A new series shows Srila Prabhupada's vintage
films by using the latest technology.
Following Srila Prabhupada is a 10 part DVD series produced by ISKCON Cinema and directed by Yadubara Dasa. Total length is 25 hours which includes all the known films of Srila Prabhupada arranged in chronological order and digitally restored with 3 audio tracks to choose from.
When did this project start?
It actually started in 1997 when was requested by BBT International to transfer all the films of Srila Prabhupada to high quality digital video tape. It took me a year to organize, clean and transfer the footage. Each scene was corrected for density and color. Then in March 2002 I was asked by Ekanatha Dasa of the Bhaktivedanta Archives and Nrsimhananda Dasa of lTV to puy all the films on DVD in the highest quality for mass distribution. DVD 1 was released on October 25; the Disappearance Day of Srila Prabhupada and every two months an additional DVD will be released.
How did you acquire all these films and how did you store them?
My wife Visakha Devi and I starred filmmaking in 1973 with our first documentary on ISKCON called "The Hare Krishna People". Srila Prabhupada loved that film and encouraged us to make more. We went on to make 7 more documentaries in the 1970's and 80's. From the beginning we collected films from devotees and others and tried our best to store them in ideal conditions. For the last 15 years they have been stored in an underground storage facility with ideal temperature and humidity. Of course there must be more films of Srila Prabhupada and the devotees during his t ime and we are a lways on the lookout for more to add to the collection.
You recently had a worldwide premier of the first DVD. What was the reaction?
To introduce the set we offered all the temples in the world a free copy of DVD 1 to be shown on the evening of Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day. Over 150 temples responded. We arranged a showing in Vrndavana where 1000 devotees gathered and sat the entire 2 hours and 40 minutes. The reaction was more than I expected. It was very gratifying to see how much the devotees appreciated the show. After 4 Y 1/2 years of work I was overjoyed to see the result.
Which audio track did you play for the premier?
We played the 'Remembr ances' track. This makes the show unique from previous releases. We can h ear Srila Prabhupada's lectures and bhajans on CD but we previously have not heard those who were present with Srila Prabhupada describing their experiences. To see Srila Prabhupada is certainly wonderful but to also hear from devotees describing pastimes at t hat time and place gives the films so much more meaning. We want to know all we can about Srila Prabhupada and his interaction with his disciples. The 'Remembrances' audio track gives us the opportunity to do just that. Each DVD has about 40 devotees and well wishers speaking.
When is DVD 2 being released?
It will be premiered at the Los Angeles temple on Christmas Day and released worldwide. We know that this is a very big time for book distribution all over the world and we are hoping that after the marathon temples will show DVD 2 to enliven those devotees who sacrificed so much to distribute Srila Prabhupada's books. DVD 2 shows films of Srila Prabhupada and his disciples in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Vrndavana and India fr om August, 1970 to March, 1971.
When do you expect to finish the series of 10 DVD's?
We will finish by March, 2008.
How does one get copies?
Orders can placed through BTG India who is our distributor for India and surrounding countries.
What would you like to tell our readers?
I hope you r readers get a chance to view "Following Srila Prabhupada" and become absorbed in thoughts and remembrances of our beloved spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada's glories are just becoming known and I hope this series will help everyone understand what an important contribution Srila Prabhupada has made to the world. He has given us freedom from the prison of the material world and the opportunity to become eternally happy in association with Lord Krsna. Nothing is more valuable.