Buddhist film festival in Africa dedicated to Akong Rinpoche

Pema Gurung from "The Only Son" documentary

What’s being billed as the African continent’s first international Buddhist film festival is under way in Cape Town, South Africa, organized by Exploring Consciousness Films. More than a dozen films exploring diverse Buddhist traditions and luminaries will be shown now through October 27, in locations including Johannesburg, Durban, and Plettenberg Bay. Many screenings will feature Q&As with those involved in the films’ creation.

A single showing of The Only Son: A Modern Parable of Youthful Dilemma will end the festival on a poignant note. The film depicts “the dilemma of a Nepalese boy educated by the Rokpa Home in Katmandu — called back by his family to look after their land.” It will be preceded by Circle of Nourishment, a short film that “highlight[s] the work of Rokpa Charity in Cape Town.” Rokpa International is the charitable organization founded by Choje Akong Rinpoche, whose murder October 8 in Chengdu, China, has shocked the Buddhist world. Since then, the Exploring Consciousness organizers have added this note to the festival website:

“This film festival is dedicated to the spirit of Akong Rinpoche who was our patron for many years and who inspired us: Only the impossible is worth doing!”

Click here for information about the films and a full festival schedule.