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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Khashyar Darvich to introduce his film 'Dalai Lama Renaissance' at Cleveland Museum of Art

January 23, 2009

The Plain Dealer
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Julie E. Washington
 
Filmmaker Khashyar Darvich is not Buddhist, nor does he spend much time thinking of solutions for the world's woes.
 
Yet he and his cameras were granted access to an extraordinary conference, hosted by the Dalai Lama, that brought innovative thinkers to India to discuss how to heal the world.
 
Thanks to Darvich, we can be privy to those discussions through "Dalai Lama Renaissance." He will introduce his documentary, narrated by Harrison Ford, when it screens Friday and Sunday at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
 
Darvich, a Baldwin-Wallace College alumnus, first met the Dalai Lama in 1998 in India, when he interviewed the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism for an earlier unfinished documentary on peace.
 
"Everyone says he's an incredible person and he has such a great presence. It's all true," said Darvich, 42. He lives in Los Angeles but spoke from Washington, D.C., where he planned to attend President Barack Obama's inauguration.
 
One of the authors interviewed for the film about peace was invited to the Dalai Lama conference the following year; he suggested Darvich do a documentary on the convergence of thinkers, Darvich said.
 
The 10-day conference, called the Syntheses Dialogues, asked thinkers from different disciplines to travel to the Dalai Lama's residence. The roster included Michael Beckwith from the self-help film "The Secret" and quantum physicists Fred Alan Wolf and Amit Goswami, seen in the spiritual enlightenment film "What the Bleep Do We Know!?"
 
Darvich only had eight weeks to assemble his crew and raise the $1 million budget. His cameras captured Tibetan horns heralding the Dalai Lama's arrival, and eavesdropped on sometimes ego-driven discussions among theoretical nuclear physicists, psychiatrists and musicians.
 
He finished "Dalai Lama Renaissance" in 2007, and since then it has played in more than 40 cities. The screening in Cleveland is part of a statewide swing that will take the film to Columbus, Bowling Green and other Ohio cities.
 
Darvich grew up in Oxford, Ohio, and majored in English in college. After graduating in 1991, he moved to Los Angeles to start his filmmaking career.
 
Next, he plans a more personal film incorporating home movies shot by his maternal grandfather in Los Angeles between the 1930s and 1960s. Darvich's father is Iranian and his mother is German and Swedish.
 
"The home movies are a special window into that time," he said.
 
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
 
jwashington@plaind.com, 216-999-4539
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