Films

Produced, edited and filmed by Rick Ray except where noted.


10-questions-for-the-dalai-lama-cover

10 Questions For The Dalai Lama

Against the backdrop of an exotic land, a lone filmmaker is granted one hour to ask ten questions of the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Containing rare historical footage as well as footage taken inside Tibet, a story is woven between a journeyman’s personal observations, the troubled history of a government-in-exile, and the life and wisdom of one of the premiere spiritual leaders of our time.

“Expertly merging the mystical and the mundane, Mr. Ray presents a warm and well-rounded portrait of his subject, his Buddhist philosophies and the painful circumstances of his exile to a modest monastery in Dharamsala, India.” – New York Times

“There have been several documentaries about the Dalai Lama, but few have done a better job of packaging the Tibetan religious leader’s circumstances, both historical and current, along with his philosophies.” – San Francisco Chronicle

“With luscious cinematography and awe-inspiring humanity, “10 Questions for the Dalai Lama” is electrifying.” – The Boston Herald

Enlightening… provocative… highly engaging. – The Washington Post

Purchase from Amazon ›

Purchase from Monterey Media›

Stream the movie ›

Purchase the soundtrack ›

Awards

  • Grand Festival Award Winner Berkeley Video and Film Festival
  • Compassionate Vision Award Winner Maui International Film Festival
  • Inspiration Award Winner Tahoe-Reno International Film Festival
  • Best Editing Award Winner Australian International Film Festival
  • Amnesty International Film Festival Official Selection
  • Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Official Selection
  • Bahamas International Film Festival Official Selection
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival Official Selection
  • Ashland Independent Film Festival Official Selection





The Soul of India

India defies every attempt at definition. You’d run out of ink or paint or videotape before you’d even begun to find her, let alone capture her. Take the landscape. There are jungles straight out of Rudyard Kipling, deserts to make Lawrence of Arabia weep with envy, the highest mountains in the world, tropical beaches, fading colonial hill stations, crowded cities.
Indians are as varied as their landscapes–more than one billion people, thousands of languages, and almost every religion known to man. And somehow all of it has mixed into one vast, raucous, and unruly democracy.

To make The Soul of India, documentary filmmaker Rick Ray spent six months touring the country, from its low backwaters to heights over 18,000 feet, through its myriad of cultures, even weathering earthquakes and riots in order to patch together a unique and personal tapestry of this nearly indescribable country.

The film visits familiar sites like the Taj Mahal, the palaces and forts of Rajasthan, the Himalayas, and the River Ganges. But it also explores an India that few visitors see – a land of villages and inner cities, a country in which reside the hopes and dreams of one-sixth of the earth’s population.

Once you’ve glimpsed the kaleidoscope of color, the encyclopedia of experience that is India, you’ll probably agree that you have discovered the most colorful and fascinating country on earth.



the-promised-land-cover

The Promised Land

When you hear the words “The Middle East”, what images are conjured in your mind? Do you imagine unparalleled hospitality, dynamic people, breathtaking desert scenery and fascinating archeological sites dating back to the dawn of time? Or do you imagine instead terrorism, religious intolerance, and fanatical political figures?

In reality, the Middle East is a region of paradoxes. It is a land where people go out of their way to make a stranger feel at home, but it is also a land that throughout history has witnessed acts of unspeakable brutality between enemy tribes and clans.

This film represents a personal journey in words and images through several Middle Eastern countries including Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey and will include wonders such as Petra, Jerusalem, the Cedars of Lebanon, and Cappadocia.



east-africa-safari-cover

East Africa Safari

Hearing the words “East Africa” can conjure a myriad of images – herds of animals roaming the plains, Masaii warriors with their swords and spears, romantic African sunsets, or regions of tribal conflict. It is all this and more.
Join award-winning filmmaker Rick Ray as he takes you to destinations that include the Great Rift Valley and coffee plantations of Kenya, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park of Tanzania, and the rainforests of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park where endangered mountain gorillas make their home. Along the way you will experience the color, excitement, adventure, and romance of one of the most exotic destinations on Earth. Come along for the safari.





My African Safari

(This title is “East Africa Safari” as distributed by Questar)

Hearing the words “East Africa” can conjure a myriad of images – herds of animals roaming the plains, Masaii warriors with their swords and spears, romantic African sunsets, or regions of tribal conflict. It is all this and more.

Join award-winning filmmaker Rick Ray as he takes you to destinations that include the Great Rift Valley and coffee plantations of Kenya, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park of Tanzania, and the rainforests of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park where endangered mountain gorillas make their home. Along the way you will experience the color, excitement, adventure, and romance of one of the most exotic destinations on Earth. Come along for the safari.





The Gates of Jerusalem

(Produced by Questar, narrated by Richard Kiley, filmed by Rick Ray)

Jerusalem is the city where Christian history began and where many believe it will end. This program provides insights to events that are to take place in Jerusalem. Of the eight gates surrounding the Old City, the Golden Gate is being faithfully watched continuously by Christians, Muslims and Jews. Millions around the world believe it holds the key to the future of history. For the Jewish faithful, the Golden Gate symbolizes the entry for their Messiah and the beginning of the Messianic Age. For Christians, this gate promises the second coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ. For Muslims, the Golden Gate will someday be part of the last judgment of man at the end history. These spiritual gateways will play a vital role in Israel’s past, present and perhaps future.





Jerusalem: Sacred and Profane

There are cities which time has forgotten, and cities which time can never forget. Throughout history, there have been many holy cities and many places of legend. But this is the city where history began, and some believe, where history will end.

It is a city of conquerors who believed their stories would last forever, but whose names and empires have long since faded from memory. It is a city of wonders and miracles which could have been forgotten, but have been kept alive in faith and ritual. His story is told here. The story of man and the story of God. Somehow this city has survived to fulfill God’s will, to keep his story alive. It has been called the City of Peace, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, and the Golden City, but it has seldom lived up to its lofty names and elevated ideals. This is the ancient city of Jerusalem.

Join traveler and filmmaker Rick Ray as he takes you on a personal journey to the holiest city on Earth. Explore the history of this most special place from the great City of David to the emergence of the modern state of Israel. See why Jerusalem is an important center for Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and explore the inevitable conflicts that have emerged as a result. Visit the famous Dome On the Rock and the Western (Wailing) Wall. Explore the Mount of Olives and delve into the forbidden inner sanctums and synagogues of the Mea She’arim.

Walk across the Holy Land in the footsteps of Jesus. See his birthplace in Bethlehem. Travel to Nazareth, the River Jordan, and the Sea of Galilee. Walk along the Via Dolorosa where Jesus took his final walk with the cross and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the site of the burial and resurrection. Finally, witness the New City of Jerusalem expanding beyond the Old City walls, a modern capital penetrating a frontier once greatly feared by the residents of the Old City.





Morocco

Imagine the eternal Sahara with its windswept mountains of orange-gold sand, labyrinths that are the medinas of Fez and Marrakech, colorful markets with their fruits, tapestries and mint tea. Merchants selling rug kilims and goatskin lamps. Artisans specializing in tile mosaics or brass metalwork, silk slippers or fragrant spices. This is the Morocco that was. And is.
This is the land of the kasbahs, the ancient desert palaces and forts of legend. This is also the land of high tech mosques with laser beams that point toward Mecca.

From the award-winning director of the internationally acclaimed film 10 Questions For The Dalai Lama comes a look at a country that seems both untouched by time and yet is gradually moving through it. From humble mountain villages to luxurious riads, from the port cities of the western coasts to the forests of the Atlas mountains, from camel caravans to the Paris to Dakar Road Race, a country and it’s enduring history are revealed through lens of a journeyman filmmaker.

With gorgeous cinematography set against a lush music track, Rick Ray winds his way through exotic Morocco – and you’re along for the ride.





Lynching Charlie Lynch

The State gave him permission. He joined the Chamber of Commerce. He even called the DEA.

The outrageous contradictions swirling around the medical marijuana issue are explored in this new documentary film that features the story of small business owner Charlie Lynch, who tried to do the right thing but ended up losing everything.

“Rick Ray deserves major credit for bringing his compelling story to the screen with grace, tenderness, and just the right touch of righteous indignation.” – Drug War Chronicle





Lost Worlds of the Middle East

When you hear the words “The Middle East”, what images are conjured up in your mind? Do you imagine unparalleled hospitality, dynamic people, breathtaking desert scenery and fascinating archeological sites dating back to the dawn of time? Or do you imagine instead terrorism, religious intolerance, and fanatical political figures?
In reality, the Middle East is a region of paradoxes. It is a land where people go out of their way to make a stranger feel at home and also a land that throughout history has witnessed acts of unspeakable brutality between enemy tribes and clans.
This film represents a personal journey in words and images on the essential nature of the Middle East. It is an attempt to get to the heart of some of the sources of conflict between and within these nations. Mostly it is an attempt to give the viewer a sense of the people and culture than one cannot find on CNN.

On a whim, I traveled through Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon; all countries with uneasy diplomatic relations with one another. I spoke to people of all religions and cultures. I visited sites steeped in history such as Petra, Palmyra, the Dead Sea, Damascus, Jerusalem, Beirut, Baalbek, and The Cedars of Lebanon.

On my journey, I saw that the people of the Middle East have more in common with each other than their leaders will often admit. Using clever methods, I managed to fly between these countries and film and speak freely, something the ordinary people living there find difficult or nearly impossible to do.

This film allows you to visit these regions without the worries of carrying a passport of crossing borders. This is the way it once was when the honorable nomadic Bedouin drifted freely through the desert, but it is a situation unlikely to be remedied anytime soon.

I welcome you to join me in the unique opportunity to lean more bout the Middle East. Put away you preconceptions and come along for the journey.





Vietnam, Cambodia, and Burma

When most people think of Vietnam, Burma, and Cambodia, they think of them as sites of war and suffering. Indeed, these three countries have languished for many years behind the “Bamboo Curtain”, and their recent emergence has given tourists the opportunity to explore lands which have changed little in decades.

No country has been more hidden from the modern world than Burma. Since the 1950′s tourists have been restricted to between 24 hours and 7 days to see the country. Called the “Albania of Asia”, Burma has only recently begun to open its doors to travelers, and I was there on the “Road to Mandalay” to film the wonders of Inle Lake, the colonial decay of Rangoon, the “long neck women” hill tribes and the temple studded plains of Pagan.
For those of us who did not serve in Vietnam, most of our images of the country have come to us from the movies. Hollywood films have given us our national “image” of what this country must be like while depicting the Vietnamese in cartoon stereotypes, as either innocent victims or vicious torturers and killers.

Join me as I journey from Saigon to Hanoi on Vietnam’s Highway One, with stops in Dalat, Nha Trang, China Beach, Danang, the DMZ, Halong Bay and Hanoi. Finally, venture into the troubled land of Cambodia for a look at a country still coming to terms with the ravages of war. From the killing fields of Phnom Penh to the magnificence of Angkor Wat, our journey explores the heights and depths of human achievement and suffering in the homeland of Khmer culture.

With the breakup of the Soviet Union, many of the emerging countries of Indochina have found themselves with a new opportunity to overthrow old regimes and proceed with a more self-determined course. It is time to “Raise the Bamboo Curtain” and shed some light on worlds hidden from the eyes of outsiders for many years.