Fund raising has begun for Stories Without Borders: The Documentary,an educational documentary project tracing the Sanskrit epics the Ramayana and Mahabharata across the cultures and religions of South and Southeast Asia while celebrating the diversity of the people and places it chronicles.
Online PR News – 16-November-2009 – – Stories Without Borders launched its fund raising activities today with the official release of its working Web sites, http://sites.google.com/site/storieswithoutborders/home and http://storieswithoutbordersdocumentary.blogspot.com/.
Stories Without Borders is an educational documentary project that believes through exploring the stories that we share we can better understand our common humanity across time and cultures. Its first project is to record the influence of the Sanskrit epics the Ramayana and Mahabharata across the cultures and religions of South and Southeast Asia while celebrating the diversity of the people and places that it chronicles. It will also produce an accompany text.
"We want to show that there are stories that are loved and shared across cultures, and these stories can be unifying and humanizing across times and places," said director Andrea Frazier. "We want to be part of telling those stories ourselves through the medium of film."
Covering the origins of these epics and their contemporary roles in India, it will trace their influence first to Java, Indonesia where reenactments and retellings continue today in this mostly Muslim island. From there, it will travel to the Hindu island of Bali where these epics form a central part of religious identity and worship.
From there it heads to the Southeast Asian peninsula to Malaysia where today shadow puppet reenactments continue in the deeply conservative Muslim states of Kelantan and Terengganu. Next, it is to Thailand where it demonstrates how these stories play a role in the lives of Thai Theravada Buddhists from incorporation in architecture to traditional dancing. From there it moves on to the mysterious Kingdom of Cambodia and the communist state of Laos to see how these Hindu epics continue to form a central part of the many of the diverse cultures one encounters there.
It is the brainchild of Andrea Fraizer, a videographer, filmmaker and director who is currently with FCA-TV in the United States, and Jarrod Brown, a philosopher, scholar and educator who has spent much of the last decade living, researching, and working among these cultures.