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 V.18 No.49 | December 3 - 9, 2009 

Reel World

Namaste in Cinema

This weekend must have seemed like the perfect one for a film festival, because we’ve got at least three of them to choose from. In addition to the massive 10th Annual Santa Fe Film Festival and the inaugural Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, there’s the first annual Buddhist Film Festival taking place at the Cell Theatre in Downtown Albuquerque.

The Buddhist Film Festival will unfold on Saturday, Dec. 5, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The first film showing is a 30-minute documentary called “Mustang: Journey of Transformation.” Narrated by Richard Gere, this film relates the history of this isolated Tibetan Buddhist kingdom and the ongoing restoration of its sacred sites. At 2 p.m., the 15-minute film “Sky Burial” airs. This short examines the ritual of jhator, in which the bodies of the dead are offered to the vultures as a final act of kindness to living beings. At 2:30 p.m., there will be a question-and-answer session with the Venerable Traga Rinpoche. Films pick up again at 3 p.m. with The Devotion of Matthieu Ricard, a 67-minute look at the titular Frenchman who gave up a promising career in cellular genetics to become a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

In addition to the films, there will also be a silent auction of Buddhist items. All proceeds from the festival go to benefit the building fund for Albuquerque’s RigDzin Dharma Foundation.

Tickets are available in advance for $20, or $25 day of show. The Cell Theatre is located at 700 First Street NW. It’s a very intimate venue, so seating is limited. I suggest you purchase tickets ahead of time by calling 401-7340.

We Have a Winner

Congratulations are in order for local filmmaker Tim McClelland. McClelland’s sci-fi thriller Fugue State has been on a tear lately, snagging Best Feature honors at both the Truth or Consequences Halloween & Day of the Dead Film Festival and Albuquerque’s recent TromaDance New Mexico. Keep up the good work, Tim. For more information, including trailers, photos and upcoming DVD release dirt, log on to


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