Hollywood Today (review)

***

“an extraordinary portrait of His Holiness at work.”
“Some of the best” comic scenes in any new film out there right now”

– Bob Graham – San Francisco Bay Times (review)

***

“It is a stunning tour-de-force”
“intimate glimpse into the Dalai Lama”s life”

– Amy Wong – LA Yoga Magazine

***

“This film was startlingly original”
“a revelatory documentary”
“a beautiful and fresh window on the Dalai Lama”

– Jean Miyake Downey – Kyoto Journal (review)

***

“A powerful cinematic documentary… A very moving documentary… unexpected and powerful… Long after it ends, the totality of the documentary lingers, as one contemplates the fact that, if every human being decides to act in the best interest of human kind, we can change the world.”

– Stan Robinson – Screen Scene/Arizona Weekly (review)

***

“Dalai Lama Renaissance is an interesting portrayal of human ego pitted against compassion and altruism, exemplifying the very essence of the issues facing the world today.”

– Todd Mayville – Elephant Journal (review)

***

“Fire up this DVD and prepare to be amazed… The film has a certain persuasive power… Hilarious.”

– Ross Robertson – EnlightenNext Magazine

***

“The film rapidly grabs hold of you… There is plenty of humor… [a] top-notch comedy… A journey of self-discovery… The lessons of Dalai Lama Renaissance apply just as much to the audience watching this insightful documentary”

– Ian Bartholomew – Taipei Times, Taiwan (review)

***

“A memorable gathering of elites… an inspiring documentary which depicts the Dalai Lama philosophy of peace… Full of meaning… Powerful.”

– Li Zhao Yang – Pots Newspaper, Taiwan

***

“A big spiritual harvest for everyone.”

– Qiu Zu – China Times

***

“No empty seat at the premiere of the documentary ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance… The Taipei premiere has attracted a full house and many people were touched after watching the film.”

– FTV Television, Taiwan

***

“Dalai Lama Renaissance is full of historical significance… [Harrison] Ford’s strong, deep voice adds much color to the documentary”

– Zou Nian Zu – Liberty Times Newspaper, Taiwan

***

“It is indeed inspiring and thought provoking.”
“an interesting documentary paying tribute to a fascinating individual.”

– YNOT at the Movies (review)

***

“Unexpected, heartwarming, and enlightening”
“an intimate look at the Dalai Lama’s interpersonal actions.”

– Christine Benedetti – Aspen Daily News

***

“Dalai Lama film reveals more than what is on the surface.”
“81 minutes of power struggles, flaring egos, and complete love… Hilarious and sobering”
“[an] emotional wallop”

– Stina Sieg – Glenwood Springs Post Independent (Colorado)





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