Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Spiritual Film Festival in Fez

From November 25th and 26th, the Institut Français de Fès, in conjunction with the European Spiritual Film Festival, is presenting a season of spiritual films The Institute describes the festival as a window into the spiritual traditions around the world. 

The event is a platform for the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers, whose movies deal with different aspects of spirituality and human experience.

It is also an opportunity to explore spiritual traditions from around the world and their various practices through feature and short films, documentaries or animated films.

This edition will offer the public a beautiful collection of award-winning films from the last European Spiritual Film Festival. According to Suzanne Lee, co-founder and Director of the ESFF, the satellite screening of awarded films at the Institut Francais de Fes, is made possible through the festival's partnership with the French Ministry of Culture and the French Embassy in Morocco.

 The European festival programme included Mei Ling by François Leroy and Stephanie Lansaque (best animated movie), Child of Yak by Christophe Boula (best short film), Journey from Zanskar by Frederick Marx (best documentary) and Walking on Sound by Jacques Debs (best European film). It is hoped these will be included in the Fez edition of the Festival.

The European Spiritual Film Festival site is HERE


If you can only make it to one screening, The View from Fez team suggests that you see the brilliant and moving documentary, Journey from Zanskar, narrated by Richard Gere and featuring His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

Zanskar is one of the last remaining original Tibetan Buddhist societies with a continuous untainted lineage dating back thousands of years. In nearby Tibet and Ladakh, in Sikkim, Bhutan, and Nepal, traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture is either dead already or dying. The horror of Chinese government design in Tibet is being matched by the destruction of global economics elsewhere. Zanskar, ringed by high Himalayan mountains in northwest India, one of the most remote places on the planet, has been safe until now. But that’s changing.

In 3-5 years a road connecting Padum, the heart of Zanskar, with Leh, the heart of neighboring Ladakh, will be finished. The route which previously took up to two days by car will take only 4-5 hours. As economic growth descends on Zanskar it will bring with it an end to this unbroken Buddhist social tradition. Will the native language, culture, and religious practice be able to survive?

The Dalai Lama has instructed two monks from Zanskar’s Stongde Monastery to do everything in their power to insure that it does. The monks are building a school to educate the children from surrounding villages in their own language, culture, history, and religion. Presently, the government school teaches none of those subjects, and is closed most of the year. The nearby private school also doesn’t teach those subjects and is additionally unaffordable for the area’s poor families. At Stongde, along with indigenous traditions, the children will be educated in the best Western curricula.

The monks are racing against the clock. While they complete the school they are also placing local children in other schools and monasteries in the city of Manali and beyond. This requires walking over a 17,500 foot pass.



'abdul muHib said...

Where can I go to find out more about this festival? Will any of these be subtitled or dubbed or originals in English or Dareeja?

The View from Fez said...

Find out more at Institut Français de Fès.

They will certainly have French subtitles for English language films.

Anonymous said...

... and "narrated by Richard Gere" would be in English! Great to see a Buddhist doco

The View from Fez said...

The European Spiritual Film Festival folk say that the list for Fez is not yet decided. We will update you when it becomes clear what is happening. It seems that the French Institute is simply re-branding the European festival and not being very clear with their information.