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The Mystery of a Buryat Lama


 
The documentary film «THE MYSTERY OF A BURYAT LAMA», directed by Elena Demidova, tells a story of one of the most famous lamas, Pandido Khambo Lama Dashi Dorzho Itigelov. His body is recognized as one of the sacred Buddhist objects of Russia and is being kept in the Ivolginsky Datsan. The Buddhist monks approach him as a living person.
 
Itigelov was born in 1852 and began his religious education at the age of sixteen years. In 1911, he was appointed the twelfth Pandido Khambo Lama as the Head of Russian Buryat Buddhists. Between 1913 and 1917, Itigelov was prominent in the spiritual life of Russian Empire. He took part in the Tercentenary celebrations of the House Romanov and opened first Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg. During First World War Itigelov presided over the society of "Buryat brothers", an organization helping the Russian army. After October Revolution, Itigelov resigned as head of the Buddhists. In 1927, aged seventy-five years, he asked other lamas to begin meditation ceremonies and funeral rites, since he said he was about to die. Itigelov left a testament asking to be buried as he was at the time of his death, sitting in lotus posture. On September 11, 2002, Itigelov's body was eventually exhumed in the presence of the leaders of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia and transferred to Ivolginsky Datsan.

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The Mystery of a Buryat Lama - Production notes

The documentary film «THE MYSTERY OF A BURYAT LAMA», directed by Elena Demidova, tells a story of one of the most
famous lamas, Pandido Khambo Lama Dashi Dorzho Itigelov.
His body is recognized as one of the sacred Buddhist objects of Russia and is being kept in the Ivolginsky Datsan. The Buddhist
monks approach him as a living person.
 
Itigelov was born in 1852 and began his religious education at the age of sixteen years. In 1911, he was appointed the twelfth Pandido Khambo Lama as the Head of Russian Buryat Buddhists. Between 1913 and 1917, Itigelov was prominent in the spiritual life of Russian Empire. He took part in the Tercentenary celebrations of the House Romanov and opened first Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg. During First World War Itigelov presided over the society of «Buryat brothers», an organization helping the Russian army. After October Revolution, Itigelov resigned as head of the Buddhists. In 1927, aged seventy-five years, he asked other lamas to begin meditation ceremonies and funeral rites, since he said he was about to die.
 
Itigelov left a testament asking to be buried as he was at the time of his death, sitting in lotus posture.
 
On September 11, 2002, Itigelov’s body was eventually exhumed in the presence of the leaders of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia and transferred to Ivolginsky Datsan.
The film crew visited places related to the life of XII Pandido Khambo Lama Itigelov, and met with people for whom his story is not in the past, but is a part of their own daily life. A unique video recording, made in 2002 by one of the lamas, allows you to see how the return of Khambo Lama Dashi Dorzho Itigelov happened.
XXIV Pandito Khambo Lama Damba Ayusheev talks in his interview about his understanding of this phenomenon. Also we’ll recognize a new manifestation of this phenomenon — the daily messages of Khambo Lama Itigelov.
 
Lamas, academics, museum curators and local historians took part in the shooting. The geography of the project extends from Moscow and St. Petersburg to the most outer regions of Buryatia and the Trans- Baikal Territory. This cinematic study is about how Russian Buddhists live, what they think and feel, and how this culture integrates into the context of Russian history.
 
The film was produced as part of the larger project «Research of the Traditional Russian Buddhism as a Factor of Harmonious Interaction of Various Ethnicities and Cultures of Russia, Based on the Documents of Life, Activities, and Heritage of Pandido Khambo Lama Dashi Dorzho Itigelov». The project is funded by the grant of the President of the Russian Federation for the development of civil society, provided by the Presidential Grants Foundation, as well as with the support of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia.
 
LANGUAGES: RUSSIAN, BURYAT
SUBTITLES: ENGLISH
Production
NEW INSTITUTE FOR CULTURAL RESEARCH, KAMER-TON-FILM-RUSSIA
Project Director
KIRILL RAZLOGOV
Producers
NINA KOCHELYAEVA, ANASTASSIA RAZLOGOVA, MARINA KUCHKOVA
Executive Producer
ANDJEI PETRAS
The author and director
ELENA DEMIDOVA
Photographer
SERGEY MAKSIMOV
Composer
ANDJEI PETRAS
The main consultant
ALLA NAMSARAEVA
Project Coordinator, Photographer
EVA PARKHOMENKO
Premier Status:
Russian Premier: 15 August 2018, «Okno v Evropu» Russian Film Festival
 
 

ELENA DEMIDOVA

Russian film director, scriptwriter and producer
She was born in Russia.
Graduated from Moscow State Technical University in 1987 and Voronezh State University (The Faculty of History) in 1997. Director’s education: filmschool “Internews”, Moscow (workshop of Marina Razbezhkina). Documentaries by Elena Demidova are winners of many international film festivals, in 2016 she made her debut in the feature film.
 
FILMOGRAPHY:
Live water, 2006
Holly Week, 2006
Ark, 2007
The multiplication table, 2007
Its time to go home, 2008
Mohicans, 2008
Cranberry Island, 2010
Lesha, 2011
Almanac “Fires in Russia, summer 2010”, 2011
Sasha, Lena and Iron Dragon, 2012
Men’s choice, 2014
From parade to the oscar, 2016
Touch of wind, 2016, Experimental (fiction and documentary)
The last man, 2017
The Mystery of a Buryat Lama, 2018
 

NINA KOCHELYAEVA

Producer
 
Born 14.05.1972 in Moscow, – Ph.D. in History, director of the Non-Governmental Organisation for development of projects and research in culture and the arts “New Institute for Cultural Research” (since 2014), Senior Researcher at the Russian Film Insti-tute-VGIK (since 2017), associated professor of the UNESCO Chair for Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, their Specific Culture and Inter-religious Dialogue (since 2010), Head of Educational Department at Nikita Mikhalkov’s Academy for Cinematography and Theatre Arts (2016-2017) and Teacher on film history (since 2016). Also she is a programmer of the Eurasia International Film Festival (since 2017) and program director of Sochi International Film Festival and Awards (since 2017).
 
FILMOGRAPHY:
The Mystery of a Buryat Lama, Russia, 2018, 93’
(producer)
CONTACT INFORMATION:
Mob. +7 (985) 242-32-58
nina.kochelyaeva@gmail.com
 

ANASTASIA RAZLOGOVA

Producer of feature films, documentaries, and TV programs
Graduated the economic department of the Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). Member of the Russian Documentary Film and Television Guild. Producer of fiction and documentary features, participants and prize-winners of Russian and International film festivals. Since 2000, founder of Kamer- Ton-Film-Russia company and the producer of the popular weekly program «Cult Movies» on TV Channel «Russia-Culture», devoted to classical and art-house cinema – the only program on Russian television that combines film screenings and conversations with the authors of these films and leading Russian and foreign filmmakers.
 
SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY:
«THE MYSTERY OF A BURYAT LAMA», documentary film, 2018;
«TO SERVE, OR NOT TO SERVE», tragicomedic musical documentary film, 2018;
«A TOUCH OF WIND» experimental prize-winning feature film, 2016.
 
PRODUCTION COMPANY PROFILE:
Kamer-Ton-Film-Russia LTD was founded by Anastassia Razlogova in 2000.
Main activity: production of feature films, production of documentary films, production of television programs (Russia Culture TV channel).
Artistic Director of the Studio, Professor Kirill Razlogov, is a venerated film scholar and TV personality.
Postal address: Vavilova str., 17, room B2, Moscow, Russia, 117312
General director, Producer: Anastassia Razlogova
Phone: +7-916-679-04-97
E-mail arazlogova@gmail.com

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