AKONG A Remarkable Life
This is the first ever documentary film about the inspirational life of Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche. Through his powerful message of loving-kindness and compassion and his humanitarian work around the world, Akong Rinpoche has benefitted the lives of countless people. This film aims to make his inspirational life story available to future generations.
Born in Kham, eastern Tibet in 1940, Akong Tulku Rinpoche was quickly recognized as a reincarnate Tulku and enthroned as the Abbot of Drolma Lhakhang Monastery at the age of four.
However his life would change dramatically when in 1959, tensions between China and Tibet reached breaking point. Forced to undertake a dangerous journey on foot across the Himalayas to reach India, at the age of only nineteen, Akong Rinpoche and other fourteen people were the only survivors out of a party of over two hundred Tibetans. This episode marked his life profoundly.
After reaching their destination, living conditions in Buxadaur refugee camp in Assam were extremely poor. The hot climate combined with the lack of food and medicine claimed the lives of many of the surviving refugees, including Akong's elder brother, Jamyang Chogyal.
When in 1963, Akong Rinpoche arrived in the UK with Trungpa Rinpoche, life wasn't easy either. In order to support themselves Akong worked as an orderly at a hospital in Oxford. His life started to change a few years later though, and in 1967 Akong founded the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the west - Kagyu Samye Ling in Scotland.
Samye Ling Temple
Samye Ling has become an international centre for authentic Tibetan Buddhist teachings, renowned for bringing great contemporary Buddhist masters such as HH the 16th Karmapa, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche, Tai Situ, Ringu Tulku amongst others.
Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche continued to lead an active life supervising his countless projects, until his life was cut short by three men who murdered him at the age of 73.
His dedication to reach out thousands of people in need, be it through his teachings or through his charity work will be hard to equal. For example his charity ROKPA International invests nearly 100% of donations directly into humanitarian projects in Tibet, Nepal, India and Africa.
We invite you to become involved in this important project by helping us to preserve this amazing and inspirational story for generations to come. Our objective is to make the first film about the life and work of Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche.
Researching and interviewing are already well under way on the film. Thus far the project has been self-funding and during the past two years we have already achieved the following:
- Researched relevant aspects of Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
- Developed the film’s storyline
- Arranged and conducted interviews in several locations such as London, Manchester, Scotland and Zurich
- Collected archive material at ROKPA International in Zurich and Samye Ling Monastery
- Filmed interviews and the construction progress of Samye Ling
- Produced and edited our film trailer
- Built the project’s website
However, moving into the principle phase of production, a significant budget is required in order to gather crucial footage from around Europe, Asia and Africa.
What do we need the money for?
We really need your help with the following:
- Travel expenses to Tibet, India, Nepal in order to conduct further interviews and produce film reconstructions
- Equipment rental
- Equipment insurance
- Image licensing
- Editing, colour grading & special effects
- Music production
- Crew expenses
- DVD production & distribution
- Graphic design
- Subtitling in foreign language
Who we are:
CHICO DALL'INHA, Producer & Director
Film Director, Producer and Editor. His credits range from drama and documentary, to broadcast and corporate videos. He lectures editing and sound for film and video at Westminster Adult Education, London.JÖRG WAGNER, Co-Producer & Co-Director
Filmmaker and producer of documentaries and promotional films for art, charity and non-governmental organisations. Tutor in media studies at Westminster Adult Education, London.
GERRY McCULLOCH, Cinematographer
Photographer, cinematographer and lecturer with many broadcast and exhibitions credits in film, documentary, and promotional videos. He operates Darshana Photo Art and was previously a director of Untold Productions. Gerry devised and leads the MA in Filmmaking and two undergraduates Film courses at Goldsmith University of London.
Kagyu Lineage: Ka means oral and Gyu means lineage; the lineage of oral transmission. One of the four major schools of Buddhism in Tibet and headed by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa.
Karmapa: The title given to the reincarnating head of the Karma Kagyu lineage
Rinpoche: Honorific title used in Tibetan Buddhism. It literally means "precious one”, and is used to address or describe Tibetan lamas and other high-ranking or respected teachers.
Rokpa: Tibetan word for “help”. Rokpa is an international charity organization aiming to relieve suffering wherever needed, regardless of religion and culture.
Tulku: High-ranking lama who can choose the manner of his rebirth.
About the books (perks)
Karmapa by Ken Holmes
Ken Holmes presents extremely useful and not always widely available information on topics such as the uniqueness of the Karmapa, his lineage, reincarnation, Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism itself - particularly the Kagyu tradition.
Living Dreaming Dying by Rob Nairn
Rob Nairn presents methods for us to experience our greater human potential - drawing on his studies under enlightened lamas and his training ain modern psychology.
Living Dharma by Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
In his direct, down to earth style, Lama Yeshe Losal both demystifies and illuminates these profound teachings in such a way as to make them easily understood and accessible to even the most obdurate mind.
Restoring the Balance by Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
This book offers Akong Rinpoche's timeless wisdom to help us face the challenge of living happy and useful lives in an increasingly bewildering world.
Limitless Compassion by Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
This book is the perfect guide to help us apply the buddhist teachings in everyday life. Akong Tulku Rinpoches' teachings cover the importance of mindfulness, meditation and compassion in order for us to live happy, fulfilling lives.