Holy Film

MUMBAI, Aug 27, 2007 (AFP) – An historical epic is to be filmed about the life and teachings of the Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, a South Asian production team said Monday.

“The message of the movie gives answers to global crises of conflict and environmental problems,” Navin Gooneratne, the chairman of the Light of Asia Foundation, told reporters.

The film, “The Buddha”, is a venture between the foundation, which is based in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, and India’s Beyond Dreams Entertainment. Veteran Indian director Shyam Benegal will direct the movie.

Gooneratne did not disclose the budget for the production, which will be shot both in India and Sri Lanka, a majority Buddhist nation, ahead of a scheduled release in mid-2009.

The Buddha was born into a princely family in the 6th Century BC in Kapilavastu on the border between present day India and Nepal, but abandoned a life of ease for spiritual enlightenment. Sri Lankan Buddhist scholar Nimal D’Silva will head the research team, which will include experts from China, Japan and South Korea, where Buddhism is influential.

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