90 minutes


In the summer of 2005, Tsoknyi Rinpoche III, accompanied by a handful of western students, traveled to the Nangchen region in Eastern Tibet. The purpose of the trip was to document the lives and needs of the Tsoknyi Nanghen Nuns.

The Buddha

120 minutes


Two and a half millennia ago, a new religion was born in northern India, generated from the ideas of a single man, the Buddha, a mysterious Indian sage who famously gained enlightenment while he sat under a large, shapely fig tree. 

Burma VJ

84 minutes


Burma VJ was nominated for a 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary and has received over 40 international awards.

In September of 2007, the Buddhist monks in Burma started marching in a show of defiance. Rising to meet their example, courageous young citizens of Burma lived the essence of journalism by risking torture and life in jail in order to document the plight of the monks and keep up the flow of news from their closed country. —

Cherry Blossoms

Snug as a Bug.jpg

124 minutes

Cherry Blossoms was nominated for 14 awards and won 7, including the German Film Critics Award for Best Actor, and a Berlin International Film Festival award for Outstanding Feature Film.

This film beautifully exemplifies the Buddhist principle of living awake and in the moment. Buddhist German director Doris Dorrie is known for films with Buddhist themes such as Enlightenment Guaranteed. Cherry Blossoms, is an exquisite, absorbing and deeply moving exploration of life, death and beauty. —

Colors Of Compassion: The Teachings Of Thich Nhat Hanh

52 minutes

BuddhaFest is proud to present the world premiere of Colors Of Compassion: The Teachings Of Thich Nhat Hanh. This film documents the first retreat for people of color to be given by Vietnamese Zen master, teacher, scholar and poet Thich Nhat Hanh. It takes place at Deer Park Monastery in spring, 2004. The film highlights interviews with participants and monastics as they reflect on the dharma and its meaning in their lives. —

Compassion In Exile

62 minutes


This film is an intimate portrait of Tenzin Gyatso. Those unfamiliar with his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, will be pleasantly caught off guard by this exiled Tibetan leader's love of laughter and humor. Aided by several brothers and his sister, he recounts his boyhood training as the reincarnated Dalai Lama and his sudden status as spiritual and national leader at age 16. —

This film is shown as a double feature with Dreaming Lhasa.

The Dhamma Brothers

76 minutes


Behind barbed wire, electrical fence and high security towers live over 1,500 prisoners, many of whom will never again know life in the outside world. This overcrowded and violent maximum-security prison is the end of the line in Alabama's prison system. For some of the men who live there, everything changed when the prison became the first in North America to hold an extended Vipassana retreat. —

Dreaming Lhasa

90 minutes


The first feature film from acclaimed Tibetan directors Tenzing Sonam and Ritu Sarin. Karma, a Tibetan filmmaker from New York, goes to Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama's exile headquarters in northern India, to make a documentary about former political prisoners who have escaped from Tibet. She wants to reconnect with her roots but is also escaping a deteriorating relationship back home. One of Karma's interviewees is Dhondup, an enigmatic ex-monk who has just escaped from Tibet. 

This film is shown as a double feature with Compassion In Exile.

Fire Under The Snow

75 minutes

A free screening sponsored by The International Campaign for Tibet.


Venerable Palden Gyatso, a Buddhist monk since childhood, was arrested by the Chinese Communist Army in 1959. He spent the next 33 years in prison. He was humiliated, starved, and tortured. He watched his nation and culture destroyed, his teachers, friends and family displaced, jailed or killed under Chinese occupation. Despite this he remains unbroken, keeping the flame of his spirit ablaze. 

Meditate and Destroy

81 minutes


A documentary about punk rock, spirituality, and inner rebellion, this film focuses on bestselling author of “Dharma Punx” and “Against the Stream,” Noah Levine. Tattoos, motorcycles, and Buddha are featured in this hard-hitting look at how Buddhism has a place in the world of punks. This inspiring film opens our perception to the possibilities of finding new paths, even in our darkest hours. 

Peace Is Every Step

52 minutes

Vietnamese Zen master, teacher, scholar and poet Thich Nhat Hanh has had a profound impact on contemporary thinking and social action. His efforts to achieve an early, peaceful end to the American war in Vietnam earned him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a 40-year exile from his homeland. Peace Is Every Step is an intimate and direct portrait of a monk who has lived through war and fought back with meditation. 

Following the film, Hugh Byrne, co-founder of the Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship, leads an hour-long panel discussion on the film and on engaged Buddhism.


75 minutes


During the golden age of Tibetan Buddhism in the 16th century, one in four Tibetans was a monk. It was during this time that a tradition originated--upon the passing away of an enlightened teacher, a young child would in time be recognized as his reincarnation. The child would assume leadership over the predecessor’s monastery as well as the surrounding villages. They called these children Tulkus, and filmmaker Gesar Mukpo is one of them. 


Living Buddha: Awakening in Today's World

Meditation & Talk by Tara Brach and Lama Surya Das

90 minutes

Lama Surya Das and Tara Brach share teachings and practices that invite the unfolding of our deepest human potential for love, understanding and freedom.

Friday, June 18

Meditation & Talk with Lama Surya Das

90 minutes


Lama Surya Das shares teachings and practices that invite the unfolding of our deepest human potential for love, understanding and freedom.

Saturday, June 19

10:00 AM

Kay Spiritual Life Center

Can We Hear The Birds Sing? An Intimate Look At Differences Within U.S. Buddhism

Meditation & Talk with Soto Zen Priest Ryūmon H.G. Baldoquín, Sensei

60 minutes

Across time, sages of all traditions have taught that caste, social position, gender, race, culture, and other social identity variables are not indicators of who we really are. As spiritual seekers we must look deeply and question widely the oppressive social dynamics being presently replicated in ourselves, our families, our communities and in our world. Transforming dynamics of power, privilege and oppression requires wisdom, compassion and skillful means. The Buddha’s teachings show us how.

Saturday, June 19

Wholesome Path

Meditation & Talk with Lama Tsony

90 minutes


The fine exercise of synchronizing body and mind is comprehensive, it is revealed in whatever work of art we execute or whatever life we lead. Our present actions shape the whole future. Therefore, shouldn't we be more awake and gentle with what we are doing this very moment?

Simple perception is the key to awakening life and how to perceive reality at its best, beyond self-centered narration.

Sunday, June 20

10:00 AM

Katzen Arts Center

Meditation & Talk by Sharon Salzberg

120 minutes


An Evening with Sharon Salzberg. Special musical guest Ben Beirs. The evening will conclude with a closing ceremony of chants and prayers led by Khenmo Trinlay Chodron. A student of Buddhism since 1971, Sharon Salzberg has led meditation classes and retreats worldwide since 1974. She teaches both intensive awareness practice (insight meditation) and the profound cultivation of loving, kindness and compassion in a non-sectarian, inclusive framework. She is a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts and The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Sunday, June 20

7:00 PM

Katzen Arts Center