When life is in chaos we are forced to change, a lesson successful film producer Sara Wells reluctantly learns when her seemingly perfect life comes crashing down. Desperate for work, she takes on a documentary project about finding God in the New Age. Will “Killing Buddha” mark her triumphant return to the riches she thinks her life once contained? Or will she and her mismatched crew of seekers, believers and cynics find that ultimately it’s not what you have and what you believe in, but who you ultimately become that counts?
Think “Bridget Jones seeks enlightenment while shooting a documentary about God”… a brilliant way of hiding great teachings in a funny, personable movie with a great female protagonist.
About the film
A movie that pushes the boundaries of hybrid filmmaking, “Killing Buddha” blends the fictional film and documentary experience to create a vivid, awakening experience for the audience. Co-written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Betsy Chasse, co-creator of the international indie hit, “What The Bleep Do We Know?!,” the film “Killing Buddha” has several internationally famous interview subjects in the New Age spirituality arena already attached: Deepak Chopra, Barbara Marx Hubbard and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.
The film will be shot in both the dramatic and documentary style. Locations will include Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Big Sur, CA, Chattanooga, TN and other locations around the United States where the interview subjects are based.
A Feature Film
Betsy Chasse and Cate Montana
Based on a true story, “Killing Buddha” is a comedy that combines a cinematic story line with documentary elements. The movie follows Sara Wells, ex-Hollywood film producer, CEO of Sam’s Souper Snacks, lover, Santa Monica homeowner, dog owner, dreamer … a girl once on the verge of corporate success who can’t let go of her ‘know it all’ attitude and controlling ways long enough to let true happiness into her life.
Business flagging, dumped by her disgruntled boyfriend, car repossessed with the bank eyeing her heavily mortgaged house, Sara desperately wants change. Convinced by a friend to try a yoga class, she receives some unusually simple advice: make a list of what you want in life and let the universe provide.
Confident in her list-making abilities, uncertain about the universe, broke, aching for a change and nostalgic for her Hollywood days, Sara tops her Wish List with a request for a movie to produce; a movie that is excitingly different and meaningful. Within days, Sara is offered a script for “Killing Buddha,” a privately funded documentary about the modern Western spirituality movement. Unfortunately for the ultimate material girl, Sara’s deepest insight into spirituality is that God is dog spelled backwards. But she is intrigued by the coincidence with her list and drawn by the possibility of learning the ultimate 1-2-3 recipe for happiness and success.
Against the advice of her agent, Sara accepts the project and sets out on a hilarious road trip with a bickering mismatched film crew of believers, cynics and seekers: Jason Stroud, a Southern Baptist cameraman, Brin Halloway, a bitter, disillusioned New Age consultant, Catholic editor and sound man Fabio Martinez, and wet-behind-the-ears African American production assistant,
debutant/socialite Michelle Kandell.
The crew ping-pongs from the clothing-optional grounds of Esalen Institute to the exclusive retreat of Swami Shiva, from a Mind Body Spirit Expo to Sara’s disastrous attempt at fire walking. Along the way they interview plenty of New Age luminaries (Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and others) and their real life followers, searching for meaning and enlightenment.
Filled with wit, wisdom, tongue-in-cheek humor and amusing escapades exposing the often silly things humans do to find God and meaning, “Killing
Buddha” is ultimately the story of a modern woman’s journey from dissatisfied, clueless materialism to the uncomfortable realization that happiness and fulfillment really do lie within – if she can figure out how the hell to access them!