Local Filmmakers’ Documentary to Raise Funds for Nepal

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Baguio city  – The city’s pride and award-winning local filmmaker Ferdie Balanag’s opus Walking the Waking Journey is scheduled for a series of screenings in theaters in Japan this June and in July to raise funds for Nepal whose capital, Kathmandu and its surrounding areas were recently hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake last April 25 leaving thousands dead and a multitude of people injured in its wake.

All proceeds from ticket sales will fund efforts of a Japanese relief and rescue team led by Seiji Yoshimura and Jun Amanto in cooperation with Mariko Sorimachi of the Cordillera Green Network who are scheduled to conduct relief operations in the remote villages of Nepal in July.

“We want to return the compliment to our Nepalese brothers and sisters because of the assistance they extended to us in the city when we were hit by the intensity 7.9 killer earthquake on July 16, 1990. We want the beautiful place to recover from the devastation that they experienced,” Balanag stressed.

It can be recalled that sometime in 2011, Ferdie Balanag’s full length documentary entitled Walking the Walking Journey reaped many awards here and abroad. To name some, the film won the Golden Ace Award in the Las Vegas International Film Festival, the Mount Hope Project Award for Social Activism at the International Film Festival Manhattan, New York, Best full length documentary and best South East Asian Director at the Silent River Film Festival, Irvine California, USA among others.

The documentary is about a young Tibetan monk named Lama Tenzin, who rescued children from poor living conditions in the isolated villages in the Himalayan border region of Upper Dolpo, Nepal. He built a home for them in India where he raised and educated them, and provided them with spiritual guidance with the hope that these children would return to their homes one day and do the same for their communities.

In 2008, Lama Tenzin took the eleven children he rescued on a 30 day journey back to visit their homes and families. Walking the Waking Journey is the documentation of that remarkable voyage.Set against the backdrop of a country rich with history and cultural identity, the journey is a glimpse into the hopes and dreams of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Taking off from where the full length documentary- Walking the Waking Journey’s story ended, FerdieBalanag made a short film (documentary) entitled “Harmony Flower” which tells the story of TendralMeytok, a Tibetan baby born with a cleft palate.

The story narrates how she was found by Lama Tenzin in 2008 and how her life took a turn for a better future.

Harmony Floweris currently available for viewing for free but for a limited time only on the YouTube channel of Herald Express.

By Glenn Pat-ogan

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