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Film Features Female Buddhist Leader

Alumna screens her film, 'Sky Dancer'
Friday, May 20, 2011 - McCormick Lecture Hall

sky dancerIn a remote locale on the Tibetan plateau a Tibetan Buddhist community lives something of an anomaly. Chinese and Tibetan students study together and are treated as equals, and their spiritual leader, Khandroma Kunzang Wangmo, is a woman. The film "Sky Dancer," created by College of the Atlantic alumna Jody Kemmerer, features the life and journey of the woman known as Khandroma. It will be screened at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20 in McCormick Lecture Hall. Kemmerer will be present to speak about the film.

Khandroma's unbiased and boundless compassion were perhaps her most exceptional qualities, though she was also known for her abilities to travel to other realms. Though she had no children of her own, Khandroma adopted both Tibetan and Chinese children, helping bridge the gap between these two cultures. When asked about her most important accomplishment, Khandrom responded, "I have searched for my mind - where it came from, where it is going, where it will remain. That is all that I do. There ias nothing bigger then that, which I can tell you."

Filmmaker Jody Kemmerer studied documentary filmmaking under Nancy Andrews, COA faculty member in video and performing arts, and a winner of a Guggenheim fellowship. While at COA, she connected with Tibetans in Dharmsala, India, and began making videos of her fundraising work with the Tibetan Buddhist community in New York City.

Says Kemmerer, "I decided to make Sky Dancer after my first trip to Tibet in 2005 when I traveled across the plateau seeking out the last remaining great female practitioners. The last woman we met was Khandroma Kunzang Wangmo. I fell in love with her and her family and her playful down to earth ability to deliver the Buddhist teachings as well as serve the needs of her community. I returned seven months later to film her."

For more about the film, visit www.skydancer.com. For more information about the screening on Friday, May 20 at 4:30 p.m. contact Dianne Clendaniel at doc@coa.edu, or 207-801-5624.


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