The first-ever Buddhist Film Festival of Catalonia (Festival de Cinema Budista de Catalunya, FCBC) is set to begin in the city of Barcelona on 19 October, running until 23 October.
A joint initiative of the Dharma-Gaia Foundation (Fundación Dharma-Gaia, FDG) and the Catalan Coordinator of Buddhist Entities (Coordinadora Catalana d‘ Entitats Budistes, CCEB), in collaboration with the Buddhist Film Foundation (BFF), the producer of the International Buddhist Film Festival (IBFF), the film festival will screen nine Buddhist films and documentaries, opening with Greetings from Fukushima by the award-winning German director Doris Dörrie, who will attend the screening as guest of honor.
“The FCBC will be the first Buddhist film festival ever held in Spain and one of the few that have been held in any Spanish-speaking country,” organizer and founder of the Dharma-Gaia Foundation Daniel Millet told BDG. “From the Dharma-Gaia Foundation, we have promoted and co-organized this event in a wonderful collaboration with the CCEB and the Buddhist Film Foundation. We have done so with great enthusiasm, because we believe that the language of cinema is an excellent medium for sharing the Buddhadharma with today’s world, and to help the Buddhist teachings, values, and practices become more widely known and appreciated.”
Also to be featured at the film festival are: The Geshema Is Born, a documentary by Indian director Malati Rao; Lopon, a documentary by Mexican director Everardo González; the Academy Award nominated Lunana, A Yak in the Classroom by Bhutanese director Pawo Choyning Dorji; Looking for a Lady with Fangs and Moustache, directed by Khyentse Norbu; Happy Teachers Will Change the World, a documentary by Dutch director Wouter Verhoeven; an animated short film The Monk and the Fly, by New Zealand filmmaker Matthew Darragh; Descending the Mountain, a documentary by Dutch director Maartje Nevejan; and Dear Earth, a documentary by Wouter Verhoeven.
“Catalonia contains one of the largest Buddhist populations of any Spanish-speaking country,” emphasized Millet, who is also managing editor of BDG’s Spanish-language sister journal, Buddhistdoor en Español. “And the CCEB has carried out excellent work in organizing, stimulating, and representing the more than 30 entities that make up this growing community, and promoting Buddhism in the nation, alongside the Dharma-Gaia Foundation.
“The Dharma-Gaia Foundation is working to promote university courses and academic publications about Buddhism through a comprehensive agreement with the University Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Catalonia, and now is seeking agreements with other educational institutions for the study and the investigation of Buddhism in Spanish-speaking countries,” Millet added. “The foundation is also working on projects in Argentina, Chile, and Cuba.”
The film screenings will be accompanied by in-person or online presentations by the directors, as well as featured interviews and panel discussions.
Running in parallel with the film festival, a series of Dharma-inspired events and workshops are being held in Barcelona this month, organized by CCEB members. On 14 October, the revered Italian Dharma teacher Bhikkhuni Dhammadinnā will offer a free public master class on the Study, Theory and Practice of Early Buddhist Meditation.
“This is the first film festival to be held in our country aimed at sharing Buddhist values, such as non-violence, interdependence between all beings, and respect for the environment,” Millet noted. “The carefully selected program of films and documentaries showcase different approaches to contemporary issues, such as the climate emergency, education, and gender equality.”
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