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Akong - a remarkable life - progress on the film

Posted on 22 Mar 2015

Akong - a remarkable life - progress on the film

Chico Dall'Inha and Vin Harris write:

Dear Friends

Before Akong Tulku Rinpoche was killed in tragic circumstances in October 2013, he authorised Chico Dall'Inha to make a film to tell the story of his life.  I am writing now to give you an update about the film “Akong – A Remarkable Life” on behalf of the team responsible for bringing this project to completion. 

First of all I want to thank all of Rinpoche’s friends and students who have donated to the film.  Their kindness and generosity has made it possible to progress towards the goal of fulfilling the vision: we feel honoured and grateful to be able to take responsibility for this project.

 What has been achieved so far?

  • The film tells the story of Akong Tulku Rinpoche’s life through original in depth interviews with people from all walks of life who were touched by his vision of Compassion in Action.  Most of the interviews have now been completed including: His Holiness 17th Gyalwang   Karmapa, Khentin Tai Situpa, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Akong Rinpoche’s unpublished interview which he gave not long before he died.
  • Recently we have filmed interviews with: Chime Rinpoche (one of Rinpoche’s oldest friends who lived with him and Trungpa Rinpoche in Oxford when they first came to the UK), Mick Brown (author of The Dance of 17 Lives, the Incredible True Story of Tibet’s 17th Karmapa), Robert Barnett (Director of Tibetan Studies at Columbia University) and His Honour Judge John Maxwell (Rinpoche’s trusted advisor for many years)
  • In October 2015 we produced a detailed budget which identified a need for around £80,000 to complete the film and host a series of special screening events. We received generous donations from Rinpoche’s friends and students from all over the world who recognised the potential benefits of the film.  Already more than half of the money has been raised ensuring that work on the project has been able to continue.  As with so many of Rinpoche’s ambitious projects, what once seemed impossible somehow appears to be possible.
  • When the film is ready we intend to show it throughout Europe, Africa and possibly the United States.  Friends from various countries have said they will help to promote the film at special events and film festivals; this will be a way of telling everyone about Rinpoche’s life as well as raising much needed funds to find and support the 3rd Akong Tulku. As a result of a series of fortunate circumstances we may also have an unexpected opportunity to distribute the film in Asia.

How Can You Help?

  • Make a donation to the project - see attached Sponsorship Form and bank details for the Hart Knowe Trust which provides free administration support and financial control for the making of this film.
  • Tell your friends about the film: show them the short promotional video and/or pass on this message to them.
  • If you have any good quality photographs or video footage that you would like to share please let us know.
  • Become involved in promoting or helping as a volunteer at the special screening events.

What Next?

Basically we need to do a few more interviews and a lot of editing work!  We are on target to complete the film so that the series of special event screenings can begin later this year.  

We will try to keep everyone informed through progress reports like this one and Facebook postings on the page “Akong – a remarkable life”.

We would be very happy to make our information for Sponsors document available if you would like to know more before you decide to help with the project.

In the words of His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa in our film: Akong Rinpoche’s unique quality that is example to others was his ability to provide both “spiritual guidance and social service”. 

We hope that you will feel inspired to contribute in whatever way you can so that Akong Rinpoche’s amazing life story can be shared with thousands of people. 

Thank You!

Chico Dall'Inha:

Vin Harris: