PITTSBURGH, PA – Makara the River Dragon is a short film loosely based on a Buddhist myth from the Himalayas. The film tells the story of a young monk who tries to help a suffering stranger by entering his mind and destroying his inner demons. Throughout the ritual experience, both the monk and the stranger have revelations about themselves. While the story is firmly grounded in reality, supernatural and mysterious elements are present enough to push the boundaries of what reality is and what our role in it can be. The film also helps explain some Buddhist concepts that can be difficult for most people to grasp. The Kickstarter project only has a few days to complete its goal of $1300.
In the Himalayas, various traditions perform rituals to remove spirits that could cause negativity in the mind. These traditions are immensely descriptive in regards to these evil spirits. They are said to be pale with “mouths the size of a needle’s eye and a stomach the size of a mountain”, causing them to be known as hungry spirits, as they constantly consume without being satisfied. Hungry spirits are a metaphor for people who pointlessly try to fulfill materialistic desires. The demons in the film are planned to share this hungry look, with a gaping, watery mouth filled with numerous sharp teeth.
The film takes its diverse cultural inspiration from Qinghai, China, a historical melting pot for Chinese, Mongolians, Tibetans and Salars. It will be mainly shot in the Appalachians mountains of Western Pennsylvania and will showcase some of the most extraordinary rock formations of the state. In addition to the beautiful natural environment, a temple set is being built with casts of authentic Qing Dynasty (1644-1900) titles for the roof. This structure is planned to be modeled after the traditional Kham style of architecture. These traditional techniques are greatly threatened by concrete and cheaper building practices, so there are few remaining masters of the craft.
The film’s story has its roots in various Buddhist literature including the story of the demon Mara. Of the numerous supernatural creatures inhabit Buddhist mythology, Mara stands out. One of the first non-human entities to appear in Buddhist scriptures, this demon is featured in many stories surrounding the Buddha and his early followers. It is widely told that Mara as led a great battle against the Buddha during his quest for enlightenment. After trying to seduce the Buddha with his daughters, Mara had his army of demons try to prevent the Buddha from finding peace. Despite their efforts, the demons could not break his concentration and vanished. This is symbolic of overcoming the inner struggle against negativity, distractions and the desires that deceive us. “The Buddha once said, ‘…all that we are arises with our thoughts,’ however, too many of us are plagued with negative thoughts and inner demons on a daily basis,” said Ray Bishop, director of Makara the River Dragon. “Wouldn’t it be great if someone could go inside your mind and destroy them.”
You can check out the Kickstarter campaign here.
Company Name: Makara the River Dragon
Contact Person: Ray B.
Country: United States