Gift for the Village Documentary Wins Top Honors at the Honolulu Film Awards in Hawaii
Next month, the regional film team of Jenna Swann and Tom Landon of Lucky Dog Productions and world-renowned Blacksburg artist, Jane Lillian Vance will be honored with the 2011 Gold Kahuna Award in the documentary category at The Honolulu Film Awards in Hawaii. Their film, A Gift for the Village was selected by an internationally represented jury to win one of the top honors.
The Honolulu Film Awards represents a crossroads of the world, bridging the gap between East and West and recognizes outstanding achievement in filmmaking from around the world. Their mission is to recognize and celebrate the finest independent cinema the world has to offer while helping to advance the careers of promising filmmakers by providing a platform through which their talents can be recognized. The awards ceremony will be held on May 7 in Honolulu and will offer recognition to films in the categories of Documentaries, Short Films and Features. The award does not cover travel expenses to the event, so the Virginia team will not be able to make the trip to accept the award in person.
A Gift for the Village chronicles seven friends as they traveled from the Blue Ridge Mountains to a village in western Nepal to deliver a painting by artist, Jane Lillian Vance about Tsampa, a Tibetan amchi-lama-doctor and mind-healer. Vance is the first woman and first westerner to be granted permission by the Dalai Lama to create such a piece. The team was welcomed with an elaborate festival celebrating the artist, the work and the man it honors. A Gift for the Village documents the remarkable story of their trip — offering unprecedented access to a vanishing tradition. The film’s US premier was held at the Taubman Museum of Art in September of 2010 where it received standing ovations from nearly 500 people at both sold out screenings. The Honorable Scott DeLisi, Ambassador to Nepal hosted the World Premiere at his home in Katmandu in the summer of 2010.
“Ambassadors are charged, among other things, with building bridges between cultures and societies,” wrote Ambassador DeLisi in remarks offered at the Taubman Premiere. “Jane and Jenna and the others who created A Gift for the Village are true Ambassadors.”
Jane Vance lives in Blacksburg where she is currently adjunct faculty of The Creative Process through the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech, as well as an aide for children with special needs at Blacksburg Middle School. She continues to create paintings with brilliant detail, vivid iconography of Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, and the folk arts of the Subcontinent as well as the Appalachian Blue Ridge Mountains. Her paintings are housed in private collections and museums on four continents. Currently over 100 of her paintings are on display at the Jane Lillian Vance gallery in downtown Roanoke, Virginia. Filmmaker Jenna Swann is a fifth-grade school teacher at Prices Forks Elementary and was the first recipient of the coveted McGlothlin Award for Teaching Excellence. Based in Roanoke, Tom Landon is a filmmaker and owner of Lucky Dog Productions who has worked in television for over 25 years, and an award winning Social Studies teacher in grades 6-12.
After a recent Best Documentary and People’s Choice Award win at the Virginia Indie Film Festival, Blacksburg Mayor, Ron Rordam said, “this is the fourth time I have seen this powerful film because it reminds me that one can make a meaningful difference in the lives of people.” “We only need to look at the creators behind A Gift for the Village to see evidence of that fact. Jane, Jenna, Tom and Tsampa reached out, bridged cultures, and positively impacted us all. Capturing it on film carries that lesson for generations to come.”