WHAT: The North Carolina premiere screening of two films by director Khashyar Darvich: Dalai Lama Awakening and Compassion in Action. Both were edited from over 500 hours of footage shot between 2000 and 2013. The event will also include a Q&A with the director. Tickets ($10) available at Urban Dharma, 29 Page Ave.
WHERE: Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 14. Awakening (2 screenings): 2 and 7 p.m.; Compassion: 5 p.m.
In 2000, director Khashyar Darvich was invited to film a special rendezvous between 40 innovative academics, scientists and the Dalai Lama. The project spanned over six years and included three “sit-ins” that were first documented by Darvich in his 2007 film, Dalai Lama Renaissance. After releasing and screening Renaissance, Darvich felt there was something that he had failed to capture.
“Always in the back of my mind and heart, I felt that [Renaissance] wasn’t fully the authentic story that was meant to be told,” he says. So in 2011 and 2013, Darvich and his team returned to India to get an extra 400 hours of footage. “When we went back, we got some real cinematic shots of monks, animals, mountains, street life and other aspects of Indian culture, so we could have [Awakening] be as full of a cinematic experience as possible to the audience.”
“This new film is a true poetic revision” says Darvich, “And it’s really about a journey from the ego into the heart. Some of the characters in Awakening start out with their egos sort of out there, and they push buttons and there’s actually conflict that happens, but at the end they experience a heart awakening and a more clear sense that in order to change the world, they must first change themselves.
“I want to try everything I can to have these films transform the audiences in some way — [so] that when people leave the room after having watched the film, they’re — even slightly — different than when they walked into the room. Then I feel like I’ve done my job,” he says