Aussie Filmmaker Presents Her Documentary to His Holiness

Lara Damiani with Tibetans at Drigung Tel Monastery in July 2007

Australian filmmaker Lara Damiani recently presented her documentary about the Tibetan freedom struggle, “Tibet’s Cry for Freedom,” to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Damiani, who used her own funds to make the documentary, will raise global awareness through the documentary about the political, environmental and cultural struggles faced by Tibetans.

Though Damiani was always interested in Tibet and the Tibetan freedom struggle, she tells Celebrity News Service (CNS) that reading a book about the Tibetan philosophies sparked her interest in making the documentary.

“Towards the end of 2006, I started reading ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’. I grew even more fascinated of Tibet from the perspectives, this time, of their Buddhist philosophies,” she tells CNS.

I knew that there are still many people in the world who knew little of Tibet’s recent history and its oppression by the Chinese government. So that was it. I was determined to make a documentary, she says. The documentary was filmed over a 12-month period beginning March 2007.

Damiani used her own funds to make the documentary, exhausting all her savings and taking out all of the loans and credit cards she could, she says.

“What kept me going was the strong belief in spreading the message, spreading truth and justice,” she says. “Particularly after visiting Tibet in July 2007 and experiencing first hand the oppression there, the lack of freedom of speech… It made me even more determined to use my voice to speak out for those who can’t,” she says.

During the documentary’s filming, Damiani obtained personal interviews with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and officials of the Central Tibetan Administration.

Of speaking with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Damiani says, “It was awesome. He’s so warm and welcoming and he has an incredible energy about him. I love his sense of humor.”

While Damiani admits that she was nervous before the interview, it ended up going well.

“The interview was only supposed to be half an hour but it ended up being an hour and the Dalai Lama was really happy to have photographs taken with us,” she says.

Damiani was struggling with the finances for her film when she went into the interview, but speaking with His Holiness the Dalai Lama kept her going.

Damiani’s documentary will hopefully achieve results by spreading global awareness about the struggles in Tibet. She says broadcasters from Australia, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Latvia, Estonia and Belgium have already expressed interest in the film. She will also enter the documentary in film festivals.

“Of course, I’d love to find a broadcaster in the US who is interested too,” she says.

She also hopes to start education programs to raise awareness of the issue in Australia.

“At this stage we’re still in the planning phase but hope to reach secondary schools and universities in the first instance,” she says.

Of her most recent meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Damiani says, “I was lucky enough to meet him again when he was in Australia recently and got to give him a preview copy of the completed documentary on DVD. That was a fantastic way to end this part of the project, that’s for sure!”

–This article is filed by Jennifer Tormo – Celebrity News Service Entertainment Intern and reproduced from AHN news website,