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Films focus on Himilayas and history

ENCINITAS — Two documentaries that take you to the Himalayas will be shown at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive.

The first film “Kyimonlung” is a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage circuit around Tsum valley in the Gorkha district in central Nepal. The journey to the monastery of Serung Gompa takes at least 10 days of strenuous trekking far from the nearest road.

The second film, “Mani,” is a new film that looks at the benefits and hazards of bringing a road into the eastern part of the Tsum valley. The road survey has been done without consideration for the sacred nature of the many Buddhist monuments, mani walls and a rich Buddhist history of the valley that dates back to before the 11th century.

Refreshments will be available and several tables of Tibetan/Nepali crafts and clothing will be on display and for sale.

Hosting the event are Brian Hofstetter, the producer of “Kyimolung”, and Leucadia resident and film-maker Ron Ranson, who lived in Nepal for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer and has recently trekked in the Tsum valley. The film “Mani” will be introduced by guest film-maker Sonam Lama from the Tsum valley who has come to the US for this event. Ranson met Sonam Lama when he stayed at Sonam’s home in the Tsum valley after he and his sons Andrew and Tim trekked six to seven hours a day for nine days.

Proceeds will go to the Fred Lane Memorial Himalaya Fund, a 501 (c) (3) established to accept and distribute funds for this purpose. Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased online at and at the door.

“North County and San Diego have a strong and supportive Buddhist community that will appreciate hearing about this historic and sacred place in Nepal,” Ranson said. ”The Kyimolung film was lent to the Dalai Lama in 1990-91 and shown as a fundraiser for Tibet House at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco for a year, collecting donations and pleasing viewers.”