Filmed over 7 years The Enlightened State of Tara is the story of creation, perseverance and dedication.
Interview with Writer/Director Zev Howley
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
We did not set out to make a film as such, it was a totally organic journey, I wanted a deeper understanding of Buddhist philosophy, and upon hearing of Barbara's commitment to make this statue bought a camera and filmed the start of the work. I proceeded to visit at different times taking film grabs.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
As an audience member l feel the film is very informative, as most people recognise the face of a Buddha and other Buddhists statues, but l think most would not know what physically lies embedded underneath the outer shell of that image and what the interior of the statue contains and represents.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
It is a good example of "never giving up" the perseverance of the sculptor and the filmmaker treading towards an unknown result.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
Although there are strict measurements and gestural requirements there was not a road map or script. We believe this is the first time someone who had not understudied with a Master Tantric Sculptor of these Images has made a life size Tara sculpture - especially in the west. We had no idea that it was going to take so long and would require so much patience.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
It's been very private a few people knew it was being filmed. The statue itself is very loved and sits happily in the meditation room at 'The Atisha Centre for Buddhist studies' in Eagle Hawk, Bendigo where they will retain copies of the film and distribute them to other Dharma Centres.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
There has been no negative response, just awe of how long this commitment has taken.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
To create more awareness about this documentary to the wider community.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We would deeply appreciate any and all the help possible regarding this film.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
We would like it to be a soft and curious experience for the viewer, that comes back to mind and gives insight
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
It was a lesson in determination and patience with challengers on physical, emotional and financial dispositions. We hope that the release of this film will give the joy of completion that delivering the statue to her home ground gave.
Would you like to add anything else?
Tsapel, Tenzin Tsapel, a Tibetan Nun will talk about the worthiness of Buddhist statue's at the premiere's Q & A. And the making of the statue shows a journey of reflection, attachment and release, juxtaposed by living with the speed of life's distractions.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
For Barbara the painting of Tara has rekindled a passion for colour and painting is now dominating her studio output.
I am working on many projects with other works to be released soon. However i will soon go to crowdfunding for my Sci Fi short Lovesand.
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
The Enlightened State of Tara
Length: 40 mins
Director: Zev Howley
Producers: Zev Howley, Barbara Mclean
About the director and producer: Integrating his strong theatre and documentary production background, Zev Howley has directed and co-produced numerous award-winning shorts. After having an integral role in documentaries sponsored by the Australia Council, Zev directed a documentary of his own entitled, ‘Who is the Sonic Manipulator’ (2005), which screened at The Big West Festival and the Melbourne Underground Film Festival.
He pushed his passion for directing further and dove into short fiction film by writing and directing ‘Sarah's Jihad’ (2009) which won numerous best short awards and appeared on the Channel 31 television show entitled“Underexposed.”
Zev wrote and directed “Broken Superman” (2012), which won best film at connect film festival in Melbourne and also screened in Los Angeles. Zev’s most recent short film, also as writer and director, “Walkman” (2015) won Best Film of the year at Comfy Shorts.
As well as having his own video production business Zev also freelances for other companies.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): All of the above
Made in association with: Barbara Mclean
Release date: 2016