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‘Walk With Me’ Documentary on Thich Nhat Hanh and Mindfulness to Premiere at SXSW

‘Walk With Me’ a new documentary follows the teachings of Zen Buddhist Master Thích Nhất Hạnh will have its world premiere today at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

The documentary, filmed over three years, is directed by Max Pugh and Marc J. Frances and narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. The film gives unprecedented access to Thích Nhất Hạnh (pronounced “Tik-N’yat-Hawn”) and to the Buddhist community who have dedicated their lives to mastering the art of mindfulness.

Credit: WestEnd Films, www.westendfilms.com

The 90-year old Vietnamese-born spiritual leader is now based in France after being labeled a dissenter and denied entry back into Vietnam in the 1960s. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967 by Martin Luther King, Jr. for his activism during the Vietnam War. His teachings are rooted in mindfulness and non-violence and, “through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment — the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh is followed by millions of people and has written over 100 books, founded monasteries and has met with world leaders. His spiritual retreat and residence, Plum Village, located in Dordogne, France has 200 residents and hosts approximately 8,000 visitors a year.

The film has already garnered attention before its release. Oscar-winning director Alejandro G. Inarritu tells Variety that he was fortunate to go on a 21-day retreat at Plum Village and says the film is “captures the essence, depth, and the poetry of Thích Nhất Hạnh — a great work full of love.”

The film is expected to be released later this year and hopes to continue to spread Thích Nhất Hạnh’s positive message of peace.

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