New documentary Retreat premieres Monday in Santa Barbara

A new documentary called Retreat, by filmmaker David Cherniack, will debut at the Santa Barbara Film Festival on Monday. Retreat is a feature-length documentary about a group of 35 Westerners attending an eight-week meditation retreat led by Alan Wallace in Thailand. The film follows the group through the entire retreat, through Wallace’s eyes and through video diaries made by four of the participants — watch the trailer here.

Cherniack has made over 60 films for the CBC and other Canadian networks. He filmed throughout the retreat and meditated as time allowed. A longtime Buddhist, he has made five films with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, including Heart of Tibet, Sleepwalking Mongolia, and The Oracle. Read more about his career at

The film premieres at 8 p.m. on Monday, January 28, at the Arlington Theater. More information about the screening is available here.