Zenith Virago Returns to Austin, Texas for Deathwalker Trainings

Based on the popular response to the 2015 Austin Film Festival screenings of Zen & the Art of Dying, Zenith Virago was recently invited back to Texas to re-screen the film and conduct a 3-day deathwalker training and funeral master class at the Dharma Ranch Retreat Center in San Marcos, Texas. Thanks to Dharma Ranch owners Susan Fitz-Simon and Kelli Cotner for being such great hosts. It’s exciting to see the natural death care work that Zenith and the community of Byron Shire, Australia model resonate with other communities across the globe! Let’s all #DoDeathDifferently

May, 2016 Deathwalker Training and Funeral Master Class participants, along with Zenith Virago, at the Dharma Ranch Retreat Center in San Marcos, Texas.

May, 2016 Deathwalker Training and Funeral Master Class participants, along with Zenith Virago, at the Dharma Ranch Retreat Center in San Marcos, Texas.

 

Zen & The Art of Dying Screening and Panel Discussion at Kino 43 in Prague Challenges Death as Taboo

Thanks to Kino 43 for its Feb, 3, 2016 screening of Zen & the Art Of Dying in Prague! Kino 43 is the bimonthly alternative cinema and discussion series of Paralelní Polis, an artistic and cultural space in Prague committed to the circulation of free information and the fostering of alternative ideas and approaches to culture. Last night’s screening was followed by a panel discussion with a number of compelling Czech cultural and academic figures including (left to right) Miroslav Paulíček, professor of Historical Sociology, Miroslav Petříček, professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Blanka Dobešová, founder of Les Vzpomínek, the first Czech natural cemetery; Libor Vaněk, creator of ThinkAboutDeath.org a site for individuals to develop choices and statements about their last wishes and end-of-life choices; and Robin Kopecký, scholar of philosophy and history of science. Special thanks to Blanka for introducing the film to Kino 43 and to Barbora Johansson Pivonkova for organizing the event! Just wish we could have been there in person for the screening. Inspiring to see how a range of countries and cities are working to #DoDeathDifferently!

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Director Broderick Fox and Hospice RN Denys Cope Interviewed on LIVING JUICY

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Thanks to Rhea Goodman for having director Broderick Fox on her KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio show Living Juicy! along with RN, Hospice Nurse, and Dying: A Natural Passage author Denys Cope to talk about Zen & the Art of Dying and how we can all ‪#‎DoDeathDifferently‬!  Listen to the show here.

Zen & the Art of Dying Screens to Sold Out Crowd at Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum

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Thanks to everyone who came out to our screening at the Morbid Anatomy Museum on Thursday January 14th. Fantastic to have our New York premiere with a sold-out crowd in such an interesting and engaging cultural space. So great that Brooklyn funeral director Amy Cunningham of Fitting Tribute Funeral Services and Ralph White of New York Open Center were in attendance in order for us to be able to connect local audiences with how they can engage Natural Death Care in New York City! Whether you’re living  in the country or a major city, we can all #DoDeathDifferently.

In-Depth EdgeMedia Article on Zen & the Art of Dying

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Thanks to Kilian Melloy of Edge Media Network for his thoughtful and in-depth article on Zen & the Art of Dying in advance of our Jan. 14, 2016 Morbid Anatomy Museum screening. Melloy writes:

Openly gay documentary filmmaker Broderick Fox goes places others might not wish to venture, and does it with heart and grace. An early short documentary examined his brush with body dysmorphia (anorexia and compulsive exercise); his first full-length documentary, “The Skin I’m In,” featured at film festivals around the country a couple of years ago, examined Fox’s own experiences with addiction and alcoholism.

Now Fox follows up with “Zen and the Art of Dying,” a project that took him to Australia to meet and film Zenith Virago, a self-trained “deathwalker” who has made a profession of helping people — sick and well, young and old — think about and prepare for the eventuality of shuffling off this mortal coil. Read full article

 

Zen & the Art of Dying Receives Enthusiastic Response from Santa Fe

We’re just back from the Santa Fe Film Festival, where Zen & the Art of Dying received a powerful reception from audiences and a great post-screening Q&A hosted by Dr. Phillip Retzky, LCSW. The Santa Fe community is leading the way with natural death care possibilities with a range of schools and organizations including the Upaya Zen Center, the Academy for the Love of Learning and Southwestern College are all regularly offering death care courses and events. While in Santa Fe, Fox was a featured guest on KSFR 101.1 Santa Fe Public Radio’s Living From Happiness with Dr. Melanie Harth (listen here).  #DoDeathDifferently 

 Zen & the Art of Dying director Broderick Fox and executive producer Lee Biolos at the Santa Fe Film Festival.

Zen & the Art of Dying director Broderick Fox and executive producer Lee Biolos at the Santa Fe Film Festival.

Zen & the Art of Dying an Official Selection of the 2015 Santa Fe Film Festival

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We’re pleased to announce that Zen & the Art of Dying is an official selection of the 15th Annual Santa Fe Film Festival, which runs December 2-6, 2015. Director Broderick Fox and Executive Producer Lee Biolos will be attending the festival. 

The film will screen 11 AM Sunday December 6 at The Screen: Santa Fe University of Art and Design, with a Q&A with Fox and Biolos to follow.

Fox’s last feature documentary, the autobiographical The Skin I’m In also screened at the 2012 Santa Fe Film Festival, garnering high praise from festival screener and reviewer Laura K. Marsh. Fox was unable to attend the 2012 festival, as he was in Australia filming Zen & the Art of Dying at the time, so he looks forward to being able to fully participate in this year’s events and engage with Santa Fe audiences.

More info on the Santa Fe Film Festival at: http://santafefilmfestival.com

Zen & the Art of Dying Receives Warm Reception at Austin Film Festival

We’ve just returned from the 2015 Austin Film Festival, where Zen & the Art of Dying received warm response at our two festival screenings as an Official Selection of the 2015 Heart of Film Program. Director Broderick Fox, Executive Producer Lee Biolos, and the film’s central subject Zenith Virago (who flew in from Australia!) conducted Q&A’s after both screenings. Also in attendance a the fest was the film’s Associate Producer Michele Bornheim. It was heartening to see how the film translated to mainstream American audiences, and Virago was able to connect with a range of Natural Death Care workers in the Austin Area. Next stop, the Santa Fe Film Festival in December!

Executive Producer Lee Biolos, Associate Producer Michele Bornheim, Deathwalker Zenith Virago, and Director Broderick Fox at the 2015 Austin Film Festival.

Executive Producer Lee Biolos, Associate Producer Michele Bornheim, Deathwalker Zenith Virago, and Director Broderick Fox at the 2015 Austin Film Festival.

Executive Producer Lee Biolos, Deathwalker Zenith Virago, and Director Broderick Fox at the 2015 Austin Film Festival.

Executive Producer Lee Biolos, Deathwalker Zenith Virago, and Director Broderick Fox at the 2015 Austin Film Festival.

Director Broderick Fox, Deathwalker Zenith Virago, and Executive Producer Lee Biolos at the 2015 Austin Film Festival.

Director Broderick Fox, Deathwalker Zenith Virago, and Executive Producer Lee Biolos at the 2015 Austin Film Festival.

Zen & the Art of Dying at the 2015 Austin Film Festival.

Zen & the Art of Dying at the 2015 Austin Film Festival.

Podcasts Feature Zen & the Art of Dying

This fall, Zen & the Art of Dying has been the subject of two different Podcasts!

Give a listen to the conversation between the documentary’s central subject Zenith Virago and Austin’s Palliative Care and Death Care specialist Deanna F. Cochran on Deanna’s podcast THE JOURNEY, recorded in advance of our November Austin Film Festival Screenings.

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Also check out the conversation between director Broderick Fox and Nicholas Snow on THE NICHOLAS SNOW SHOW, recorded just after the film’s screening at Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ Festival in September.

The Nicholas Snow Show

 

Zen & the Art Of Dying to Screen at Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum

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We’re excited to start 2016 with a screening of Zen & the Art of Dying at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, New York. The screening will take place at 8 PM, Thursday Jan. 14, 2016, and filmmaker Broderick Fox and executive producer Lee Biolos will be in attendance for a post-screening discussion. Tickets and full details available here. 

About the Morbid Anatomy Museum: “The Morbid Anatomy Museum is a new 4,200 square foot non-profit institution dedicated to the celebration and exhibition of artifacts, histories and ideas which fall between the cracks of high and low culture, death and beauty, and disciplinary divides.”