By Nrsimhananda das
Premiering a Vaisnava Video/Film Conference on PAMHO (Vaisnava Film/Video Conference). The purpose of the dialogue in this conference is to nuture creativity and cooperation in the production of Krishna conscious productions. There is a vast pool of talent in the Vaisnava sanga, and many of you have abilities that can be combined with other devotees to broadcast the message of Lord Caitanya and His representatives to both the devotee and non-devotee audiences worldwide. This particular conference follows the protocol of accepting Srila Prabhupada as the pre-eminent sampradaya acarya empowered by the Lord to spread Krishna consciousness beyond the borders of India; therefore it is mainly, but not completely, an Iskcon oriented conference. However, there are many, including the ritvik camp or those who take umbrance with the Iskcon leadership, who nevertheless do accept Srila Prabhupada’s unique paramount position. They ARE heartily and enthusiastically welcomed to participate in this conference and be a part of the emerging film and videophile teams that will naturally form as alliances in offering Krishna conscious media to the Vaisnavas and general public.
I offer my humble obeisances to HH Bhakti Vaibhava Swami who inspired me with the idea to inaugurate this conference. As the producer of “Mother Ganga,” he and his co-creators have set a standard of quality for future productions. If you haven’t seen the video, you can purchase it from the many distributors around the world including, of course, ITV.
Also, I offer my most prostrated obeisances to Srila Prabhupada who wrote letters to me instructing me to “make films about Krishna,” and who supported Yadubara and Visakha dd in producing propaganda films for the Hare Krishna Movement. All respects also to Pancaratna das who labored under the weight of reel-to-reel video recorders in the 70’s in order to tape many Srila Prabhupada lectures. Devotee filmmakers as early as 1966 made films of Srila Prabhupada and devotee pastimes. I am in debt to all of them.
We have a unparalleled opportunity to use our interests through the agency of yukta-varaigya in fulfilling the wishes of the spiritual master. Everyone knows that films/tv is a magnet for the eyes and thereby a lure for the ears. We want to widen those eyes by the glories of our philosphy and practices, and we want to perk those ears by luring them to the transcendental images. I have many ideas for documentaries, instructionals, and promotionals, but I have been woefully unable to produce them all. I am such a nonsense. For example, we need films about “How to Perform Deity Worship in the Home and Temple”;”How to Be a Krishna Devotee”;”The History of Personalism in Religion”; “Why Change Prabhupada’s Books?”; “How to Build a Rathayatra Cart”; “Organizing a Rathayatra”; “How to Cook in MegaLarge Quantities”; more puppet and animated shows, etc. I have a lot of ideas. I’ve been working on the Srila Prabhupada DVD Library for three years with Madhuvisa d, Yadubara d, and Uddava Gita d. We are finishing V.3 which has 28 languages. It is being authored on 19 double-layer dvd’s. That has been my priority. OK, not really. My priority has always been my own sense gratification, but that’s what I have fit inbetween all of my selfishness.
ITV is not a well-endowed corporation. It is a 501(3)C nonprofit, charitable, religious company registered as such since 1993 in the State of California and donations are tax-deductible. Anyone can fund a production through our company. We have Final Cut and Adobe Premiere editing programs with various other software for effects, appearances, filtering, etc. There are two air-conditioned editing rooms and one duplication room/office. We do have an extra room on site for guests engaged in service. We do NOT sponsor visas, sorry; too much bad experience. We worship Sri Sri Gaura Nitai deities quite simply; I’m not much of a pujari. However, our morning program is complete, though streamlined. I make no pretenses about my devotional practice; I have yet to develop much of a taste for hearing and chanting (though I love to play harmonium and lead bhajan). ITV doesn’t have much laksmi to fund full productions, but we have been known to help if the conditions are right. We can also look for funding. ITV launched the first Vaisnava Film/Video Festival last year in Mayapur. There were 37 entries including one feature film! We gave the “Nitya” awards to eight winners who shared a pot of $5000! The video of the festival, including all the clips from the nominees, acceptance speeches of the winners, and the intro’s of the presenters is available from ITV for $15 on DVD. It is very inspiring. (www.itvproductions.net or 310-455-3195 ).
I’m always on the prowl for video editors and/or graphic artists. Haribol out there! Please contact me; we can do business!
So please write in your thoughts, hopes, facilities, dreams, etc. Share yourself with others in this field. Perhaps we will meet on the battlefield of production.
YS, Nrsimhananda das