WestEnd Films has released a trailer for Walk With Me, a new documentary on world-renowned Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh and his mindfulness community. At the start of the trailer, narrator, Emmy winner (Sherlock) and Oscar-nominated (Imitation Game) actor Benedict Cumberbatch, intones in his unmistakable rich baritone “I knew early on that finding truth is not the same as finding happiness.”
Thích Nhất Hạnh, an inspirational Zen master and prolific author, is known for his spiritual teachings on peace, compassion, contemplation, living in harmony with each other and nature, the interconnectedness of life, and living in the present moment. The documentary captures Hanh’s own struggles and conflicts as well as his founding of the Plum Village Center, a monastic community about 85km east of Bordeaux, France. Hanh was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967.
While best known as a film, television, and stage actor, Cumberbatch is also an experienced voice actor and veteran narrator (Picture This, South Pacific, Into the Universe, Jerusalem). He said “In my life I’ve been so touched by the teachings of Thích Nhất Hạnh. It was a great honor to work on Walk With Me. I have no doubt that audiences across the world will be moved by this beautifully crafted film.”
The documentary is produced and directed by Marc J. Francis (Black Gold) and Max Pugh (The Road to Freedom Peak), and executive produced by Nick Francis (Black Gold). One third of the Speakit Films’ budget was crowd-funded.
The film was recently acquired by WestEnd which released the following statement: “Filmed over three years and with unprecedented access, this visceral film offers a rare insight into a community of people who have left their families and given up all their possessions to practice the art of mindfulness at the Plum Village monastery in rural France.” WestEnd added that the film is “a cinematic journey into the world of mindfulness — the practice of bringing one’s attention to the present moment — and Thích Nhất Hạnh, known as “The Father of Mindfulness,” “The Other Dalai Lama” and “The Zen Master who fills stadiums.” The trailer will be promo-reel screened to potential buyers at TIFF.