Barcelona will host the first Catalan Buddhist Film Festival (FCBC) in October. This is the first time the Hispanic International Center has organized a large-scale event about Buddhist films.
The project will be carried out by the Catalan Coordinator of Buddhist Entities (CCEB), an association of about 30 communities of different Buddhist traditions in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. FCBC is a pioneer among Buddhist projects in Spain and is also the result of a partnership between CCEB and the Buddhist Film Foundation (BFF), the producer of the International Buddhist Film Festival. (IBFF).
The Catalan Buddhist Film Festival will screen mostly non-commercial feature films and documentaries. These are films made for the public, focusing on topics such as the climate crisis, education, social justice and gender equality. Each film will feature live and online presentations by the film’s directors, as well as related interviews and talks. Film screenings will take place from October 19 to 23 at Cines Verdi, located in the heart of Barcelona’s Gracia neighborhood.
“FCBC was founded with the long-term goal of maintaining the biennial event. This is not a festival created by Buddhists for Buddhists, but rather to seek and bring the values of Buddhism to the greatest possible number of masses, through a medium that is appealing and suitable for Buddhists. our times, such as movies,” said Montse Castellà Olivé, co-founder and Vice President of CCEB.
This project was conducted to spread and discuss the truths and human values of Buddhism, such as: “The impermanence of all things, continuity, the importance of education values and care for the environment. In this respect, FCBC also wishes to actively limit its ecological waste; Therefore, the use of paper will be greatly reduced and only recyclable materials will be used. At the same time, the films selected to be included in the program must be based on the criteria of respect for gender equality,” added Castellà.
FCBC will open with the film “Greetings from Fukushima” (Grüße aus Fukushima) by Doris Dörrie, a German director who will also introduce the film directly. This work won the Confédération Internationale des Cinemas d’Art et d’Essai (CICAE) and the Heiner Carow Prize at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival, as well as being nominated for the Panorama Audience Award (fiction).
Dörrie, in addition to being a screenwriter, professor, opera director and writer, is also an honored guest of the Barcelonan. In the movie “Greetings from Fukushima”, Dörrie takes us to the area of Japan that was hit by an earthquake in 2011; in which, most prominent is a wonderful friendship forged between a young German woman and an older geisha (talented artist).
However, the question is whether there is a separate Buddhist film genre or not? Gaetano Kazuo Maida, CEO of BFF and founding member of Tricycle Magazine, and director of the documentary “Peace Is Every Step” about Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, shared:
“Buddhist Film Foundation and International Buddhist Film Festival were established in 2000 to introduce to the public film works on Buddhist themes or inspired by Buddhism. As Buddhist filmmakers, educators, and movie buffs, we are all familiar with a lot of critically acclaimed films, but that may not appeal to audiences, even in festivals.
Our criteria for movies are: first, there must be a meaningful plot; second, there must be a Buddhist scene, character or event as the focus of the film; or third, there must be a key Buddhist content creator (director or scriptwriter) or involvement of a Buddhist… So, to date, we have shown more than 300 sets. movies from 22 countries and has about 3,000 titles in its database. There is indeed Buddhist cinema!”
Dharma-Gaia (DGF) also promises the success of this initiative in preserving, spreading and teaching all the values of Buddhist culture. Daniel Millet, founder of DGF and editor of Buddhistdoor en Español, said: “Films are a great way to spread Buddhism and also reflect the best and most appropriate for society. our modern society. Films are a vehicle for bringing Buddhism to a wider audience, as they can help share the basic teachings in an entertaining way, but are no less profound and vivid than sermons.
Buddhist films are like the classics of old, containing many stories that can help us to become enlightened. We see the Four Noble Truths reflected in the movies, as well as recognize the harmful effects of the three poisons (greed, hatred, and delusion), the interconnectedness of all things, and the need for compassion and love in the world. the way to happiness”.
FCBC’s operating budget is mainly funded by donations from the DGF and public organizations such as Barcelona City Council, ticket sales, as well as from private companies. FCBC was the first Buddhist film festival held in Spain, and also one of the first film festival events of any Spanish-speaking country.
At the end of the program, the 1st Buddhist Film Festival in Catalonia will also host a variety of activities at different locations and conducted by members of the CCEB, including meditation sessions and talks for children. children, film forums, conferences, and talk shows.
Kazuo Maida also has high expectations for FCBC. He believes that this historic event in Spain will give the audience the opportunity to know the diversity of contemporary Buddhist cultures through cinema: “We have seen the International Buddhist film festivals around the world stimulated and encouraged local participants and directors to seek a deeper commitment to Buddhist ideas and teachings.
As for exploring the Buddhist landscape, the cinema is a less intimidating space than a temple, monastery, or meditation center. In fact, there is already a strong community of Buddhists of a number of different Buddhist traditions in Barcelona and the surrounding areas. This proves that it is a great base for the development of Buddhism in Barcelona, as well as promises a brilliant future for FCBC.”