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Mickey Lemle: Filmmaker, artist, consciousness raiser
Jul 2, 2016: Telling Moving Stories About Human Transformation



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Producer/Director Mickey Lemle has been making feature films, television series and documentary specials with spiritual, environmental, and socially conscious themes since 1971. In 1982 he founded Lemle Pictures, Inc., with a mission "to tell moving stories about human transformation." His film and television works -- which highlight spiritual and contemplative commitments as forces for change -- have been shown theatrically, on television and at film festivals around the world.

In 1992, Lemle produced and directed the multi-award winning documentary COMPASSION IN EXILE: The Story of the 14th Dalai Lama. For this film, the Dalai Lama personally granted unprecedented access and cooperation. The film, the first major movie that was made about His Holiness, introduced millions of people all over the world to the Dalai Lama. Phillip Glass composed the music for the film. The film continues to be screened somewhere in the world every single day. COMPASSION IN EXILE was broadcast on PBS and received numerous awards and honors, including two Emmy nominations for Best Director and Best Documentary; and the Grand Prize at the Earth/Peace Film Festival. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences selected it as "One of 14 Best Feature Documentaries of the Year."

Lemle also created the film RAM DASS FIERCE GRACE, named one of the five best non-fiction films of 2002 by Newsweek Magazine. It is a feature-length documentary that shows the wisdom of Ram Dass (aka Richard Alpert), the man who’s been at the forefront of studies in consciousness for over 55 years, as he uses his own practices to deal with the effects of a massive stroke he suffered in 1997, including the resulting suffering and alleviation of suffering. The film screened theatrically in over 60 cities across the US and was broadcast nationally on PBS in 2004.

In 2013 Lemle began production on THE DALAI LAMA, a new feature-length film looking at the life of the Dalai Lama and his commitment to understanding the nature and science of the mind.  Just this past month, in June 2016, Lemle completed this feature film, re-titled THE LAST DALAI LAMA?, and offered a sneak preview of it at an event to benefit The Tibet Fund. A description of the new film notes that "Lemle filmed extensively with the Dalai Lama, with a palpable intimacy made possible by the 30-year relationship they share. . . . In the new film, the Dalai Lama speaks candidly about the issues that come with aging that can disquiet the mind: regrets, unfulfilled dreams, frustrations, and the inevitability of death. His Holiness shared his personal perspective on each of those subjects, and explored the persistent questions about his next reincarnation."

Lemle’s other films include: HASTEN SLOWLY: The Journey of Sir Laurens Van Der Post (1996), which weaves a tapestry of key moments in the life of an extraordinary writer, filmmaker, commando leader, statesman and anthropologist through his own intimate stories; A WOMAN'S PLACE IS IN THE HOUSE, a half hour portrait of Massachusetts State Representative Elaine Noble; BRILLIANT, based on the life of Larry Brilliant, a "hippy doctor" who traveled overland to India from England in the ‘70s with 32 members of a commune and ended up playing a major role in the eradication of small pox (Brilliant was later named the first head of google.org).

Lemle received a personal Emmy nomination for editing P.O.W. and JIM, two programs in the RELIGIOUS AMERICA series. He also directed, shot and edited segments of the Emmy Award-winning series, ZOOM, and the Peabody Award-winning series, EYE-TO-EYE. Lemle was recently named "One of the 40 Artists Who Shake the World" by UTNE READER.

Lemle holds a B.A. from Brandeis University. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Nepal and since 1992 has served as Chairman of the Board of the Tibet Fund. He has also served on the Boards of Advisors for the Joseph Campbell Foundation, The 52nd St. Project and The Rubin Museum, New York.

He has movingly written about the transformation of his relationship with his mother in the final years of her life.

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