Khashyar Darvich, Miami University alumnus and Oxford native, has become a successful documentarian since his days at Miami, winning numerous awards for his documentaries and other miscellaneous projects.
However Darvich’s latest film may be his biggest success so far.
Darvich’s newest documentary, “Dalai Lama Renaissance,” has won 12 film festival awards and is the official film selection of 38 festivals around the world.
The 80-minute documentary focuses on a series of meetings between a group of individuals from different countries who examine world issues.
The expected outcome is to find a solution of how to attain and maintain world peace for everyone, according to Will Schuck, who aided Darvich throughout the film by editing, conducting interviews and publicizing.
“I was offered the project because the people who were traveling to India knew I had worked with the Dalai Lama before,” Darvich said. “I think the Dalai Lama is such a superior advocate for peace and human rights. He is truly an example of a person who walks their talk, so of course, I agreed.”
Darvich said the documentary, narrated by actor Harrison Ford, tries to teach its viewers that the problems of the world are not easy to solve, but that people of different backgrounds can come together and make a difference.
“The Dalai Lama taught me that everyone has the ability to impact others in a positive way,” Darvich said. “This is one of the reasons Harrison Ford agreed to narrate the film. Ford is a very down-to-earth guy. He is truly interested in peace and the environment. He even showed up to the recording studio in a hybrid Prius”
According to Shuck, Ford was more than willing to help with the project.
“Harrison Ford has always had an interest in the Dalai Lama,” Schuck said. “In 1997, he testified in front of Congress about human rights abuse in China and Tibet, so a project like this was extremely appealing to him.”
The documentary, which debuted first in San Francisco in May, debuted Sept. 28 in Ohio.
“Khashyar and I have been friends a long time; I think that the Ohio premiere is a big deal for him since he grew up here,” Shuck said. “In a way, it’s his homecoming. He has gone out into the world, traveled to India and back, and this documentary is his way of sharing his experiences with Ohio and those he grew up with.”
Similarly, Darvich said he has high hopes for the Ohio debut as well.
“I really wish there would be a screening in Oxford,” Darvich said. “If this were the case, I would travel there for it. I’d like to share my experiences with the students and faculty and then have a beer at Balcony after. Oxford really sparked my interest in filmmaking due to the four or five classes I took about it while studying there.”
Overall, Darvich said he will never forget the experience that this documentary has brought him.
“I learned that everyone has the ability and power to help others in their lives and to create positive change in the world in their own way, with their own skills and their own experiences,” Darvich said. “For me, I am able to make a difference through filmmaking and I feel very blessed.”
For more information about the film, visit dalailamafilm.com.