Walk With Me

  • London Film Festival Premiere

    • Posted on 2nd Nov
    • Category: Blog

    We were happy and honoured to be invited to premiere WALK WITH ME at the BFI London Film Festival on October 13th 2017. We screened to a packed house at the Empire Cinema on Haymarket. The screening was introduced by the journalist and BFI London Film Festival programmer Laure Bonneville. We were joined not only by Sister Hien Nghiem and brother Phap Huu from Plum Village but also Benedict Cumberbatch who was watching the film for the first time on the big screen. We were so happy to see him hug the monastics after the screening and share with all of us how profoundly moving he found the film. On Sunday 15th October we had our second screening at the Lumiere Cinema in Kensington. Everybody left London very happy and looking forward to the nationwide UK release of WALK WITH ME in January 2018!

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  • Los Angeles Premiere

    • Posted on 13th Sep
    • Category: Blog

    The film's directors have been on the road for several weeks now, but every new city offers an enriching new opportunity for them to connect with audiences. This last weekend it was LA, and our Saturday evening premiere at the Aryha Fine Arts theater in Beverly Hills where Marc and Max were joined by Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant, Birdman). Several hundred people had gathered in La Cienega Park an hour before the screening to join a walking meditation to the theater. It was an amazing moment in which a community gathered peacefully at sunset to perfectly set the mood for the premiere.


    Executive Producer Chade-Meng Tan introduced the screening and the post-screening Q&A was hosted by Alejandro Iñárritu, and Marc and Max were joined on stage by Brother Phap Dung and Sister Peace for a fascinating and humorous discussion about the making of the film. The Walk With Me journey continues; later this week we will be in the Netherlands, Belgium and Thailand!


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  • This Saturday (9th September) we are delighted to announce that Thich Nhat Hanh's monastic community will lead a walking meditation to the LA Premiere of WALK WITH ME in Beverly Hills.

    The monastic "Awakening Together" tour delegation says "With our country struggling with ongoing racial and religious tensions, you are invited to come and embody peace for our society by walking with us in a silent peace walk".

    Walk with Me will be making special announcements this week to celebrate the LA Premiere a few days ahead of its nationwide release into theaters across the US from 12th September.

    To mark the start of the walking meditation we are organizing a "Thunderclap" campaign to deliver an exclusive film clip to hundreds of people at the start of the walk from across the world. The clip shows a walking meditation led by Thich Nhat Hanh filmed exclusively for Walk With Me in 2014.

    To help us get the clip to as many people as possible, please visit https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/61563-walk-wit... and join our campaign Today. It's simple! Help us to bring a moment of peace by getting this beautiful immersive and meditative clip to the global community.

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  • Hong Kong Premiere

    • Posted on 1st Sep
    • Category: Blog

    Tonight's Walk With Me premiere was in Hong Kong. The distributor had lined up four hours of back-to-back interviews with newspapers, magazines, bloggers and the journalists interviewed co-director Max Pugh and Brother Phap Huu, both of whom had flown in from France to present the film. When the screening time came the cinema lobby filled with photographers and guests. The atmosphere was electric from the outset with many Hong Kong VIPs present and the cinema was full to capacity.

    There was an introduction from the film's distributor, the director and then Brother Phap Huu began the film with three sounds of the bell to encourage the audience to calm their minds, come back to themselves and be ready to enjoy the movie. The next premiere is in LA on 9th September, so please check in here for news of that next week!

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  • Walk With Me at the 2017 London Film Festival

    • Posted on 31st Aug
    • Category: Blog

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    Today The BFI London Film Festival announced that our film Walk With Me has been selected to play at the Festival on 13th and 15th October.

    This is our next major film festival since we played at SXSW Film Festival in March 2017.

    The film has already been tipped by Spectator Life as the top 10 must see film: https://life.spectator.co.uk/2017/08/london-film-f...

    “If you want to see something uplifting… Immerse yourself in Marc J Francis and Max Pugh’s documentary, Walk With Me (October 13 and 15). The filmmakers have a reputation for making enlightening documentaries whatever the subject. Here, we follow Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh and his community with narration by Benedict Cumberbatch. It’ll be the closest thing to a warm bath with scented oils that LFF has to offer.”

    London Film Festival selector, Laura Bonville says “Slow down and breathe. This contemplative journey follows in the steps of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and is a rare insight into life within a monastic community. The sun rises. Everything is calm and still. Life is beautifully serene as Benedict Cumberbatch’s composed, meditative voice reads an extract from Thich Nhat Hanh’s early journals. So begins Max Pugh and Marc J Francis’ (Black Gold, LFF2006) fascinating and immersive exploration of what it means to devote one’s life to mindfulness. With unprecedented access to the famous secluded monastery of Plum Village in the South West of France, Walk With Me captures the daily routine and rituals of monks and nuns on a quest to develop a deep sense of presence. It is an insightful rumination on the pursuit of happiness, living in the present and our attachment to material things – a welcome remedy to the stresses of city life and a world in turmoil.”

    Huge congratulations to all the Walk With Me team, our directors Marc J Francis, Max Pugh, our crew and producers for all their support.

    News of the UK release of Walk With Me in cinemas coming soon.

    Please keep following our Facebook page for all our film updates www.walkwithmefilm.com

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  • Reflections on the WALK WITH ME opening weekend at the San Rafael Film Center.

    Sold Out Crowd waiting in line to see Walk With Me at the Smith Rafael Film Center

    We arrived from London a couple of days before our theatrical premiere at the San Rafael film Center. Just enough time to get over the jetlag and participate in a Q&A for the Friday night premiere with Sister Dang Nghiem, one of the nuns featured in the film, and our host Rich Fernandez, CEO of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.

    When it was time for the Q&A, we could feel that we had made a deep connection with the audience through the movie. It was truly humbling to be faced with so much praise and such insightful questions about the origins of the project and the filmmaking process. Most moving was, a man at the back of the auditorium, who stood up on the verge of tears and spoke about how the film had awoken things in him which had been asleep for years.

    The full audience sticking around after the film for the Q&A with the Directors and Rich Fernandez

    Another notable set of comments and questions proved that the audience were really tuned in to the finer details of the film such as the cinematography, the poetic leitmotifs and the depth of the sound mix. To us as filmmakers it is so gratifying to know that audiences connect to our intention through the filmmaking itself.

    Across the weekend the screenings continued. Every time we met members of the audience who had been deeply moved by the film and many tears were shed during Q&A sessions as they expressed this to us. This was powerful for us as filmmakers and confirmed that it isn’t all about the reviews in the national press. People were so keen to come up and offer their praise and ask further questions that it was hard to get out of the lobby ready to introduce the next screening - which new audiences were already sitting down patiently waiting for!

    What a wonderful opening weekend in San Rafael. Today we are flying to New York to prepare for Friday night’s opening at the Rubin Museum. If last weekend is anything to go by, this is going to be a blast.

    Max Pugh & Marc J. Francis

    For information about additional screenings of Walk With Me and to learn how to host a screening in your city please visit http://walkwithmefilm.com/host-a-screening

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  • Br. Phap Linh leading a walking meditation in New York City.

    Join us for a weekend of premiere screenings of WALK WITH ME at Rubin Museum featuring Q&As with directors Marc J. Francis & Max Pugh joined by monastics from the Plum Village Monastic Community.



    FIRST PREMIERE SCREENING with introduction and Q&A with directors Marc J. Francis & Max Pugh and joined by Sister Dang Nghiem from the Plum Village Monastic Community, hosted by Jo Confino (Executive Editor, Impact & Innovation, Huffington Post)


    SILENT MEDITATION led by Plum Village monastics in the Spiral Lobby, Rubin Museum, open to first and second screening audiences


    SECOND PREMIERE SCREENING with introduction from Jo Confino, the directors Marc J. Francis & Max Pugh and Sister Dang Nghiem



    POP UP MEDITATION in Union Square led by Plum Village Monastics, open to all


    WALKING MEDITATION led by the monastics from Union Square to Rubin Museum, open to all


    Opportunity to engage with the monastics at Rubin Museum galleries, open to all




    SILENT MEDITATION led by Plum Village monastics in Spiral Lobby, Rubin Museum, open to 2pm and 4pm screening audiences




    SILENT MEDITATION led by Plum Village monastics in Spiral Lobby, Rubin Museum, open to 4pm and 6pm audiences


    SCREENING with introduction and Q&A with directors Marc J. Francis & Max Pugh joined by Sister Dang Nghiem, hosted by Jo Confino (Executive Editor, Impact & Innovation, Huffington Post)



    Opportunity to engage with Plum Village monastics in Cafe/Art Lounge, open to all



    For information about additional screenings and to learn how you can host a screening of Walk With Me in your city visit http://walkwithmefilm.com/host-a-screening

    For directions to Rubin Museum go to http://rubinmuseum.org/visit/plan

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  • Host A Screening Frequently Asked Questions

    • Posted on 26th Jul
    • Category: Blog


    Walk With Me will open in Theaters across the U.S. this summer. In order to bring this film to as many cities as possible, we are taking a unique approach to release the film by using a platform call Theatrical On Demand®, which allows anyone to host a screening in their local movie theater. It is really exciting as it does not cost anything to sing up to host a screening. Screening hosts ("Movie Captains") simply have to sign up to host a screening in their city and help us spread the word to get individuals to reserve tickets in advance.

    If you have not already but would like to host a screening of Walk With Me in your city, click the button below and follow the instructions to request to become a Movie Captain of a Theatrical On Demand® screening.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Since Theatrical On Demand is still a new approach to release a film we have assembled a collection of Frequently Asked Questions relating the hosting a Theatrical On Demand® screening of Walk With Me.

    What is Theatrical On Demand®

    Theatrical On Demand® allows individuals like you the opportunity to organize and promote films like Walk With Me in movie theaters across the country. You don’t have to pay any screening room rental or exhibition fee. All you have to do is pick the theater and promote the screening to get people to reserve tickets.

    How do Theatrical on Demand® screenings work?

    Theatrical On Demand® screenings only take place if a minimum number of people reserve tickets before a screening expires. When enough people reserve tickets to a screening before time expires, the screening takes place. If the minimum number of reservations is not met, the screening does not take place and nobody is charged.

    Each screening has its own web page where you'll find an update that shows you the number of current reservations, the number of additional reservations needed to tip the screening, as well as how much time remains before that screening request expires.

    How do I reserve or purchase a ticket to a movie?

    On the screening page, click the "RESERVE your ticket(s)" or "BUY" button. If the minimum number of tickets have not yet been reserved, you will be prompted to reserve a ticket by pre-authorizing your credit card but you will not be charged until the screening is given the Green Light.

    Can I use my screening as a fundraiser?

    You absolutely can! With our donation tool, we can help set up fundraising for any local non-profit, as long as they have official non-profit tax status. We can add an extra line-item in the checkout screen, giving people the option to donate alongside their ticket purchase.

    What are the responsibilities of a Movie Captain?

    As a Captain, we're counting on you to tell your community about the screening and direct people to reserve tickets. Remember: a screening can only happen if enough tickets are reserved in advance, so we need you to help spread the word.

    What can I do to make my screening happen?

    Simple, promote your screening. On your Movie Captain Dashboard, you can download the MC Toolkit – This toolkit has sample Facebook and Twitter posts, as well as email templates to local organizations and friends/family for you to use. Make sure to create a Facebook event for your screening as well. Be creative - the more ways you spread the word about your movie event, the more likely it will happen.

    How do I create a Facebook Event for my screening?

    Here’s how:

    On the left side of your Facebook page, click on “Events”

    • Click on “Create an Event”
    • Where it says “Name”, write “Walk With Me Screening [Name of your city]”
    • Set the type of event to “Film”
    • In the “Tickets Field” copy and paste your screening link
    • Where it says “Details”, feel free to add the synopsis of the film, the date/time/location of your screening and why you want to share it with your community.

    What is the Movie Captain Facebook Group and how do I join?

    The MC Facebook group is a place for all Movie Captains to communicate and share advice for tipping screenings. Once you sign up to host a screening, you will be sent an invite to join the group. You can also find the link to join the MC Facebook group on your Movie Captain Dashboard.

    How many people on average are needed for a screening to tip?

    The calculation is based on the costs we have to pay in order to make the screening happen. Each screening is a little different and as a result the thresholds vary. The average range is 50-75 people, though the number can always differ. The best way to check the minimum reserve number is to simply go to your screening link and see how many reservations are still needed.

    Do different theaters have different minimum number of tickets?

    They absolutely do. The minimum number of tickets depends on what we have to pay the theater to be able to show the film.

    Does it have to be a movie theater? Why? Can it be a local school, college, or performing arts theater?

    For now, Walk With Me is only available via Theatrical on Demand®. Walk With Me will only be available in theaters for several months because the success of the film depends on how many people purchase tickets to screenings in theaters. Additionally, it would be unfair to people hosting ticketed screenings to have screenings that are free to the public competing with them, making it harder for the ticketed screening to be successful. We will update the Walk With Me website once Public Screening Licenses become available.

    How many captains can there be for a screening?

    As many as you wish! We encourage you to find co-captains to help you with the promotion of your screening. The more promotional power that you have behind the screening, the likelihood of you reaching your tipping goal is greatly increased.

    How can I host a Q&A or Discussion at my screening?

    When you first request to host a screening, make sure you select the “I would like more time for discussion or Q&A” option on the screening request form.

    Will the Filmmaker be available to attend my screening?

    Directors will not be available to attend Theatrical On Demand® screenings as they are based in Europe.

    How much lead time do you recommend when choosing a date?

    It’s important that you allow yourself enough of a runway to promote and ultimately tip your screening. We recommend six weeks (between the time you request the screening and the actual day of the event).

    How will I know if more than one person is trying to host in the same city?

    If you go to the following link on the Walk With Me website ( http://walkwithmefilm.com/host-a-screening) you will see a map with dots all over it. Those dots are screenings scheduled across the country. If you enter your zip code in the map, you will be able to see if any screenings already exist in your area. You can then choose to either help that captain promote their screening, or request another screening of your own!

    How do you add a theater in a small town you don’t have on the map?

    If there’s a theater you had in mind but isn’t showing up as an option, please email bookings@gathr.us with the venue name, and the preferred date and time that you wish to have for the screening. Our bookings team will do whatever they can to accommodate your request. However, if there is a theater listed on the screening request form in your city, we ask that you choose that venue. We have developed partnerships with thousands of theaters. At this point, if a theater is not listed as an option, there is a reason for it, and we probably can’t screen the film there.

    Can I preview the film in advance of screening it so that I can have a deeper understanding of the film, especially if I’m hosting a Q&A at the end?

    Screeners of Walk With Me will be available upon request ONLY AFTER your screening has already tipped.

    What if there are 2 screenings that are relatively close together? If there is not enough interest at one site can they be combined?

    It depends on the Movie Captains and the proximity of the screenings. If the screenings are being held at the same venue, we highly encourage the captains to work together to sell out one particular screening. Just email Community@gathr.us if you would like to connect with another Movie Captain in your city and the Gathr Films team will connect you via email.

    Will people be able to buy tickets at the door once the screening is Tipped?

    This is rare and most theaters do not let people purchase tickets at the door to Theatrical On Demand screenings. However, your guests can purchase tickets online through the screening link right up until the film starts. They can then show their tickets on their phone to be admitted.

    Is it possible to change theaters after tickets have been pre-purchased (say, if a larger theater is needed)?

    The venue cannot be changed after a screening has tipped. Each time a screening gets close to selling out, we’ll automatically look into larger auditoriums (at the same theater) for you. If a larger auditorium becomes available to us, we will update the screening page to show your new available seats. It may take 1-2 weeks for the theatre to approve the request.

    Is the Movie Captain responsible for taking /scanning tickets for admission at the screening itself?

    No. The theater attendant will be collecting the tickets and directing attendees to the appropriate auditorium.

    What If I can’t host a screening on September 12th?

    Not a problem. While September 12 th is the first available date to host a screening, you can request any date beyond September 12 th that works best for your schedule.

    Once people have reserved tickets and the tipping point is reached, will they receive automatic notices?

    Yes. Once a screening has been given a Green Light, all guests of that screening will receive an email with their tickets included.

    Do we FIRST go to the theatre and talk with the manager to see if they are interested? And THEN sign up as a captain? How does the captain interface with theater management?

    The Captain does not interface with theater management at any time. Once you request to host a screening, our team will handle all of the logistics of your screening with the theater. All you have to do is promote your event!

    On the Request A Screening form what does it mean next to a theater when it says "Screening Goes Live"?

    Each theater has a different process for handling screening requests. We've provided our best estimation of the length of time it will take for your screening event opportunity to be confirmed. When confirmed, we'll provide you with your live event page so that you can get started sharing it.

    How does the movie print physically get to a theatre?

    Movie Theaters use a special file called a Digital Cinema Package. We create a Digital Cinema Package for each theater and once the booking is confirmed, our team will have the print sent to your theater several days before your event.

    Who do I contact if I need additional information?

    You can always email community@gathr.us for additional questions. We would love to answer your questions.

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  • Walk With Me is about transforming movie theaters into meditation halls, and bringing communities together for a common goal – to tune in, let go, and be in the present moment with the monastics of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village community.

    As filmmakers we cannot overstate the importance of the cinema as the ultimate place in which to experience Walk With Me. We spent five years crafting our film and assembled some of the best creatives in the film industry to work with the visuals and sound so you can hear the breath and feel the leaves crunching under the soles of feet on a crisp Autumn day.

    If you can allow yourself to breathe with the rhythm of the film, your mind will come back home, you will let go, relax and flow - just like the waves of a placid ocean as they gently roll up the shore and slowly retreat back again.

    Movie theaters offer the best conditions for this experience, where the big screen, surround sound, and the collective energy of the community can come together in one moment of time. We do not believe that a smartphone or tablet can do justice to this experience.

    In these crazy times of increased conflict, blame and anger, and the proliferation of social media, we need more than ever before, the tools to stay in the eye of the storm, to find the oasis within, to breathe, and to cultivate peace.

    We need more mindfulness and this film is a gift to the world to help us find our way home to a place of peace, love, understanding, and respect. If you share our vision and if you believe in the power of mindfulness to help create positive change in society, then please take this gift and make it shine like a bright star that will light you up inside and light up the community around you.

    Host a screening at your local movie theater by using the platform on our website. Organise, bring people together, meditate, and share your experience with as many people as possible.


    Create the ripple effect that will inspire others to ask for Walk With Me to be shown in hundreds of theaters from across the United States, to Europe and Asia.

    As the figures get reported in the theater box offices, we the people, are sending a clear message we want to see more films like this - conscious cinema. The more popular the film becomes, the more theaters will want to show the film nationwide and worldwide.

    The future is in this present moment. We look forward to sharing this journey with you all.

    Max Pugh & Marc J. Francis

    Film Directors