On Friday afternoon, Scoop carried a media release, claiming to be from the Dalai Lama Visit Trust NZ, inviting attendance at a special screening of The Vintner’s Luck at Newmarket’s Rialto Cinemas, to be followed by a discussion with director Niki Caro et al, “Unity and Duality, When Angel and Demon are One”.
The release positioned the screening and subsequent discussion as having the blessing and assistance of the Trust, and (by implication) even of the Dalai Lama himself. The linkage between Buddhism and the movie might seem a bit of a stretch and possibly even opportunistic, but effective PR can massage those sorts of inconsistencies away.
It was all well and good until Sunday afternoon, when Scoop carried a second release, this one from Carpe Diem Films, stating that the Dalai Lama Trust in NZ “deny inviting the film Vintners Luck, (sic) or the fact the Dalai Lama or the NZ Dalai Lama Trust is associated with the press release that Niki Caro and Rialto have put out for their event.”
That too would have been fine, had the motivation been to correct an error, although one might have expected that to have come from the Trust itself, rather than from a film company. Or maybe Buddhists don’t do that sort of public disagreement thing.
The second release seems more concerned with promoting the holier than thou credentials of Buddha Wild: Monk in a Hut, directed and produced by Anna Wilding, aka Carpe Diem Films aka the writer of the release.
The release about the screening and subsequent discussion invited comment from those unable to attend “to continue the debate” on wordpress or facebook (both Vintner’s Luck pages rather than ones with more direct links to either Buddhism or angels). As of 3pm today no report of the debate had been added to either page.
Ms Wilding is no stranger to other filmmakers. In October 2000, she was involved in discussions with New Line over the alleged mistreatment of horses and their riders during a Lord of the Rings shoot near Twizel.
In 2004, Ms Wilding also laid a complaint against The Press because the Editor declined to interview her or publish her media releases about her professional career as a local interest story.
The Dalai Lama Visit Trust NZ didn’t respond to our enquiries by deadline, so we were unable to confirm whether or not they did make the original release.