You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

Project of the Day: Utah Mormon Saves Tibetan Buddhism

Project of the Day: Utah Mormon Saves Tibetan Buddhism

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

“Digital Dharma”

Tweetable Logline:

Amid political turmoil, pacifist E. Gene Smith, a Mormon from Utah, triggers an international movement to save Tibetan Buddhism.

Elevator Pitch:

Digital Dharma is the story of E. Gene Smith, the man who saved Tibetan Buddhism. This feature-length documentary uncovers Smith’s 50-year journey with renowned scholars, lamas and laypeople as they struggle to find, preserve and digitize more than 20,000 volumes of ancient Tibetan text.

Crossing multiple borders – geographic, political and philosophical – Digital Dharma is an epic chronicle of a cultural rescue and how one man’s mission became the catalyst for an international movement to provide free access to the story of a people and share their wisdom with the world.

Production Team:

Director/Producer: Dafna Yachin

Writers: Dafna Yachin, Arthur Fischman, Timothy Gates

Editor: Timothy Gates

Cinematographer: Wade Muller

Art Director: Andrea Bitai

About the Production:

“I met Gene Smith while directing another documentary short in 2006. He was extraordinarily humble, unassuming and an unlikely lead character. It was not until a year passed that I was made fully aware of his 50-year mission and of the importance of the text preservation efforts of this gentle giant of diplomacy and now iconic figure in American/Asian history. 

“With this film, I want viewers to quickly move from asking why to wanting to learn how: how the mission will be accomplished, and perhaps even how they might become agents for accomplishing such a purpose in their own lives.” — Dafna Yachin

Current Status:


For more information and to support this film:

Kickstarter Page
Film Website

Be sure to check out our curated Kickstarter page for more information on projects we think you should check out.

If you have an in-the-works project and you’d like to be profiled in an upcoming iW Project of the Day column, submit yourself by filling out this form!

This Article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit and tagged



I'm very interested in seeing Digital Dharma.


The deep dark secret of the homosexual community is the high percentage of its members that seek out sex with underage boys. Consider the following:

" * The Gay Report, published by homosexual researchers Jay and Young in 1979, revealed that 73 percent of homosexuals surveyed had at some time had sex with boys 16 to 19 years of age or younger.

* Although homosexuals account for less than two percent of the population. they constitute about a third of child molesters. Further, as noted by the Encino, Calif.-based National Association for research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), "since homosexual pedophiles victimize far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles, it is estimated that approximately 80 percent or pedophile victims are boys who have been molested by adult males.

* A nationwide investigation of child molestation in the Boy Scouts from 1971 to 1991 revealed that more than 2,000 boys reported molestations by adult Scout leader.

* A study of Canadian pedophiles has shown that 30 percent of those studied admitted to having engaged In homosexual acts as adults, and 91 percent of the molesters of non-familial boys admitted to no lifetime sexual contact other than homosexual!" (Source)

Tamela Knapp

This story is timely and important to more than just Tibetans or Buddhists. From an anthropological perspective, it could be one of the most important films of our time.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *