May 17th news:
We are in full bogie mode working to get the film ready for a private screening at Plum Village in France. Look below for new comic book graphics.
November 6th - News! for those who have donated or will donate $100 or more you will receive all of the perks below $75 plus 1 reprinted (not original) copy of the long forgotten" 1957 Martin Luther King Jr, "Montgomery Story" Comic Book.
Peace Is The Way- A Century Of Nonviolent Action film series chronicles the interconnected stories of normal people, who became nonviolent Superheroes.
Our first film in the Peace is the Way series, (formerly titled Walking with Alfred Hassler, Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong)
THE SECRET OF THE 5 POWERS
tells the true stories of three remarkably courageous individuals, whose nonviolent action inspired Martin Luther King Jr, and millions of others around the world. The documentary weaves comic book animation, contemporary and historic footage that follows the lives of Alfred Hassler, an American Anti-War Hero, Vietnamese peace activists and Zen Masters, Thich “One Action” Nhat Hanh and Sister “True Emptiness” Chan Khong, who used the sacred 5 POWERS of Faith, Diligence, Mindfulness, Concentration, and Insight to combat violence and destruction, planting seeds of peace in the mud of War.
The film will reveal our superheroes interconnected and personal stories, taking you on a journey from their first meeting in war-torn Vietnam to the "Arab Spring" and Tahir Square, Eqypt, where Alfreds ideas in 1956 for the long forgotten Martin Luther King comic book was translated into Arabic and used in Eqypts nonviolent uprising inspiring others in their contemporary quest for social change through nonviolent action.
Life waits patiently for true heroes. It is dangerous when those aspiring to be heroes cannot wait until they find themselves. When aspiring heroes have not found themselves, they are tempted to borrow the worlds weapons-money, fame,and power-to fight their battles. These weapons cannot protect the inner life of the hero. -Thich Nhat Hanh
"Peace is the Way" Film Website Oprah Winfrey Talks to Thich Nhat Hanh
Alfred Hassler was one of our dearest friends, supporters and brothers and that is one of the many reasons why we call him by his true name "Thich Alfred Hassler".
Alfred stood by us during some of the most difficult times of our lives, during the war in Vietnam. He was a deep listener who "always stuck to the spirit of non-duality and reconciliation." ??We were with Alfred during his last day in the hospital.
When we arrived Alfred was asleep, he was dying of cancer and was heavily sedated. We sang to him, massaged his feet and spoke to him recalling many of our adventures together when suddenly Alfred opened his eyes for a brief moment and said "Wonderful, Wonderful," then fell back to sleep.
Collectively, the film team "sangha" comprising of Gregory, Stuart, Katharina, Jennifer, Erich, Uli, Amelie and Anna have worked for a number of years to bring this story to the world and it would be "wonderful, wonderful," for those of you who know us to support their IndieGOGO fundraising campaign to produce and finish the film which we would like to premiere during Plum Village's 30th Anniversary in June or July of 2012.
Our brother Alfred was one of the most important peacemakers in the last century and his story, which is interconnected with ours, should be told and is truly worthy of your support".
-Thich Nhat Hanh & Sister Chan Khong, July 2011, Plum Village
This is the story of three Nonviolent Superheroes
Alfred Hassler, a lifelong activist, leader of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and innovator within the peace movement, was arrested as a conscientious objector during WWII and continued on to become one of the most outspoken voices against the Vietnam War. Influenced by Thich Nhat Hanh and Vietnamese Buddhist thought, Alfred Hassler co-founded the Dai Dong project, linking war, environmental problems and poverty, in 1970. His work has inspired generations of powerful peacemakers and intellectuals such as Erich Fromm, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sister Chan Khong, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bayard Rustin, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Joan Baez.??
In 1956, Alfred Hassler had the idea to create a comic book about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Montgomery Bus Boycott Story. Martin Luther King, Jr., who consulted directly with Alfred on the comic book project wrote, "Again, I would like to say what a fine piece of work this is. You have done a marvelous job of grasping the underlying truth and philosophy of the movement. I am sure that this comic book will be welcomed by the American public. Please feel free to call on me at any time". The comic book was a huge success although it was dangerous to own one in southern USA states. 240,000 original copies were printed although only 20 originals still exist today, with one being in the Smithsonian Museum.
Thich Nhat Hanh
He's been a Buddhist monk for more than 60 years, as well as a teacher and writer, who valiantly opposed his own government during the Vietnam War - a stance that left him exiled from his native Vietnam for four decades. Beneath Thich Nhat Hanh's serene demeanor lies a courageous warrior. Martin Luther King Jr. called him "an apostle of peace and nonviolence. It's also what led Martin Luther King Jr. to nominate him for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1967.
Sister Chan Khong? (Cao Ngoc Phuong)
Sister Chan Khong whose birthname is Cao Ngoc Phuong was born in a Vietnamese village on the Makong River Delta in 1938. Cao Ngoc Phuong began working at age 13 helping poor people in slums. In 1964, she joined Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh in founding the School of Youth for Social Service which set up medical, educational, and agricultural facilities in rural Vietnam. Throughout the civil war in the country, she fed the hungry, built communes, buried the dead, and tried to be a serene presence in the midst of terrible violence. "If we just worry about the big picture, we are powerless. So my secret is to start right away doing whatever little work we can do. I try to give joy to one person in the morning, and remove the suffering of one person in the afternoon. . . . That is the secret. Start right now."
Our hope is that this film, Walking with Alfred Hassler, Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong and further films in the series, will provide us all with the realization that teachers are some of the most important people in society and have the power to inspire countless others, to show that there is a hero inside of every single one of us, and to provide concrete examples of how you can use nonviolent methods to change ourselves, and therefore the world.
This film is about releasing to the masses something that can do wonders for planting seeds of compassion and grace and love in a modern, easily assessible way.
How we will spend the money pledged
- Film Equipment transport, rental and insurance.
- Comic Book Printing & shipping
- Hire additional film editor (We need one extra editor as this film is a huge undertaking)
- Professional post production sound mixing
- Travel to Plum Village in December (final filming and voiceovers with Thich Nhat Hanh & Sister Chan Khong)
- Film Premiere Plum Village
- Give team members enough money to buy a loaf of bread and some milk to feed themselves.
Wish List (If we raise $70,000+)
We want to travel to NY to film Musician Andrew Vladeck, Joe Riley and hopefully Joan Baez who is touring in NY in November. Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong will be finishing their US tour in mid November and have agreed to have a reunion with Joan if her schedule will permit it.
Travel to Atlanta to film Martin Luther King Jr III, John Lewis (March on Washington, Freedom Rides), and Lilli Baxter.
Travel to Vietnam to film the Temple/pagoda where Alfred Hasslers photo can be seen daily. On our recent trip to Plum Village, one young Vietnamese nun, Sister Bieu Nghiem (her name means 'manifestation') told us that Alfred's photo is on the altar in the Dinh Quan Pagoda in Hanoi. Sister Bieu Nghiem said he is regarded there as a Bodhisattva. (meaning a "heroic-minded one (satva) for enlightenment (bodhi)." Another term is "wisdom-being.
"??Buy Erich Tiefenbach our Comic Creator a new lightbox and electronic drawing pad (his equipment is 10 years old and we want our comics to be Wonderful)??
Create and Produce Peace is the Way T-Shirts with images from the cover and inside our comic book on the fronts (made from 100% Organic Cotton, naturally)?
Making a great film is expensive and time consuming
Normally a 3D animated comic book film of this scope would cost triple of what we are hoping to raise. However, because the team is living this project to their very cores, we all agreed to work for a fraction of their normal rates.
To do the film justice we need to raise about $70,000 and with your pledges we surely can make it. We are seeking $50,000 from our IndieGOGO campaign and will search high and low for the other $20,000 (unless the IndieGOGO community blesses us with the full $70,000! We want to take this first opportunity to say Thank You for your support and SPREADING THE WORD, and we will post updates as this wonderful project proceeds.
??Love, the Peace is the Way Film Team Sangha
Film Distribution Plans:
Our aim is to distribute the film to:
� American and European film festivals,
� Cinemas (Q&A tours, meet the directors)
� TV broadcasters (PBS, Arte, Channel 4, Documentary channels, Buddhist TV Channel),
� Online Independent film streaming video services (Objective Cinema, Indieflix.com)
� School libraries and higher education institutions
� Peace and nonviolence organizations film libraries.
Distribution roadmap strategy:
� January 2012 we will begin to contact American and European broadcasters affording them a sneak peak at the soon to be completed film to gauge their interest.
� February, March, April 2012 we will begin to enter the film in film festivals worldwide and to contact Cinemas.
� In May and June 2012 we will preview the film at a few private screenings
July or Aug 2012 the film will be screened at Plum Village France.
Other Ways You Can Help
Spread the word about our campaign! You, the IndieGOGO Sangha Community can help to make this film a reality by first pledging a monetary donation, but also by spreading the word to your friends, family, colleagues, pets and plants (if they have a credit card or PayPal account)
IndieGoGo automatically tracks the referrals of contributors, so we are offering a BONUS award to the person (s) with the most referral contributions!
Once you contribute any amount - even the minimum of $10 - you could still win the contest by referring the most contributors.
The 1st place referral prize is everything included in the $1,000 Alfred Hassler pledge package and one extra Limited Edition Collectable Peace Is The Way Comic Book signed by Erich.
The 2nd place referral prize is everything included in the $500 Mahatma Gandhi pledge package.
The 3rd place referral prize is everything included in the $300 Martin Luther King Jr. pledge package and one extra Limited Edition Collectable Peace Is The Way Comic Book signed by Erich.
It's not hard to win - make the minimum contribution then engage your friends into doing the same, and you have a great chance to win!
Team on This Campaign:
Producer / Co-Director
Producer / Co-Director
Advisor - Plum Village France
Phap Kinh - Plum Village France
Comic Book Creator / Sage
Jose de Vries
Advisor / Social Networking
Advisor - www.musicianswithoutborders.org
Phap Man Aaron Solomon
Advisor - Plum Village France
Anna Rebecca Scheer
Researcher / Outreach
Sound / Camera / Research
Social Networking - Plum Village France
Spanish & German language film outreach and Editor
UK Film Promotion
French, Italian And Spanish Outreach
Youth Social Networker
Italian social networking and translation
Comic Book Colorist
Dutch translation and social networking