A film about passion, desperation and enlightenment as two cultures merge, at the birth of the 21st Century.
LETS MAKE A FILM
About Buddhism and the West
in the 21st Century
(and create a legacy, together!)
..play the video, now .~_~,*
Thank You all for the extraordinary solidarity with the vision and process of the launching this film. It's your commitment that will make REFUGE ~ The Journeys available to others!!
If, what might be considered a "plethora" of films about Buddhist themes and stories are being released soon, let's realize how profound the cultural evolution in the West is and celebrate that so many unique voices are being heard by a huge variety of audiences and communities around the world.
Films by Lisa Leeman/Johanna Demetrakas (CRAZY WISDOM), Jennifer Fox (MY REINCARNATION), Victress Hitchcock (WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES), and more, are among this great portfolio of film adventures.
REFUGE ~ The Journeys brings very intimate storytelling techniques in feature length, to the themes of refuge and enlightenment. It brings us up-to-date with the Buddha's impact in the world today, taking us on a cultural journey spanning the past 60 years and the individual spiritual and artistic paths of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, other Tibetan masters, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, filmmaker Martin Scorsese and other artists who have contributed to this phenomenon in popular culture.
The BUDDHIST FILM FOUNDATION Will Pledge Your Contributions Here On KICKSTARTER. BUDDHIST FILM FOUNDATION, a not-for-profit educational organization, is a fiscal sponsor of REFUGE ~ The Journeys. Each dollar donated will be put toward our Kickstarter Campaign (less a small processing fee).
GO TO: http://www.mdsfilms.com/ and follow the Yellow Donate Button- Thank You!
(in development stage)
REFUGE ~ The Journeys
tells the story of Buddhism and the West in the crossroads of the 21st Century.
The film begins in the 1950’s when beatniks, artists, poets and writers made journeys to the East in search of spiritual wisdom. At the same time, Tibetan masters, escaping the Chinese invasion in Tibet sought REFUGE, in India. As Western pilgrims and Eastern refugees met, a cultural transformation began that impacted the world.
"Halpern's premise is that as exiled Tibetan spiritual leaders have sought material refuge in the West, overstressed Americans and Europeans have found refuge in the faith and philosophy they brought with them. In the process, an intriguing, unfinished new synthesis of East and West has been created." Andrew O'Hehir - salon.com
A Film About Buddhism and West, in the 21st Century
REFUGE ~ The Journeys
Features the personal and private journeys of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet
Dzongzar Jamyang Khyentse
Founder Siddhartha’s Intent, director THE CUP
Venerable Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
founder Dongyal Gyatsal Ling
writer/director NATURAL BORN KILLERS
director LITTLE BUDDHA
His Holiness Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche
regent Dudjom Tersar Lineage, son of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche
The Sakyong Mipham
leader of Shambhala International and son of Trungpa Rinpoche
Khenchen Palden Sherap
Khyempo Tsewang Dongyal
founders Padmasambava Buddhist Centers
director The Tibet Center New York, monk
founder Gere Foundation, actor
These outstanding storytellers are witnesses and the protagonists of our story. As they leave their cultures, finding refuge in each other’s worlds, a spiritual and cultural movement began that changed the world, forever.
NY TIMES - All Movie Guide
"... His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses a variety of rarely discussed topics related to the current state of Buddhism in a live discussion held in the Buddhist high priest's living room in Dharamsala, India."
REFUGE ~ The Journeys captures the drama and passion of our main characters as they discover enlightenment in each other's world's against the evolving backdrop of today's fast-moving, East/West culture.
In the 1950’s, discouraged by a growing nihilism in the West, artists, writers, beatniks and intellectuals,flocked East to discover the recently exiled Tibetan masters, and a different, refreshing, spiritual path.
Initiated by those early contacts in India, the next 50 years gave birth to astonishing and fast developments: a migration of meditation masters to the West; eastern spiritual paths and western analytic, mental paths meeting; the international flourishing of Buddhist and meditation centers; publishing of millions of books about Buddhism and mind; the Dalai Lama, Nobel Prize Laureate, celebrated and honored, world wide; Hollywood film productions like, LITTLE BUDDHA, SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, KUNDUN and MATRIX, meditation and the vocabulary of "enlightenment" becoming everyday household terms. And it seems that as society, ecology and the integrity of conventional culture seem to falter, a stronger interest and knowledge about the mind seems to rise.
REFUGE ~ The Journeys brings us up-to-speed with today’s Buddhism, it's protagonists and it's heirs, and the ways in which Buddhism and Western society; their sciences, cultures, views of self, humanity, ecology and enlightenment, seem to be merging.
The new 90 minute film is the longer version of the original REFUGE, a 57 minute film about two cultures and the refuge they find in each other.
REFUGE Clips on Vimeo..
"REFUGE makes clear that while the West offered refuge to the Dalai Lama and other Tibetans in exile, they returned the gesture by offering Westerners a spiritual haven." Jay Carr, AM NewYork
The shooting began 24 years ago with a tour of the Dalai Lama through America, and the funeral ceremonies of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, a Buddhist master, in Nepal. It continued in Tibet, U.S., India, Nepal, Canada and Europe.
When I first began I wanted to convey a vivid feeling about Tibetan Buddhism to Western audiences.
Upon the release of KUNDUN and equipped with '0' funding I approached Swiss TV, with great enthusiasm, to shoot a short film:
Why were Western filmmakers making movies like:
LITTLE BUDDHA, KUNDUN, about reincarnation,
the Dalai Lama, and Buddhism?
Confident that Martin Scorsese, Bernardo Bertolucci and Oliver Stone would openly speak about their experiences, I hoped their statements would also convey to audiences the creative, relevant and empowering qualities of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice, today.
"If either Scorsese, Stone or Glass say yes, we’ll do it.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
"..He's not afraid to explore the sexual and financial scandals that have affected some Buddhist ventures in the West, or the tendency of some overly enthusiastic Western practitioners to breed an isolated, cult-like atmosphere.” Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
As serious interest in Buddhism grows in the West, a new generation of Tibetan masters continues to explore how the teachings can be adapted, here. So, the ongoing story of East and West encountering each other provides an exciting, dramatic narrative for the longer, REFUGE ~ The Journeys .
While developing it’s narrative and story beats:
REFUGE ~ The Journeys expands the idea that Tibetan culture and Buddhism are two distinct things.
Some of the themes:
· Is Buddhism taking root in the West or is this a passing interest inspired by historic events and a mutual fascination with ‘the other?’
· Are we discovering that a deeper, more common human experience between East ~ West exists, that transcends both?
· Are we developing an East~West vocabulary and practices to help navigate the subtle activities of mind and unconscious?
· Are Eastern methods working to enhance a clear vision of mind, to expand our ways of seeing ‘self,’ emotion, and to changing our collective mentalities, responsibilities and behavior?
· And how do traditionally educated Tibetan masters view this transformation and the Buddhism that is evolving in the West?
Westerns Drawn to Eastern Thought in REFUGE
By Laura Kern
Published: May 12, 2006
"John Halpern's REFUGE is a 57-minute look at how citizens of the Western world are becoming increasingly drawn to Eastern thought and the appeal of Tibetan Buddhism.
In our celebrity-driven society, filmmakers are partly responsible for this rapid growth in awareness, by creating serious works influenced by Buddhist tenets or by publicly recognizing its potential benefits."
A Personal Message
The experience of working with these exceptional teachers, gifted artists and friends is a rare and privileged one for me. They are always so effusive and generous during our filming, and interviews always run longer than expected.
The opportunity to bring these unique stories and personalities together in a new, longer film for the broader public is calling me.
Although we had exceptional interviews and very personal, narrative stories from everyone, we only had enough money to edit the 57 minute REFUGE (executive producer DB Pictures).
So, I hope you will join me in the great adventure of creating REFUGE ~ The Journeys, by contributing to the new East~West legacy through your pledges here on Kickstarter!!
We need $13,000, now, to:
• Re-write The Script
• To film relevant events occurring NOW
• Edit A Fundraising Trailer
• Create A Presentation Package For Final Completion Funds
When you pledge a $1
You're part of the project and we will keep you up-to-date and respond to all your comments, suggestions or questions. WE are making this film together. So, no matter what level of pledging you're into, you're part of the filmmaking family and process. If you have better gift ideas than ours, please suggest! The more you pledge the more of the project will be yours at home to share and the MORE the LEGACY will grow!
Thank you for being on the journey!
"TALKING WITH THE DALAI LAMA, devotes its entire length to a wide-ranging Q&A with Tibetan Buddhism's leader. Radiating spiritual discipline and a profound sense of laughter in both films, His Holiness is surely his faith's best advertisement."
After We Reach $13,000...
The final completion budget for REFUGE ~ The Journeys will require:
• Additional shooting
• Rights Acquisition
• Music Composition
• Titles, Color Correction and Sound Mix
BE A CULTURAL ACTIVIST
CREATE A LEGACY
Dear Kickstarter Activist ,
What we have here with Kickstarter is an innovative, highly effective social media and community rallying vehicle.
Just as we do with Ecology or Human Rights, I ask that we please contribute to films and other cultural projects that inspire and enhance enlightened activism.
While "eco and rights" campaigns fight the urgent battles we need to win on the ground now, films and enlightened culture plant the seeds for a more responsible, sustainable and beautiful future.
Thank you for being part of the journey and for contributing to the legacy about Buddhism and the West in film, for future generations.
Thanks and all the best!
“finding refuge in each other’s worlds, a spiritual and cultural movement
was born and the world changed, forever.”
THE FUTURE IS IN
BE A PRODUCER
Yea, we decided to maximize the amazing footage we have, that we couldn't include in the original, 57 minute version, REFUGE.
That's a GREAT question! Thanks.. REFUGE captures the panorama of what the bigger story is in a nutshell. It give us a fast look at the situation, where THE JOURNEYS will drop us right into the action and experience of how our main characters felt let's say in the 1960's when hippies discovered the radical, visual, spiritual path of Tibetan Buddhism, or when Martin Scorsese, a Catholic child, experiences the philosophy first hand while shooting on the set of KUNDUN in Morocco!
So, the longer film will be a more emotional and narrative "journey," more "being there," and will have more information about the past, present and future of Buddhism and the West.
It seems when watching the video that there are three digital products offered as gifts. What are they?
1. REFUGE, THE 57 MINUTE DVD
2. TALKING WITH THE DALAI LAMA the 27 edited DVD of my long interview with His Holiness
3. TALKING WITH THE DALAI LAMA the 71 un-cut CD of my entire interview with His Holiness
If you look at the Gifts List (to screen-right) you'll see a big array of items to collect. As the progress of the film goes on there will be new materials. So, you have the option of waiting for a while and deciding on new production stuff or picking from what we already have!
Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
$1 Film Activists will become members of our Constant Contact Update Letters with links to latest REFUGE ~ The Journeys clips and project Up-Dates!! Please TWEET, FB it and tell everyone to come and hang out!
Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
$5 Culture Activists will become members of our Constant Contact Update Letters with INSIDERS ONLY links to latest REFUGE ~ The Journeys clips and project Up-Dates!! Please TWEET, FB it and tell everyone to come and hang out! (You will also be invited to private fundraiser screenings)
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Film Activists receive a Signed DVD of REFUGE (57 min) or TALKING WITH THE DALAI LAMA (27 minutes) Or CD of TALKING WITH THE DALAI LAMA (71 minutes)
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Film Activists receive a Signed DVD of REFUGE and a Signed DVD of TALKING WITH THE DALAI LAMA
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Culture Activists receive Three Signed Discs: REFUGE DVD and TALKING WITH THE DALAI LAMA DVD and CD... & a REFUGE CAP (pictured on John's head in the bio)
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Film Activists receive a Martin Scorsese OR Dalai Lama OR Oliver Stone OR and ANY of our main character's Entire Uncut Interview on DVD with the Signed Transcript of the interview by John Halpern. Activists will be listed in Final REFUGE~ The Journeys End Credit Roll.
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
For each $100 donated, Project Activists will receive multiple gifts of their choosing from the above. Activists will be listed in Final REFUGE~ The Journeys End Credit Roll.
Pledge $108 or moreYou selected
108 BUDDHAS CAMPAIGN ~ The Wheel of Truth Activists Who PLEDGE $108 or Multiples of 108!! (.~_~,*) Will Receive ANY COMBINATION of the Listed Above $100 Rewards of Their Choosing! 2 DVDs + 1 CD, Any Transcripts of your choosing, Etc. and a Credit as a 108 Buddha Participant in the film credit roll! Thank you for Turning The Wheel with us, for sharing the vision and intention of REFUGE ~ THE JOURNEYS to preserve and sustain the legacy of Buddhism and the West for future generations. 108 BUDDHAS CAMPAIGN: On August 3rd, 2011, the occasion of Chokhor Duchen, one of the four main Buddha Days of the calendar I launched The 108 Buddhas for REFUGE ~ THE JOURNEYS on Facebook (on fb: john dileva halpern). On August 8, 2011, I sent out a Newsletter announcing the event. "Chokhor Duchen," the first turning the wheel of Dharma (or truth), recognizes the first sermon the Siddhartha Gautama Buddha gave after becoming enlightened. 108 Buddhas for REFUGE ~ THE JOURNEYS honors this special occasion by sending these invitations to turn the wheel of truth in this film, by making this pledge! 108 Buddhas The Tibetan "mala" (as with the Catholic rosary) has 108 beads or stones representing 108 Buddhas. When reciting mantras and prayers using a mala, the practitioner imagines each bead absorbing and radiating the awakened mind, compassionate and free of ego. Thank you for Turning The Wheel with us, for sharing the vision and intention of REFUGE ~ THE JOURNEYS to preserve and sustain the legacy of Buddhism and the West for future generations.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
One of the $100 Gifts will be offered to activists as well as a Lunch with Director John Halpern. Culture Activists will also be listed as Sponsors in Final REFUGE~ The Journeys End Credit Roll.
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
One of the $100 Gifts PLUS The signed REFUGE Transcript AND Lunch with Director John Halpern AND Invitation to Private Sponsor's Screening of the Rough Cut of REFUGE ~ The Journeys. Culture Activists will also be listed as Co-Producers in Final REFUGE~ The Journeys End Credit Roll.
Pledge $1,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
NEW: The recent and amazing interview DVD of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo together w. Broll of she and Gloria Steinem PLUS: One of the $100 Gifts PLUS The signed REFUGE Transcript AND Lunch with Director John Halpern AND Invitation to Private Sponsor's Screening of the Rough Cut of REFUGE ~ The Journeys. Culture Activists will also be listed as Co-Producers in Final REFUGE~ The Journeys End Credit Roll.
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)
Executive Producer Credits with all of the above gifts to Culture Activists, here.
- (49 days)