The Parrish Art Museum is kicking off the New Year with a screening of the full film premier of the newly completed documentary Sanctuary (2019, 52 minutes) by artist and environmental advocate Lillian Ball on Friday, January 3 at 6 p.m. The film tells the story of a charismatic monk who attempts to hinder development efforts that would impact the Lumbini Crane Sanctuary within the Sacred Garden in Napal. Following the screening, guests will have the opportunity to hear from Ball as well as Terrie Sultan, Parrish Director.
“I’m delighted to present this film that shows how the struggle to preserve the environment is universal, and I’m hoping that it resonates with our audience in an area where parallels to over-development threatening nature could be drawn,” said Corinne Erni, Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects.
Lumbini, Nepal is a World Heritage Site and is also known as the birthplace of the Buddha. Sarus cranes popularly inhabit this location. Ball was inspired to create the film after having spent time with the young Buddhist monk, Venerable Metteyya, who seeks to preserve the sacred site. Ball also admires the area’s native flora and faune, as well as the Sarus cranes that have inhabited the area since the time of the Buddha. In historic drawings, the Buddha is often depicted with a crane.
Ball worked with Metteyya for three years in his efforts to preserve the sanctuary. The documentary is filmed in Lumbini and Kathmandu, Nepal from 2015-2018 and includes interviews with Metteyya and many others the filmmaker encountered during the process.
“I hadn’t set out to make a film. I first went to Lumbini with the Anatta Foundation, which is a global health and educational outreach nonprofit. I joined the Anatta group that was going after the devastating 2015 earthquake. They told me about the effort to preserve the crane sanctuary and put me in touch with a young monk named Venerable Metteyya, who is featured prominently in the film,” Ball told The Buddhist Review Tricycle about Sanctuary. He has been working to protect the cranes for a long time, and he showed me all the problems they were facing and what they were doing about it. When I came back to New York, I hosted a successful fundraiser for the crane sanctuary with Buddhists and artists, but I wanted to do more. Then Venerable Metteyya told me, ‘You have to come back.'”
Ball is an ecological and pro-activist who works with wetland issues from interdisciplinary backgrounds in anthropology, enthnographic ilm, and sculpture. She believes that innovative artwork with stakeholders on conversation initiatives benefit wildlife, communities, and visitors.
Tickets are $12 and free for members and students.
The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, call 631-283-2118 and visit parrishart.org.