// Presented as part of April's Docs in Focus II Series //
Guido Santi & Tina Mascara / 2014, Ashland Independent, Cleveland, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Hot Docs, IDFA - Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, Palm Springs, ReFrame Film Festival, Sedona / 91'
Nicholas Vreeland was born into a storied family—grandson of legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, he was born in Switzerland and raised in Europe and Morocco before relocating to the United States, where he father was stationed as an ambassador to the United Nations. In boarding school he became interested in photography, interning for Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. Yet a fateful meeting Khyongla Rato Rinpoche altered the course of his life forever—he moved to a India, giving up his earthly possessions to study Tibetan Buddhism. In 2012, the Dalai Lama appointed Vreeland the abbot of Rato Dratsang, the first Westerner in history to assume such a role. When his monastery required funds for repair, however, Vreeland found himself once more immersed in photography.
Tracing the unlikely true story from tony privilege to asceticism, and back to artistry once more, Monk With A Camera captures in fascinating detail the life of Nicholas Vreeland. Guido Santi and Tina Mascara's second documentary film premiered at Ashland, Hot Docs, IDFA, and Palm Springs.