Upcoming Shows

We've been named as a official selection in the Southern Circuit of Filmmakers Tour, March 17-24.

Shows are in Hapeville, GA 3/17, Madison, GA 3/20, Orangeburg, SC 3/22, Gainsville, GA 3/23, and Manteo, NC 3/24.
Learn more by going to the SouthArts blog.

View the theatrical trailer for A Gift for the Village

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jane 6/27

Hello Our Friends, It is Jane, typing on the laptop provided by her VT student Bailey. We can’t believe we have been at the Guest House for only one night so far, because our time has been unbelievably packed already.

Last night Jenna and I had a call while we were in our room: it was Radhakrishna, the little 12-year-old boy we met ten years ago while we were hiking along the rim of the valley. He was a village boy who wandered up to and walked for hours with us, under eucalyptus trees and through sal and strangler fig forests, on goat-herder trails, from one temple village to another—the Nagarkot to Changunarayan trek. In 1999 we exchanged addresses and parted after that friendly chance meeting. Tomorrow, this young man, now 22 and in his second year of medical school, will come to the premiere of A Gift for the Village. What a nice birthday present for Jenna!

Last night was the healing deep sleep we needed after our two days of flying to arrive here. This morning we woke early, to the loud grey-headed crows, the silent thin mother cat and her huge-eared nursing kitten, and the forlorn three-legged monkey, all resting in the security of the Guest House garden, with its Buddha statues, terracotta lotus pool,, pomelo and pomegranate trees. We can’t see the pomelo tree without thinking of Joey, who was one year old when he came to the festival in 2007, and who pointed up at the green grapefruit-like shapes then and declared “ball!” We will ALWAYS see this beautiful tree as Joey’s Ball Tree. Jenna and I found yoga mats and were our on the lawn by 5:30, to find Ashleigh already doing yoga in another part of the garden. Mika, Emerson, and Reba and the girls wandered out eventually, rested and happy, ready for pots of masala chai.

At 8 a.m. we met Andrea Clearfield and Katey Blumenthal here at the Guest House. Jenna met Andrea on Facebook, an amazing musical composer who is working on a composition called Lung-ta, which is Tibetan for Wind-horse, the kind of horse whose hooves never touch the ground, and who carries mind-jewels on its saddle. Lung-ta is the carrier of hope and wisdom, and it gallops like wind toward clear minds. Katey is a brilliant young anthropologist who had just traveled back from Lo with Andrea, and so these two women could bring us fresh news from the Forbidden Kingdom, where we will travel in mid-July. Andrea told us that everyone in Lo knows about our visit and can’t wait to see the film. After many years of hoping we could one day take our completed film to Lo, and show it to the King, we are now expected. The breakfast with these women was full of confluent interests, and all of us feel sure we have some collaborative projects ahead. And then we showed them A Gift for the Village (they leave tomorrow for a conference in Germany), They were really moved, and gave us gorgeous responses. These women are doing work as close as ours to the Tibetan inspirations that have excited our project, so their excitement at our film was really gratifying.

Later this morning, Sunil helped us drive across the valley to explore the old kingdom-city of Bhaktapur, where Mary especially loved the famous elaborately carved peacock windows and Ella worked with no prompting as a serious photographer. For Emerson, visiting Bhaktapur was a trip down his rich memory lane. He remembered so many of the winding narrow medieval alleys that he last walked as an eight-year-old, and he enjoyed the wizened faces of old villagers almost as much as the loving company of his steady young Hoffman companions. Jenna had her video camera close on some amazing moments, an ironsmith hammering, a potter rotating a wheel with a pole, and who knows what else. Reba is relaxed and thrilled to watch her daughters seeing so well and feeling so at home. Mika took some of the most amazing photographs I have ever seen—a pile of chilies drying or a child’s face. Asheigh made friends constantly, and a lot of children in Bhaktapur will remember the friendly young American woman who really talked to them.

I drew a sketch of a possible design for our new team patch today, and Jenna took it to a tailor who will have a sample made for us tomorrow. This time, A Gift for the Village patch will feature a snow leopard in front of a snow-capped mountain, in front of which hang the five colors of Tibetan prayer flags.

Tomorrow is Jenna’s birthday. Our dinner will be at Sunil’s house. We will each therefore gain twenty pounds from Sarita’s amazing feast! More soon! Jane


Andrea said...

Reading your post brought tears to my eyes, Jane. I am so very honored to be friends with this team of travelers. I am so thrilled to hear of how Mary and Ella experience this life-changing journey and how their momma watches and guides them. Thanks for such a rich 1st day description. Know that my love is with you.

Andrea said...

Thank you, Jane, for this beautiful 1st day summary. I am so honored to have this amazing team in my circle of friends and to follow along with you on this trip is a treat. How fun to read about Mary and Ella's first experiences on this life-changing journey and how proud I am of their momma for opening up the world to them--Reba, you are a truly an amazing woman! Wishing Jenna a happy birthday and fingers crossed for the world premier of the documentary coming off without a hitch. Lots of love to all of you!

Ashland said...

Thinking of you, Ms. Vance, and the rest of the group as you embark on this incredible journey! I send my best wishes and thoughts all the way from Richmond, VA! This post makes me flashback to amazing memories from the best class I have had at Virginia Tech!

Best of luck to you all!

Ashland Evans