In the beginning of 2000s Valentina Zudina head of Archaeology, Ethnography and History museum of Samara State University came up with the idea of creating a film on the history of Buddhism. She asked her colleague Natalya Perla, a practicing Buddhist from Samara, to convey to the Sangha a request to film a documentary illustrating Buddhism to the students and museum visitors in a clear and comprehensible way.
The initiative had been supported by Valery Androsov, now the RAS Institute of Oriental Studies Director. According to him, students of Humanities could benefit a lot from using it as an educational material.
This way the first episode telling about the life of Buddha Shakyamuni and the three levels of his Teaching appeared. The title had been offered by Lama Ole Nydahl: "A Long Journey of a Deep Meaning."
The half-hour film had been released in 2011 and since then it has great success while being demonstrated at art exhibitions and public lectures. Also, it serves as a guide for teachers who seek information about Buddhism for the high school Bases of Buddhist Culture course.
In the second part of the movie project we decided to focus on Russia.
The movie about the history of Buddhism in Russia consists of two parts. Following the main character one can observe the heyday and the suppression of Buddhist teachings in Tsarist Russia and learn the events of the past and the views of the future.
We did not plan to limit ourselves to one series. The team plans to study the history of Buddhism in India, Tibet, China and Japan and other countries.
In the third part of the film, we will trace the history of Buddhism from the time of Buddha to the first Muslim invasion of India. The fourth part will cover the history of Buddhism in Tibet.