An Uncommon King

A feature documentary about Tibetan spiritual king Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, who is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage. Coming in Fall of 2012.

In partnership with


Our campaign continues on our website
AnUncommonKing.com, where we're accepting contributions via PayPal. Join us!


Our Indiegogo Campaign Has Ended But the Journey Has Just Begun for An Uncommon King 

We premiered the movie at the Atlantic Film Festival to a full house and look forward to other festivals and theatrical screenings that are being booked now in cities across North America this fall and winter.

Contributions on Indiegogo made this happen. Because of our partners here, we were able to pay for the digital cinema master that we screened at the premier and will be used in other theaters.

In addition to this good news, we will be launching on iTunes by the end of the year.

Shortly after that, the educational and institutional version of the movie will be available. This version grants permission to schools, libraries, universities, galleries, churches and community centers to screen the movie for their members and students. DVD’s for home use will be available in the New Year.

We're thrilled with the first major review, published in The Chronicle Herald: "the Uncommon King’s uncommon kingdom is revealed as a kingdom of the heart, his realm as the realm of the mind and its only law the gentleness of the actions the enlightened heart leads to." After 17 years in the making, it really is exciting to get this movie out there! 

Although we have a ways to go before we have actually paid for making the movie, we're optimistic. Because of our partners, we are building momentum.


Is It Possible that Society Is Actually Good?

Shot over 17 years and in 12 different countries, An Uncommon King is a true labor of love.

It is the story of one son’s quest to bring ancient wisdom into the mainstream of western society. In doing so, he reveals the decency and goodness that still exists in a world increasingly driven by short-term profits and instant gratification. It is a father/son story that starts in Tibet and ends with the birth of the Sakyong’s first child. And it is a story that raises the question: Is it possible that society is actually good?


Who is Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche?

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the subject of An Uncommon King"We are being brought up in a culture that is saying: 'you’re selfish and that’s human nature.' If humanity does not look inner and feel their basic goodness, then the future is very bleak indeed."

Those are the words of Mipham Rinpoche, a Tibetan spiritual king who seeks to end aggression in the world. He is a Sakyong, or an 'Earth Protector,' part of an ancient lineage of wisdom holders.

Although raised in a Tibetan refugee camp in India, he came of age in North America just as Buddhism was taking root in the 1970’s. His father, renowned meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, trained him to follow in his footsteps. His father was charismatic, controversial and widely respected. Not an easy act to follow. After his father passed away Mipham Rinpoche was empowered as Sakyong in a formal ceremony that committed him to the path of a spiritual king. His father laid the ground by introducing the Shambhala teachings in the West. Now it is up to the new Sakyong to further explain these teachings and carry on the work.

Because he was born in the East and raised in the West he is the perfect messenger to deliver these teachings. He knows both cultures inside out. In his journey to fulfill his father’s mission he runs marathons, writes books, works with musicians, artists and professionals of all stripes. As the spiritual head of Shambhala, a global community with over 200 meditation centres, he travels extensively to teach and train individuals to make a difference in the world. Being brave enough to be gentle lies at the heart of the wisdom he is responsible for transmitting. In Shambhala, this is known as warriorship.

Who Are the Filmmakers?

Johanna J. Lunn, director of An Uncommon KingJohanna J. Lunn is an award-winning documentary and television producer, who has been the driving force behind many compelling, informative and thought provoking programs. Her work has garnered seven Gemini (Canadian equivalent of an Emmy) nominations and taken home three wins. In addition to producing hundreds of hours of television series & one-offs as an in-house executive producer, she has made independent documentaries for her own companies Wild East Productions & Centre East Media. She has worked as Director of Programming for Alliance Atlantis and played a key role in the launch IFC Canada. Prior to that, Johanna was Head of Independent Production for Atlantic Canada for CTV. She created the first competitive international children’s film festival in English Canada and was Artistic Director of the Atlantic Film Festival. Years of programming and producing have honed her story-telling ability.

James Hoagland, filmmaker, An Uncommon KingJames Hoagland has been working in the documentary form for over 30 years as a producer, camera operator, sound recordist, editor and technical wizard, responsible for setting a new standard for restoring outdated video formats. He has also worked extensively in archival settings. In addition to numerous educational projects, his film credits include the recently re-mastered release of The Lion’s Roar about the life of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa; Discovering Elegance, about an environmental “dharma” art exhibit created by meditation master Chögyam Trungpa, held at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art; and Living Peace, about an award given to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya in Colorado featuring talks by Her Majesty Queen Noor, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Rabbi Irwin Kula.

What Will This Film Achieve?

We are passionate about the message of An Uncommon King: that we can all participate in an awake society.

We strongly believe that our film will be of great benefit to those who see it. It will inspire and motivate viewers with its uplifting, empowering message. Together, we can do what films like My Reincarnation did: act as a catalyst for individual and collective awakening. 

How You Can Participate

First of all, we're so glad you're here! We have filmed, edited, and produced An Uncommon King. Now it's ready to reach a wide audience. We need $15,000 to do that. Here's how you can join us:

  • First $5,000 will allow us to create a digital cinema master so that An Uncommon King can be screened in movie theatres.

  • Second $5,000 will allow us to create a master to produce DVD’s.

  • Third $5,000 will allow us to complete the technical requirements for iTunes and support the fall release of An Uncommon King.

To thank you for joining us, we're sharing a variety of perks and gifts: from a pre-release download of An Uncommon King to limited edition boxed sets of our previous films to exclusive art prints of paintings by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to beautiful, rare photos of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche to tickets to our world premiere. We can't wait for you to be a part of this experience!  

We are grateful to From the Heart Productions for their fiscal sponsorship of An Uncommon King on Indiegogo. This means U.S. citizens who participate will receive a tax deduction for their contribution! 

Other Ways You Can Join Us

Our goal is to spread the message of An Uncommon King and to be of benefit to those who see the film. When you share this campaign, you're helping us do that in a big way.

So please tell your friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, teachers, and students about this campaign - we thank you! 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION on AnUncommonKing.com and get behind-the-scenes stories, photos, and clips!   

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By claiming a perk here on Indiegogo, you're joining our An Uncommon King mailing list. You'll get email updates from us from time to time. You can opt out if you choose and we promise we will never share, rent, or sell your contact info.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT AND USE THE INDIEGOGO SHARE TOOLS to share this campaign with a friend. 

Thank you, and we look forward to being in touch! 

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