Stories Without Borders: The Documentary

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 we encounter along the way.

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Covering the origins of the Ramayana and Mahabharata and their contemporary roles in India, "Stories Without Borders" 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 diverse cultures one encounters there.

"Stories Without Borders" began actively fundraising in early 2010 and production is slated to begin in Summer 2013. It is the brainchild of Andrea Frazier, a videographer, filmmaker and editor who is currently with FCA-TV, and Jarrod Brown, a philosopher and scholar who has spent much of the last decade living, researching, and working among these cultures.

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