Anna Wilding

Anna Wilding (wild flower) and her Buddha Wild

 
By Sevina Yates
 
 
Anna Wildings film work on Buddha Wild bears sensitivity and inner strength as a hallmark of this multi talented and caring filmmaker.  Anna opens the door for us and takes us on an enjoyable, humorous, compassionate and sensitive journey through the world of Thai and Srilankan Buddhist monks.

 

Haunting music and smiles abound in the trailer for the film and a deep sense of peace pervades; the film however is not all smiles, the struggle that those enjoying this way of life face is also tackled, reviews of the film applaud her empathic and sensitive yet questioning approach to give an educated and balanced view of a world few know.

 

Anna has a strength and confidence in herself that allows her to create moving pieces of film work but in an accessible manner, gently and sensitively teasing the best from the monks in an engaging and enchanting style.

 

As an advocate of world peace, Anna also uses her work towards a better world by donating proceeds from the film to Tsunami relief. She also had a screening to benefit Amnesty.

 

Anna was nominated for New Zealander of the year as mark of the respect she commands in the film industry. She has worked on over 20 feature films. Described as a force of nature for good, she uses her varied abilities for the benefit of others. She is a voice that can be heard and she has a vision that shines through in her work. "Buddha wild" is a humble fascinating portrayal that allows the monks to speak for themselves and allows us a privileged and informed view into their world.

 

Acknowledgement includes her humanitarian work on the "Lord of the Rings" film series. She has appeared in multiple television series and magazines.

Wild of name, wild of nature and yet possessing a serene gentleness matched with humour and an inquisitive mind, she sees herself as an ambassador for peace.  

 

Why did you choose to join iPeace?
 

Well, hats off first to David Califa, the founder, for setting up a  site that connects people universally, people of all backgrounds, religions, cultures, philosophies and faith in the name of peace. My humble film is in part about "loving kindness" and the act of doing it, rather than just saying it. I was invited to the site and I hope it helps having my film there. I like the name "I Peace". The word "I" in this case is an action that requires an individual take responsibility for "peace" and makes people think and do "peace" rather than just say "peace". I have an issue with the word "peace". It is passive. "War'is a very active sounding word. War is business, sadly. "Peace" however sleeps on the tongue and conjures up little motion. We want to be able to say - Peace is business, peaceful business is good. I wish to redefine the word "peace" at one level, or talk about what we intend by saying that. For example when we say the word" peace" are we not saying we live in the act of "doing loving kindness" and showing goodwill to our fellow women and man, our fellow living creatures? So let's focus on the action of that, and do that. Through our own personal lives, our work, products, our services, our business, show goodwill, show loving kindness. Challenge oneself, even in the most difficult situation to show compassion, good will or loving kindness. I wish to redefine and explain what is meant by "peace"- so instead of just saying it, we understand and do it. We "practice"  goodwill ,'practice" good  intent, "practice" loving kindness' in our day to day lives.  (Another thing a website such as IPeace, it's a website, there are no violent marches or rallies,  in the name of peace. I always found peace marches if they turn aggressive, a bit ironic on one level, no matter who the aggressor. It gets back down to the use of the word peace and what it means and what is really being said or asked for.)

What was your motivation for making Buddha Wild?,

Buddha Wild was my reaction to an instance of racism I witnessed.  I thought I can either deal with this by making a hard hitting controversial film, or I can make  a film that shows the joy in the community so that people gain a greater understanding. I chose to make a joyous, upbeat film which does not even mention the words  diversity or racism. It's a subtext.

I was doing a Q and A in Canada after a sell out screening. One woman from Africa stood up and was crying. She said" I am so touched by the film and you. I want to thank you so much for making such a film about cultural diversity, no one does" So people do get the underlying themes. Racism and its manifestations are often I think, motivated by fear and lack of understanding of another's cultures. So I chose to make a small, upbeat film, showing the joy and beauty to create understanding. And it worked.

 

Is you work different from before?
 

There is in fact no difference whatsoever. My life, work has been the same throughout. It comprises more than what you will just see on films. I am often engaged as a public speaker on environment and other matters. I think I was asked to set up my first Peace Foundation by a nuclear physicist at the age of 18.  T his time with Buddha Wild Monk in a Hut in terms of communicating my work, the stars aligned that I was able to have sole charge of a film and make  a film I wanted to make in a way I wanted to make it. I hope that happens more often. I can achieve more and get more done. I am just thankful that, at least for me, I can live, and stand by my work. I know how to tell a story and make films and I hope to continue to work with like-minded investors. I would rather develop projects and material that works for greater good or that make people think and I believe it is possible to make money (this being important for investors) telling different stories .The studios and public need to see these kinds of stories doing well. My next film that I hope to make is a different story again- a traditional narrative black comedy. However it too has a strong humanitarian theme and it will again benefit the impoverished communities we work in. There are ways to work.

 

Several have asked me to do a sequel to Buddha Wild, even though its the smallest of films I have worked on.. Most theater quality films, large or small as in Buddha Wild's case even Hollywood studio films are either private or institutional investor driven.

What do you see as a way forward towards peace in this world and what are your own goals ?

 

Globally? Integrity of goodwill. Negotiation, negotiation, negotiation combined with the attainment of peace through cultural and diplomatic understanding. On a corporate business level, which is now in part controlling the world- redefinition of the intent ,methods and philosophy of  the  large corporate organism. I think the banking system could possibly be retooled too.. In the commercial world there are possibly different ways to do things, which would create a greater win-win for all and still allow for success and freedom of the individual or corporation.

 

We try to take the care to look after others and ourselves. Through our work and how we live our lives, and what we do, a positive difference can be made.

 

Buddha Wild makes a difference but it also made a difference on the ground as we gave money to the tsunami relief appeal. In fact directly to specific temples who were helping people on the ground to rebuild. As the film sells, and the investors are paid back, more money is donated to areas of need. Those areas may be anywhere in the world at crisis. For example Zimbabwe right now. Here's an analogy I use in one of my speeches, as told by a monk called Bhante Kondanna: A person drops a piece of gum on the ground. This seems insignificant. However, the mother bird on a way to feed her nest of baby birds, picks up the gum .She can't open her beck to feed her babies. If the gum hadn't been dropped in the first place, this wouldn't have occurred. This is our planet, our planet is like that. We need to look after it and be aware of our actions.

 
Is there a defining moment in your career and quest for peace where you had a "yes !" moment where you felt what you were doing was making positive changes ?

My work has been the same throughout. Some of it you see or hear of publicly, some you don't. I knew I have had to contribute to the world and make things better since day one. In Africa a newspaper named me "white angel" for something I did. The fact is it was something we should all be doing every day, looking after our fellow man or woman, if we can.  I would like to see corporations apply the better of the philosophies of mankind (womankind) to their operational procedures rather than some of the worst .I am sure it is possible to make money for themselves and stockholders or investors by doing good rather than by doing selfish or greedy acts. I'm strong on bringing situations to task in my day to day life  for  equality for women.

Do you have a personal message for us all?

 

Live with loving kindness and do it, show it. Make the most of what you have and what the day brings. We can but do our best, within each of our own capabilities.

 

Please buy Buddha Wild to help enable further work, and day to day work. Every sale counts and makes a difference. Show the studios and investors these kinds of stories can make money. And more importantly buy it for yourself to be entertained and to gain greater understanding or even just to remind yourself of the blessings in life that you already know. Actually it's funny...I gave as a gift a copy to a friend of mine and before watching it, she gave it to a friend of hers who was sick. Her friend refuses to give it back,even now that she is well. Everyone keeps it!

 

How would you describe yourself?
 
Let's describe someone or something else: How about the rose in the garden. Let's hope things go more smoothly and peacefully in the world this year though it seems like some areas Zimbabwe Gaza, could perhaps usher in the New Year in better ways. I wish everyone Happy New Year. Make it peaceful and make it count for good in the world. Then hopefully as word spreads in a year or so we shall be closer globally to a better attitude and better way.
 
 
 



Buy the DVD



Buddha Wild Trailer

 

 

Anna Wilding

-- Anna WildingCarpe Diem Films LLCNew York New York "Adventures with Anna" http://bubblegumpop.vox.com BUDDHA WILD MONK IN A HUT -www.buddhawild.com

 

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Comment by Sharon Kay Mustin Summmerford on October 1, 2011 at 12:30am
Comment by Sharon Kay Mustin Summmerford on October 1, 2011 at 12:30am
Comment by Sharon Kay Mustin Summmerford on October 1, 2011 at 12:30am
My faily was raised in Nagoya, Japan.  I worshpped buddha as a child. 
Comment by Kuesta on January 12, 2009 at 1:31am
Good ! Thank you for sharing.
Comment by buddhawild on January 8, 2009 at 5:59am
Trailer: http://www.ipeace.me/profile/buddhawild
Comment by M.J. Alhabeeb on January 8, 2009 at 2:50am
Bravo to Anna for a rewarding career committed to peace, diversity, and social justice. I wish that a trailer or a teaser of the movie is uploaded with this article. Congratulations to my friend Sev for a beautifully written and finely balanced article. Sev's professional integrity is shining through her treatment of this subject at a time i-peace is going through a heated time on a controversial article the content of which has shaken the image and mission of i-peace in the eyes of many faithful members. I particularly like Anna's notion and Sev's approach to "redefining peace" in a way that lifts the concept up from being a hollow word to make it a real compassion that would translate in what we say and what we do simultaneously and similarly. I-peace in its team of editors, staff, members, and readers must take this to heart and make sure that everything published should carry the announced spirit of peace, love, and respect to all. Freedom is not limitless. It is determined by certain requirements which define the extent for all of us to respect each others while being different or disagreeing. That what seperates freedom from chaos. In the same vein, managing the site should be different from controlling it on a certain approach. Managing is to achieve harmony while keeping the mission of peace, diversity, and understanding alive day by day. Thanks to Anna and Sev for a fine article to read and live by as an example, and thanks to i-peace for offering the opportunity for the public to know where the good is.
While reading this interview I wished that Anna would comment on choosing to discuss peace and diversity through a religious context! Did not she see this as a parodox? My question may not make sense because I have not seen the movie. I just got the context from the article.
Comment by NES on January 7, 2009 at 5:15pm
It's a good one Anna,

TAKE CARE ALWAYS,
NES
Comment by Deborah on January 7, 2009 at 4:51pm
Anna,
Fantastic Interview ! Thanks for sharing!
Deborah

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