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Mustang Journey of Transformation



tribecafilm.com
May 3, 2009

A 30-minute film capturing the magic of the Forbidden Kingdom

Screening at the Tribeca Film Festival, May 1 & 3

Contact: Will Parrinello Producer/Director, Mill Valley Film Group (Telephone) 415-332-0300, (e-mail) willmvfg@gmail.com

Narrated by Richard Gere, Mustang - Journey of Transformation, tells the remarkable story of a Tibetan culture pulled back from the brink of extinction through the restoration of its most sacred sites.

The Himalayan Kingdom of Mustang lies on a windswept plateau between Nepal and Tibet in one of the most remote regions in the world. Isolated both by geography and politics, Mustang––known as the Forbidden Kingdom––has been completely off limits to westerners for 50 years. Although Mustang is culturally and ethnically Tibetan, politically it is part of Nepal. At a time when Tibetan culture in Tibet is in danger of disappearing under China’s occupation, Mustang remains uniquely preserved. This starkly beautiful place is home to one of the last surviving repositories of Tibetan sacred art from the 15th century. To travel here is to journey into the past where one can witness the ancient ways of life.

In 1991 Nepal opened Mustang’s border to the outside world. What the first visitors found was shocking--the ancient monasteries were on the verge of collapse; the Buddhist wall paintings were disintegrating; the community was deeply impoverished. The people needed health care, education, and jobs. Surprisingly, the King’s first plea to outsiders offering help was to save the monasteries. The King understood… saving the art would save the people, because without cultural identity there is nothing. Mustang - Journey of Transformation is a tale of hope and rebirth told by the people who helped save the Forbidden Kingdom.

Mustang - Journey of Transformation features interviews with the Dalai Lama; the Raja of Mustang; Luigi Fieni, the chief art restorer; world renowned architectural restoration specialist John Sanday, and Richard Blum, founder of the American Himalayan Foundation, the NGO that worked with the community’s Lo Gyalpo Jigme Foundation to restore the monasteries and bring essential social services to the people.

The 30-minute documentary was produced and directed by Will Parrinello of the Mill Valley Film Group, makers of the award winning films Emile Norman – By His Own Design, Dreaming of Tibet, Kerouac, Little Italy, and Global Focus – The New Environmentalists.

"Mustang- Journey of Transformation" Tribeca Film Festival Screening Schedule

Sunday, May 3, 3:30 pm, TC2

Screening Venue
Tribeca Cinemas (TC)
54 Varick Street (At Laight Street, below Canal Street)
New York, NY 10013

2009 Tribeca Film Festival Box Office
Phone: (646) 502-5296
Toll free: (866) 941-FEST (3378)
web: http://www.tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets
Steve Messina, Rich Kern and the band Blow Up Hollywood, composers of the original score for the film "Mustang -- Journey of Transformation," performed music from the score at Anthology Film Archive on Thursday, April 30th. The nine piece band included special guest Tibetan musicians. The performance was accompanied by stylized images from the film, projected behind the band.

The Anthology is located at 32 Second Ave. corner of 2nd Ave. and 2nd St., NYC. Tickets are available at Anthology’s box office on the day of the show only. The box office opens 30 minutes before the first show of the day.

For more information call (212) 505-5181 or on the web at: anthologyfilmarchives.org

Ever have a friend whose talent, adventures and pure productivity takes your breath away? Who always has a story that leaves you in awe? Who inspires you to reach just a little deeper into your own creative toolbox?

We’ve known Will Parrinello for over 30 years. He was a "radio guy" when we were all students (we were newspaper folk) in Chico in the 70’s. He’s one half of Mill Valley Film Group, along with his partner John Antonelli. Their films all have a spirit of curiosity, adventure, creativity and inspiration, and it’s been a thrill to watch them (the filmmakers and the films) over the years. Will’s latest film, Mustang—Journey of Transformation, premiered at the Aspen Short Film Festival earlier this month. And now it’s headed to NY to screen in competition at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival on April 27. Tribeca was started by Robert De Niro and his producing partner Jane Rosenthal in the wake of 9/11.

Mustang - Journey of Transformation tells the story of the Himalayan Kingdom of Mustang, a Tibetan culture saved from extinction through the restoration of its most sacred sites. It is narrated by Richard Gere and is truly inspirational. Mustang lies on a windswept plateau between Nepal and Tibet in one of the most remote regions in the world. Isolated by both geography and politics, Mustang–known as the Forbidden Kingdom–has been completely off- limits to westerners for 50 years. This starkly beautiful place is home to one of the last surviving repositories of Tibetan sacred art from the 15th century. In 1991 Nepal opened Mustang’s border to the outside world.

What the first visitors found was shocking: the ancient monasteries were on the verge of collapse; the Buddhist wall paintings were disintegrating; the community was deeply impoverished. The people needed health care, education, and jobs. Surprisingly, the King’s first plea to outsiders offering help was to save the monasteries. The King understood… saving the art would save the people, because without cultural identity there is nothing. Mustang -Journey of Transformation is a tale of hope and rebirth told by the people who helped save the Forbidden Kingdom.

Will describes my favorite character in the film, Luigi, the Italian art restorer. "Luigi Fieni is the head art conservator on the Mustang restoration project. Luigi is like a beacon of light, and his energy jumps off the screen. Through his work in Mustang, Luigi has become, what I call a guileless Bodhisattva… through his open heart - we met dozens of his Loba friends. You have to see Luigi in Mustang – because he’s like the Pied Piper - everywhere he goes young men and women… and more women, come running to greet him. He’s universally loved for the great work he’s done, for his generosity as a skilled teacher and for the professional knowledge he’s shared with the Lobas, and for his amazing spirit."

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