BFFE2018 Honeygiver among the Dogs

Buddhist Film Festival Europe 2018

28 - 30 September 2018

Throughout its existence the Buddhist Film Festival Europe has sought out films and events that promote the wisdom illuminating a potential in Buddhism in which the world itself is our field of practice.

The theme for our 13th edition - Radical Presence - refers to the spiritual aspect of social healing, inspired by our special guest angel Kyodo williams. Social visionary and Zen priest, she is the second black woman ever recognized as a teacher in the Japanese Zen lineage.

Is it possible to create a wise, kind, and human society, in the face of today’s political and social unrest? The diversity of films speaks to this. We welcome you to BFFE and to re-connect with your innate compassion and that of others.

programme highlights

Demystifying Tibet

BFFE is proud to feature emerging authentic Tibetan filmmakers, capturing more accurately the essence of life in Tibet stripped of exoticism, as well as by Chinese filmmakers, a novelty highlighting a shift in the depiction of China’s ethnic minorities, like the courageous director Tian Tsering, determined to give a voice to the oppressed people of Tibet through a universal story about the love of parents for their children with his beautiful cinematic feature Barley Fields on the Other Side of the Mountain. That several of these films, also Sunshine that can move Mountains, can be shown next to a film with the Dalai Lama and Richard Gere who are represented at BFFE to mark 30 years ICT, feels like a quantum leap for Chinese filmmakers in the democratic process.

Women directors, women’s stories

There’s a strong female presence this year in subject matter as well as films made by women directors. The opening film The Departure by Lana Wilson is about a Japanese Rinzai Zen priest, who is famous for his work in combating suicide. And Bhutanese Dechen Roder surprises us with her ‘feminist twist on film noir’, with forces at work beyond the obvious and enlightened female deities fighting social oppression. Documentaries made by women include a pic with intimate access to the intense Kalachakra ritual, a portrait of Ruth Denison, one of the first Vipassana teachers known for her work with trauma, a doc about the need to invigorate social movements with a spiritual and ethical ground in the current political climate in the US, and a poetic short.

Special event ‘Your liberation is bound up with mine’

With keynote speaker angel Kyodo williams
A social visionary and an outspoken activist, and a maverick spiritual teacher, Rev. angel Kyodo williams is unafraid to voice uncomfortable truths: ’It's insufficient to hide in spiritual centers and make money off of mindfulness while the world is burning down’. During this special event, angel will speak about transformative change and about the potential and need to reinvigorate progressive ideals and social movements with a spiritual and ethical ground. The event starts off with the film Resilience: Vision for a New America (70') that stars angel as a leading protagonist. The film aims to enhance a world in which there is space for the humanity of all. The last years have seen both in the US and the Netherlands a resurgence of a strong anti-racist and pro-feminist activism. And both here and in the US, coalition is thwarted by often bitterly polarized discussions around identity. In this context, the vision and practice angel articulates offers a way to move forward. Following her keynote address, angel will ‘practice conversation’ about love, liberation and finding common ground in the US and the Netherlands, with a.o. Mercedes Zandwijken (director of Keti Koti Dialogues Tables), Yvonne Zonderop (author and journalist a.o. for De Groene Amsterdammer) and Nina Polak (writer and contributing editor to De Correspondent)

Art in Focus

With fall apart in autumn, artists Lise-Marie Sneep & German Popov invite you into a multisensorial environment that aims to activate/retune the visitor’s sensorial apparatus and induce a state of trans-rational awareness. Flower arrangements, intricate sounds, film projection, picnoleptic spirits invite you to reflect on dying and/or the loss of loved ones. Photographs of those you want to include may be displayed. Welcome to NOW.

practicing transformation

In conflict with inherited identity, our values are shifting globally. Our entire notion of being is under threat of being turned into market-commodities, creating discomfort at the level of the soul. Will we continue this highly individualized model in which we all are consumers, or do we choose to act as participatory citizens? By fully embracing our complex intersecting identities and the cultural legacies that shape each of us, and so reclaiming in full the human spirit, we can transcend beyond the divide of race, gender, trans and queer bodies, and experience a transformative potential towards human wholeness and liberation for all.

Full programme

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