Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tulsi Ghimire's Gautama Buddha: first animated movie from Nepal

The 60 year old, Nepali film director, Tulsi Ghimire has started working on the first Buddha film from Nepal. The movie being the first animated feature film from Nepal is slated for release in 2013 and will be dubbed in seven different languages.
Many Bollywood movies have been released on the topic, such as 'ChandniChandni Chowk to China' and Ashutosh Gowarikar's film on Buddha, but the Nepali director was inspired to make his own version of the Buddha film after having conversations with Buddhist monks from different places.
He said many puzzled monks had asked him the place of birth of Gautama Buddha, since they were uncertain whether it was India or Nepal. Ghimire explained that the remains of the old palace and the garden where Buddha was born can be found in southern Nepal, in a place called Kapilavastu, which is neither included in Nepal nor India.
Tulsi Ghimire
Ghimire says that the movie would have cost him much less if it had used actual people to play the roles. But since the available description of Buddha in the literature was such, he realized it was impossible to find such an actor. The Buddha had arms that reached his knees, the large kindly eyes of a cow and a voice as deep as an echoing well. Ghimire found it best to animate the movie and gave up his manhunt to find the perfect face for Buddha.
While telling about the story line, Ghimire says, “There are three schools detailing the Buddha’s life. The Mahayana Buddhists chronicle a logically believable life while the Hinayana Buddhist s depicts Prince Siddharth as a reincarnation of God. The VajrayanaVajrayana School, on the other hand, invests him with tantric powers.” Ghimire said he has adopted a middle path in his story telling.
Ghimire plans to bring into light the role of Yashodhara, the wife of Buddha. He said, she was a pillar of support to her husband but very little is known about her. “They had met before they were married and those scenes bring romance to the film”. Ghimire explains.
His 110 minute film will also shed some light on the common myths about the Buddha, including the one that says Buddha renounced his worldly life and the luxury of his palace after he was shocked to see an old man, a sick man, a dead man and a monk.
Ghimire plans to give media a sneak preview later this year, showing a few scenes as a promotional take on the film.

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