Best Film on Mountain Culture

This past weekend, at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, Helly Hansen awarded the prize for Best Film On Mountain Culture to directors Andrew Hinton and Johnny Burke for their film Tashi and The Monk.

Tashi and The Monk takes viewers on a journey into the mountains and into a realm where love and compassion is the lifeblood of a community that rescues orphaned and neglected children. Buddhist Monk Lobsang was trained under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama but 8 years ago he left behind a life as a spiritual teacher in the United States to create a unique community in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas which rescues orphaned and neglected children.

Five-year-old Tashi is the newest arrival. Her mother died recently and she’s been abandoned by her alcoholic father. Wild and troubled, Tashi is struggling to find her place amongst 84 new siblings.

Lobsang has channeled his own unhappy childhood into an opportunity for other ‘uninvited guests of the universe’ to avoid a similar fate. But can the community’s love and compassion transform Tashi’s alienation and tantrums into a capacity to make her first real friend?

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Jury member Nicholas Brown commented: “Mountains can be brutal places to live. Perhaps this goes some way towards explaining how Tibetan buddhism has developed such a keen sense of compassion for all beings. Many Westerners may have heard of these profound ideals, but in this film we are able to witness compassion in action. The experience is both surprising and humbling.”

Valley Uprising – about the 50-year history of Yosemite Valley rock climbers, including Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard – won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Banff Fest.

More about Helly Hansen’s athletes and partnerships here.