I am sitting in the airport in Leipzig an exhausted, but happy woman. My plane was canceled due to icy fog in Frankfurt, so they have put me on a later flight via Munich. I finally have time to write.

The launch of the film into the world has been a hectic, thrilling blur of days, starting earlier in the week with more flying chaos.

Yeshi Namkhai, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s son and one of the two main protagonists of the film, was on his way from Tenerife, Canary Islands, to Leipzig for the film premiere, when his plane was delayed. Leipzig is not the easiest place to get to in the best of circumstances, but he had three plane connections to make to arrive in the city – and he was only staying for 20 hours before flying off to Russia to teach.

There was a flurry of text messages back and forth, wondering if and how he was going to arrive in time for the film premiere the following day. It got so bad at one point I wrote him: “It’s alright if you need to cancel, I will really, really understand…”

By 6 pm in the evening, the festival asked if they should cancel his hotel room for the night, but I asked them to hold off till they closed the office at 8 pm and hopefully I would hear from Yeshi. At 7:53 pm I got a text from him: “Incredible run to catch connection to Munich…now I am taking off…will arrive without luggage….” I breathed a sigh of relief and headed out to the Leipzig train station (the only place where the stores were still open) to buy him provision for the night — toothpaste, razor and a tracksuit for sleeping.

At 10 pm we went to the airport only to find his plane was delayed by 50 minutes.  Another wait. Then finally, an exhausted but determined Yeshi stepped out of the Leipzig baggage claim area empty handed. I greeted him with a sigh of relief and we went to Lost Baggage to notify the airline of his luggage. Finally, we stepped out into the cold Leipzig night air and drove Yeshi to his hotel downtown for a good sleep before the premiere the following night.

The next day we prepared for the screening and in the evening there was a line waiting to get in the hall that included Leipzig locals, some of the film team from around the world, and members of the Dzogchen community from several countries. The room was full and the head of the festival – Claas Danielsen – honored the project was a lovely introduction about how much he admired the film and how happy he was to have found it for the festival. Claas surprised me by leading the room in a round of ‘Happy Birthday” to me – to my great embarrassment!

(I don’t think I mentioned that the premiere October 19th was also my birthday. How strange is it that after 21 years of making a film that the first screening is “accidentally” programmed on your birthday!? )

Finally, the lights went down and the room hushed as the film began to play. One hundred minutes later, the credits rolled to much applause. Nobody moved from their seats as Yeshi Namkhai came up to the front of the room with me and we answered questions about the film process and content.

It is always strange for an audience to see the film subject step off the screen into the room as a living breathing person in front of them. I think everyone was surprised to discover Yeshi’s great sense of humor and his light-hearted approach to being part of a film process. There was much laughing as Yeshi answered questions and it was a joyful moment for all.

Later everyone was invited to a restaurant for drinks and more talk. There were so many overwhelmingly positive reactions to the film, from the general audience, industry people, non-Buddhists and Buddhists alike. Many people came up to me through out the following festival days to tell me how much buzz there was everywhere about the film. It was overwhelming. The festival even decided to add an extra screening of the film due to demand…!

At 3 am, only two and half hours after we headed back to the hotel to sleep after the opening, Yeshi had to wake up to get to the airport, where he would fly to Moscow, then Toronto, Baja California and all points beyond. I was so grateful he made time to come and launch the film in such a positive way in the midst of his mad teaching schedule. It made it a perfect beginning.

There is so much more to come….

  1. Greg Ladra says:

    Thank you Yeshi,
    thank you Jennifer!
    for all the amazing work!

  2. Sole says:


  3. Lauri says:

    Wonderful! Can’t wait to see it! Jennifer, what a great labor of love.


  4. stephen korns says:

    go girl! such happy news and a wonderful birth for this film.

  5. John LaFrance says:

    Thank you Jennifer and Yeshi. I’m so excited by this project and look forward to much more good news. Your project “An American Love Story” had a very positive and profound impact on my life and I look forward to viewing your latest creative efforts.
    All honor to the Master.

  6. Paula says:

    Congratulations on a wonderful launch!!!! I look forward to watching it go around the world!!!

  7. Sachiko says:

    perfect beginning and we know it is only the beginning!!

  8. Prima Mai says:

    Congratulations Jennybee!!!
    You worked hard with big Heart.
    Belated Happy Birthday to you.
    May our Teacher’s sounds integrate within all of us.
    Yes, its only the beginning.
    Thanks with love,
    prima mai

  9. Lenka says:

    Thank you, Jennifer!

    what a beautiful film you made!!
    yes, it was a fantastic beginning and I can assure you – we all enjoyed singing that spontaneous “Happy Birthday” to both of you:-)))

    your film made me smile and laugh and cry and reflect and… be in the state…

    it was so nice to see how much the general audience liked it, the festival crew seemed to be in awe and very honoured having you and Yeshi there!

    and how lucky we were that Yeshi could finally make it! such a special experience to see this film together – very inspiring!! and what a joyful talk it was:-)))

    thank you also for your generous invitation and that great possibility of informal coming together – what an awesome birthday party you had!!

    I feel happy for everybody who is going to enjoy this outstanding film about our precious Masters! it is made with and out of so much LOVE..!


  10. Jennifer Fox says:

    Hi Prima,

    So great to hear from you. Thank you so much for the birthday wish!

    You know you have a credit in the film? “Song of the Vajra sung by Prima Mai” !

    Can’t wait for you to see it.

    Love J

  11. Andrea says:

    What a great film!
    It is one of the rare lucky chances where someone takes a camera and has the patience to film over many years without knowing where the journey will bring him. Her! Thank you so much that you did it, Jennifer. A fictional screen-play could not have a better story. I hope your film will be successful in theaters and I will definitely recommend this awesome documentary to everyone, who has the chance to see it!

  12. Alvaro Blanco says:

    Im happy to hear that everything went so well and excited by its success!!
    Thank you for the work done Jennifer, Im eager to watch the film!
    Wonderful masters we have! Ah la la ho!

  13. Nicki says:

    how exciting!
    Been waiting 36 years (all my life) for something worth seeing at the movies.

  14. Heike Schindler says:

    Vielen Dank, Jennifer!

    I’m so happy I could join the world premiere!
    It is a fascinating, inspiring and also challenging film with so many facets – various episodes keep on sparkling into my mind – I guess this will go on for a while!

    And I want to see it again soon!

    Incredible how openly Rinpoche, Yeshi and also Rosa Namkhai share very private and personal moments. This is truely beyond accepting and rejecting.

    On top of being part of the first audience then followed the inspiring talk of Yeshi and you plus the joyful premiere- and birthday party – what a perfect evening!

    Do you realize how auspicious the location was?
    The movie theater is called “Universe”.
    And in 1989 from Leipzig the peaceful revolution started at the former GDR. Freedom prayers at St. Nicolas church and Monday demonstrations finally led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification of Germany.

    So, if conditions are right, amazing things can happen!
    That’s my wish for the film and also for our Dzogchen Community!

    Many thanks to you, Rinpoche, Yeshi and everybody else involved in making this film,


  15. Patrizia says:

    Jennifer, Thank you so much. I coudn’t make the journey to Leipzig but you were in my thoughts and heart.
    Much Love,

  16. Gabriella says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    the film is unique. It is unique for the present and for the future, since it tells in a such open-hearted way an unique story of unique masters. Thank you Jennifer for the great oportunity you created for so many people to meet Them!


  17. I have pay film my Reincarnation

  18. Stef says:

    ilgiz, if you would like to pre-order the film, you can do so here: Buy the DVD. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail us at info@myreincarnationfilm.com! Thanks!