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Act Like a Holy Man, a documentary inspired by NY Times bestseller The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, showcases an exchange between Templeton and Nobel Peace Prize winners, spiritual icons Archbishop Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Granted unique access, the film shows the unlikely friends and self-described mischievous brothers in a wide-ranging conversation over 5 days in Dharamsala, planning their final joint mission: to help the world live with more joy during days of division and despair.

Despite the adversity both men have faced, each has developed practices that cultivate compassion and joy. The film covers the journey each has traveled in life as well as their time together. In keeping with the goals of Templeton Foundation’s Strategic Priority of Public Engagement, the film features illuminating research by renowned neuroscientists corroborating what the holy men have learned over decades.

Not simply another biopic, Act Like a Holy Man follows in the millennia-old tradition of human storytelling. Telling their stories in their own words, the Holy Men take the audience with them through their lives as they show what it really means to suffer and to discover joy in the face of adversity, not just by talking about it, but by living it. Ultimately, the film will inspire audiences to make individual personal changes in their own lives and to promote the virtues of compassion and generosity, acceptance and inclusion that are besieged in the world right now.

In this spirit, Archbishop Tutu and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama have charged the filmmakers with getting this film to as many people as possible around the globe. Directed by Academy Award winner Louie Psihoyos, Act Like a Holy Man will become the centerpiece of a global engagement campaign designed to maximize reach and impact, providing the citizens of the world with guidance on how to answer a crucial question: “How do we live with joy and compassion in troubled times?”

Grantee Resources

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Finding Joy and Happiness

His Holiness the Dalai Lama reunites online with Archbishop Desmond Tutu from his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on June 24, 2021, on the occasion of the release of their new movie "Mission: Joy - Finding Happiness in Troubled Times"

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Tribeca Online Premieres

Academy Award®-winning director Louie Psihoyos returns to Tribeca with his latest film, a profound and jubilant exploration of the remarkable friendship between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Inspired by the international bestseller The Book of Joy, the documentary welcomes viewers into intimate conversations between two men whose resistance against adversity has marked our modern history.