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Watch an exclusive clip from E. Gene Smith documentary “Digital Dharma” — and enter to win a private screening

E. Gene Smith examines a text in this still from "Digital Dharma."

On December 15, 2011, noting the first anniversary of the passing of legendary Tibetologist E. Gene Smith, the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation will celebrate his life and host a private screening of the documentary about Smith, Digital Dharma — an epic story of cultural rescue, and how one man’s mission became the catalyst for an international movement to provide free access to the story of a people.

Thanks to the people behind the film, we’re able to share exclusive video clips — and offer you the chance to have a Digital Dharma screening* of your own. Click through for details and to watch an exclusive Digital Dharma clip — “Gene Smith and his legendary collection of books” — the first of several to be hosted here on Buddhadharma News. Read More »

Update: Digital Dharma at Rubin Museum, DocuWeeks festivals

Digital Dharma, a documentary about the late Tibetologist E. Gene Smith, is screening at the Rubin Museum in New York City every Wednesday through September 5. The film, directed by Dafna Yachin, documents how Smith, a Mormon from Ogden, Utah, came to find, preserve, and digitize over 20,000 volumes of Tibetan religious texts.

The film will also be shown at the International Documentary Association’s upcoming DocuWeeks festivals, which run from August 10 to 16 in Los Angeles and August 17 to 23 in New York. Show times and tickets are available here. Through the festival, Digital Dharma will be eligible for Academy Award consideration, but since the IDA is nonprofit, the filmmakers need to pay a co-op fee to participate. They’re hoping to raise $25,000 to cover the fee and pay for a master print as well as marketing and promotion; you can contribute to their fundraising campaign here. After the jump, watch a trailer for Digital Dharma. Read More »

“Digital Dharma” to open Sedona International Film Festival

E. Gene Smith and colleagues in a still from the film

When the eighteenth annual Sedona International Film Festival opens next week, the audience will get a sneak peek at Philadelphia director Dafna Yachin’s feature-length documentary, Digital Dharma — the documentary film that Buddhadharma News readers recently got to preview.

The film tells the story of unlikely hero E. Gene Smith, a Mormon from Utah who, it has been said, saved Tibetan Buddhism. Read More »

E. Gene Smith documentary needs your help

The makers of Digital Dharma, the documentary about the late, legendary Tibetologist E. Gene Smith — learn all about it, and him, in our previous coverage, including film clips and more — report: “We already have thousands of dollars backed on our Kickstarter campaign to help cover the costs of completing the score, sound mix and color correction for the feature-length film, but we will also need funds to edit the 52-minute broadcast version that will be distributed globally.

But unless we raise another $11,332 in the next 65 hours, we may have nothing to distribute.” Click here to pitch in.

Help make “Digital Dharma” a reality

Last month we shared clips from Digital Dharma, the documentary-in-progress from filmmaker Dafna Yachin, about E. Gene Smith, who spent fifty years finding, preserving, and digitizing more than 20,000 volumes of ancient Tibetan Buddhist text. It’s an incredible story, well told, but the film will only be completed if Dafna can raise $30,000 through a Kickstarter campaign.  She’s currently close to $9000, but has only 2 weeks to raise the remaining $21,000. Without your support, the story of Gene and the struggle to save Tibetan texts and culture will not be told. Want to help? Click here to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign — and see clips from the movie.

Watch our last two exclusive “Digital Dharma” clips

Our private screening contest is over — congratulations, Michael Dorfman! — but there’s still a bit more Digital Dharma to share with you. That is, we’re offering two more exclusive clips from the documentary about E. Gene Smith, who died one year ago this Friday. Watch them below. We also hope you’ll consider honoring Gene’s memory and mission of preserving and digitizing irreplaceable Tibetan Buddhist texts by contributing to Digital Dharma’s Kickstarter campaign. Read More »

Watch two more exclusive clips from the new documentary, “Digital Dharma”

Buddhadharma News is pleased to present more exclusive clips from Digital Dharma, the documentary about the life and work of the late, legendary Tibetologist E. Gene Smith. (December 16 will mark the one-year anniversary of Gene’s passing.) Click through here to watch two new clips — “The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center” and “Matthieu Ricard and Gene Smith” — and for links to previous clips, as well as info on how you can win your own private Digital Dharma screening.* Read More »

Library honoring Tibetologist E. Gene Smith opens in China

Bust of E. Gene Smith from the library that honors his work (Photo via Lunchbox Communications)

On June 01, 2011, the Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, China, held the opening of the E. Gene Smith Library. The library opening coincided with the university’s 60th anniversary celebration. Southwest University for Nationalities is located in the Sichuan province and has a strong Tibetology research program, as well as a focus on minority education. [More, with links to our extensive coverage of Smith's life, work, and passing, after the jump.] Read More »

Scholars, Tibetan Buddhist teachers, friends remember E. Gene Smith

One merely has to know of the late Tibetologist E. Gene Smith to have a sense of his singularity. As recounted by Jeff Wallman in his interview with Melvin McLeod (posted here earlier today), Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche even said that he “wouldn’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that Gene Smith did more for the Tibetan Buddhist religion and Tibetan Buddhist culture than anyone in this century.”

Those who knew Smith also speak of a generous and joyful human being, a true bodhisattva. At Saturday’s heavily attended memorial at New York’s Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, that’s just what they did. In the following we share praise and memories offered at the memorial by colleagues and Buddhist teachers including Alak Zenkar Rinpoche, Shelley Rubin, Janet Gyatso, Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, Tulku Tenzin Gyatso Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche, and others. Read More »

Interview: Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center Executive Director Jeff Wallman on E. Gene Smith

Continuing our coverage from Saturday’s New York memorial for the legendary Tibetologist E. Gene Smith, we present now an interview with Jeff Wallman, a dear friend and colleague of Smith’s. Wallman is Executive Director of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, whose mission is to digitalize and share precious Tibetan texts. Smith founded the TBRC, dedicating his latter years to it.

At the reception after Smith’s memorial, Wallman spoke to Editor in Chief Melvin McLeod about the manifestation of the TBRC mission, and discussed the giant of a man whose generosity and brilliance has made its realization possible. Click through to listen. Read More »

Video: Leonard van der Kuijp on the legacy of E. Gene Smith

Yesterday at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, several hundred people, including Tibetan Buddhist teachers and scholars, gathered to remember E. Gene Smith, the famed Tibetologist who died late last year. In this video filmed during the post-memorial reception, Melvin McLeod speaks with Leonard van der Kuijp – professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies and chairman of the Department of Sanskrit and Indian studies at Harvard University – about the meaning and impact of Smith’s life and legacy, and his work to digitalize and share Tibetan literature through the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center.

More from the Smith memorial will be found here in the days ahead.

Previously on Buddhadharma’s Buddhist News: Our original announcement of E. Gene Smith’s death | A remembrance of Smith by His Holiness the Karmapa | TBRC board member and Wisdom Publications president Tim McNeill remembers Smith | Memorial announcement including the entirety of Janet Gyatso’s tribute to Smith, from the Spring 2011 Buddhadharma magazine

Memorial for E. Gene Smith this weekend in New York

A memorial for E. Gene Smith, the legendary modern Tibetologist and founder of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, will be taking place at 2 pm this Saturday at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St., New York City; click here for the location via Google Maps.) Saturday’s memorial will include special tributes offered by long-time colleagues, family, and friends, as well as brief musical interludes offered by Jon Gibson, Philip Glass, Yungchen Lhamo, and Ning Tien. Please visit or call 646-839-5915 ext. 7 for more information.

Smith dedicated his life to preserving Tibet’s literary heritage and played a key role in its survival. His life and passing was noted here earlier by His Holiness the Karmapa and also by Tim McNeill, president of Wisdom Publications and a member of the TBRC board of directors.

To read our original announcement of Gene’s passing, click here. A feature profile of Gene, by his colleague Janet Gyatso, is in the new issue of Buddhadharma. You can be one of the first to read it here: Read More »

Wisdom Publications’ Tim McNeill on the life and work of E. Gene Smith

As reported here this past Friday, the Tibetan Buddhist world and the Buddhist world at large are mourning the December 16 passing of E. Gene Smith, who dedicated his life to preserving and sharing vital Tibetan Buddhist texts.

At Wisdom Publications in 2000. Front row: Tim McNeill, Gene Smith, and David Kittelstrom. Rear: Rilbur Rinpoche, Geshe Tsulga.

A full obituary by Smith’s colleague Janet Gyatso will appear in the next issue of Buddhadharma. Here, another close contemporary — Timothy J. McNeill, board member for Smith’s Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center and publisher at Wisdom Publications, where Gene spent time as an acquisitions editor and trusted adviser — remembers the man who lived his life among Tibetan texts:  Read More »