“Rinpoche” is a Tibetan honorific term employed to show respect in addressing reincarnated and accomplished lamas. The first Karma Chakme Rinpoche was the creator of the Tibetan Naiduo Kagyupa branch. At the beginning of the 16th century, he wrote the wide spread “Text of Eternal Happiness”, a shortened version of the “Scripture of Amitabha”. His ritual of meditation and chanting are still used in many of eternal happiness ceremonies.
Chakme Rinpoche was born in the Kham Region in the 1970’s. Over the years, his family has had many living Buddhas. His grandfather was one of the eight holders of Tibetan Buddhism (the Warrior of the Lights); his father, uncles and elder brother are also reincarnated Rinpoches of various branches.
Chakme Rinpoche never studied at art or film school. His art life started in a monastery located 4.000m high on the Tibetan plateau. When he was five years old, right after the rehabilitation of Buddhism in China, he watched for the first time a Tibetan Dharma Ceremony. It was also the first time he watched a performance of The Mask Dance of Deities, which particularly shocked him. At eight years old, he started learning the traditional earth mask craft with the monks.
In order to master the traditional skill of Mandala and Thangka paintings, he started drawing training after being acknowledged as the 9th Chakme Rinpoche. Around the same period, he watched his first film at a screening organized by the government: a war film.
At the monastery, he directed several Tibetan Operas (“King Gesaer”, “Milarepa”, ”Songtsan Gampo”). Discovering the importance of cinema and theater, he started renting a projector to screen films to others and started filming with a DV camera.
ATA is the first film directed by Chakme Rinpoche.