Akong - A Remarkable Life

16 Apr 2015

Chico Dall'Inha and Vin Harris write:

Dear Friends

Before Akong Tulku Rinpoche was killed in tragic circumstances in October 2013, he authorised Chico Dall'Inha to make a film to tell the story of his life.¬† I am writing now to give you an update about the film ‚ÄúAkong ‚Äď A Remarkable Life‚ÄĚ on behalf of the team responsible for bringing this project to completion.¬†

First of all I want to thank all of Rinpoche’s friends and students who have donated to the film.  Their kindness and generosity has made it possible to progress towards the goal of fulfilling the vision: we feel honoured and grateful to be able to take responsibility for this project.

Please follow the link https://vimeo.com/122408044 to see the latest short video which gives some indication of why we feel it is so important that we do whatever we can to tell the world about Rinpoche’s life and share the inspiration he gave us all to engage in Compassionate Action.

What has been achieved so far?

  • The film tells the story of Akong Tulku Rinpoche‚Äôs life through original in depth interviews with people from all walks of life who were touched by his vision of Compassion in Action.¬† Most of the interviews have now been completed including: His Holiness 17th Gyalwang¬†¬† Karmapa, Khentin Tai Situpa, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Akong Rinpoche‚Äôs unpublished interview which he gave not long before he died.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

     Recently we have filmed interviews with: Chime Rinpoche (one of Rinpoche’s oldest friends who lived with him and Trungpa Rinpoche in Oxford when they first came to the UK), Mick Brown (author of The Dance of 17 Lives, the Incredible True Story of Tibet’s 17th Karmapa), Robert Barnett (Director of Tibetan Studies at Columbia University) and His Honour Judge John Maxwell (Rinpoche’s trusted advisor for many years)
  • In October 2015 we produced a detailed budget which identified a need for around ¬£80,000 to complete the film and host a series of special screening events. We received generous donations from Rinpoche‚Äôs friends and students from all over the world who recognised the potential benefits of the film.¬† Already more than half of the money has been raised ensuring that work on the project has been able to continue.¬† As with so many of Rinpoche‚Äôs ambitious projects, what once seemed impossible somehow appears to be possible.
  • When the film is ready we intend to show it throughout Europe, Africa and possibly the United States.¬† Friends from various countries have said they will help to promote the film at special events and film festivals; this will be a way of telling everyone about Rinpoche‚Äôs life as well as raising much needed funds to find and support the 3rd¬†Akong Tulku. As a result of a series of fortunate circumstances we may also have an unexpected opportunity to distribute the film in Asia.

How Can You Help?

  • Make a donation to the project: for details of how to donate please contact the Hart Knowe Trust¬†(trust@hartknowe.org)¬†which provides free administration support and financial control for the making of this film.
  • Tell your friends about the film: show them the short promotional video and/or pass on this message to them.
  • If you have any good quality photographs or video footage that you would like to share please let us know.
  • Become involved in promoting or helping as a volunteer at the special screening events.

What Next?

Basically we need to do a few more interviews and a lot of editing work!  We are on target to complete the film so that the series of special event screenings can begin later this year. 

We will try to keep everyone informed through progress reports like this one and Facebook postings on the page ‚ÄúAkong ‚Äď a remarkable life‚ÄĚ.

We would be very happy to make our information for Sponsors document available if you would like to know more before you decide to help with the project.

In the words of His Holiness 17th¬†Gyalwang Karmapa in our film: Akong Rinpoche‚Äôs unique quality that is an example to others was his ability to provide both ‚Äúspiritual guidance and social service‚ÄĚ.¬†

We hope that you will feel inspired to contribute in whatever way you can so that Akong Rinpoche’s amazing life story can be shared with thousands of people. 

Thank You!

Chico Dall'Inha and Vin Harris


The Buddhist principle is to be everybody's friend, not to have any enemy.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Meditation means simple acceptance.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
Only the impossible is worth doing.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Whenever we see something which could be done to bring benefit to others, no matter how small, we should do it.
Chamgon Khentin Tai Situ Rinpoche
Freedom is not something you look for outside of yourself. Freedom is within you.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Hasten slowly, you will soon arrive.
Jetsun Milarepa
It doesn’t matter whatever comes, stop judging and it won’t bother you.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
Whatever obstacles arise, if you deal with them through kindness without trying to escape then you have real freedom.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
To tame ourselves is the only way we can change and improve the world.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Strive always to be as kind, gentle and caring as possible towards all forms of sentient life.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Every sentient being is equal to the Buddha.
Chamgon Kentin Tai Situ Rinpoche
Wherever and whenever we can, we should develop compassion at once.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Reminding ourselves of how others suffer and mentally putting ourselves in their place, will help awaken our compassion.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche