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Fulfil a promise to The Dalai Lama: transform a Buddhist Film archive into a free online learning resource, for the benefit of all. Read more

London, UK Film & Video
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This project was successfully funded on April 17, 2014.

Fulfil a promise to The Dalai Lama: transform a Buddhist Film archive into a free online learning resource, for the benefit of all.

London, UK Film & Video
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About this project

Making the insights of Buddhist Wisdom available to ALL.

In 1985 The Dalai Lama asked as a matter of urgency that The Meridian Trust preserve Tibetan culture at a time when its very existence was threatened. Since then we have created an archive of over 2,500 hours of footage: these recordings collectively make one of the largest and most authentic resources of Tibetan Buddhist film in the world. 

With developments in digital technology there is now the potential to make our work of the last 29 years instantly accessible for the benefit of all, thereby helping Buddhist thought develop in cultures and countries well beyond those of its origin. After many years of recording, preserving and careful curating we are finally in a position to 'Open the Vaults'.

Our goal is to build a NEW website through which this rare film archive can be shared over the Internet, for free, for the benefit of all. Here authentic Buddhist teachings and culture can be accessed at the click of a button. 

By Opening the Vaults Together we can fulfill our promise to The Dalai Lama, giving Tibetan’s access to their cultural heritage; giving back to those who have lost so much. We hope to develop a website that will benefit people from all walks of life, who wish to enrich their lives through a deeper knowledge of Buddhist wisdom.

The goal of the project is to facilitate access, for present and future generations; to make authentic sources of learning on Buddhist philosophy, culture, art and related practice, and provide opportunities for the culture to evolve anew. 

Some of the DVD's to choose from.
Some of the DVD's to choose from.
Some of the beautiful prints to choose from.
Some of the beautiful prints to choose from.

 Examples of footage in our archive that we want to share:

40 years of Filming the Dalai Lama

 Buddhist Teachers

 Ceremonial Footage

 Cultural Footage

HOW?

Develop a New Website: Meridian Trust will work with web designers and developers, Piction Media and Designed2Perform who (using Open Source technologies) will develop a new website with film-streaming and search capabilities onto which the Trust will upload the Archive and its current Buddhist filming projects.

Navigation: A major aspect of usability of the website is the need for people to be able to find what they want, and find it quickly. Due to the large amount of video content, the Trust will present clear, consistent, well-ordered Navigation and Sub-Navigation including Search facilities. The site will have a search engine to allow users to find videos in the archive by categories such as Teacher, Buddhist teachings, Art, Rituals, Initiations, Political, Documentaries, Conference, Interviews, Public Talks, Tibetan Culture and Western Buddhism. 

Security: The website’s privacy options will make it easy to make the videos public, private or password protected. The Trust will have full control of who can see them, for some content is restricted and only viewable by people who have had certain teachings or initiations. Content will be editable and publishable by Meridian staff and security will be in place for all elements of the site. 

Device Support/ Mobile Playback: The website will be supported by all desktop computers, mobile devices such as iPad and Android tablets and smartphones. 

Social Media Integration: The website will be integrated with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to help the Trust reach its target audience and develop awareness and interest.

Show your support, download one of our Facebook banners and liven up your Facebook page in under 30 seconds…
Show your support, download one of our Facebook banners and liven up your Facebook page in under 30 seconds…

Risks and challenges

The development of any technical project always carries some risk, but we believe the delivery of this project has minimal risk as we are working with respected experts in their field, Piction Media and Cinedigital, who have an excellent track record in web development and delivery.

Acting on advice from film archive consultants we have backed up the entire digital archive onto professional RAID hard drives and Data Tape, in triplicate, minimising the risk of loss of material due to technical failure.

We are aware that, once up and running, the website will require ongoing maintenance and administration. We aim to address this challenge by building into the website architecture the capacity to receive small donations, both single and ongoing (committed) from people who feel they have benefited from the archive and who want to keep it online for the benefit of others.

News of our project has already attracted interest from other organisations with similar archives. With the NEW website, we will become a hub, with the capacity to help digitise and disseminate the archives of others. This, in turn, will help to generate further interest and should lead to the donations needed to cover the maintenance and administration costs.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge £1 or more

    5 backers

    Thank you! we will acknowledge your pledge on our Facebook page and email you a personalised "Open the Vaults" certificate of thanks.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £5 or more

    9 backers

    In addition to a Facebook 'Thank You' and certificate of thanks, we will email you a printable ‘Letter of Support’ written by H.H. the Dalai Lama, for our Charity.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £10 or more

    8 backers

    Our Bronze package; your name listed on the ‘Wall of Fame - Thank You’ section of the new website; a printable ‘Letter of Support’ for our Charity, written by H.H. the Dalai Lama and a Facebook ‘Thanks’.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £25 or more

    20 backers

    Our Bronze ‘Thank You’ package plus a choice of one DVD from the most popular of our Programme Archive.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £50 or more

    15 backers

    Our Bronze ‘Thank You’ package plus a choice of one DVD from the most popular of our Programme Archive, and an A4 Giclee print of your choice taken by Brian Beresford (Official photographer to H.H.the Dalai from 1980 - 1988) during the filming of many Meridian projects.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £75 or more

    3 backers

    Our Bronze ‘Thank You’ plus a choice of two DVD's from the most popular of our Programme Archive,and an A4 Giclee print of your choice taken by Brian Beresford (Official photographer to H.H.the Dalai from 1980 - 1988) during the filming of many Meridian projects.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £108 or more

    9 backers

    Our Silver ‘Big Thank You’ package which contains a personal Invitation to our Private Launch party (for yourself and a friend), an A4 Giclee print of your choice taken by Brian Beresford (Official photographer to H.H.the Dalai from 1980 - 1988) during the filming of many Meridian projects. and a choice of three DVD's from the most popular of our Programme Archive.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £500 or more

    3 backers

    An Exclusive opportunity to come to our London office to help edit and encode the piece of film you want to preserve and lunch with a founding Trustee and Director, in addition to the goodies in our Silver ‘Big Thank-You’ Good Karma package.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £1,000 or more

    2 backers

    Our Gold ‘Very Good Karma’ package: FRONT ROW seats to our Private Launch party reserved for you and two friends, a choice of ten DVD's from the most popular of our Programme Archive and an A4 Giclee print of your choice taken by Brian Beresford (Official photographer to H.H.the Dalai from 1980 - 1988) during the filming many of Meridian's projects. This is in addition to all our other goodies, including your name ‘in lights’ on the credit page of the new website.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £5,000

    0 backers

    The Ultimate Dharma package: FRONT ROW seats to our Private Launch party reserved for you and two friends plus an exclusive opportunity to come to our London office to help edit and encode the piece of film you want to preserve and share. This is in addition to all the other goodies contained in our Silver and Bronze reward packages.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)