December 5th, 2009.

ZaChoeje Rinpoche will have a post-screening dialogue of the Vintner’s Luck to discuss themes of Buddhism and how they relate to art as well as the film. After viewing the film, Za Choeje Rinpoche stated;

I loved it very much. I think…the film is a great metaphor about life. It teaches… about hope, acceptance and balance.

ZaChoeje Rinpoche

Rinpoche studied at the Drepung Loseling Monastery and received the Geshe Lharampa degree, equal to a doctorate in Tibetan Buddhism. After leading the Mystical Arts of Tibet cultural tour in America in 1998, he traveled to Phoenix with a group of monks, where he found himself personally drawn to the desert. He decided to settle there and began teaching. On September 10, 2001, he, together with Dharma friends and students, founded Emaho Foundation.

Official Biography of zachoeje rinpoche


Niki Caro gives thanks to His Holiness the 14th Dalai LamaNiki Caro gives thanks to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Saturday Dec 5th, 2009

Director Niki Caro was invited by The Dalai Lama Trust Visit New Zealand to give thanks to  His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama after his public address at the Vector Arena in Auckland.

Director Niki Caro and screenwriter Joan Scheckel were honored to meet the Dalai Lama during his visit to Auckland. Niki and Joan worked together on Whale Rider as well as The Vintner’s Luck. Both women share a deep commitment to bringing humanitarian issues to screen.

“Women have a special capacity to lead us to a more peaceful world with compassion, affection and kindness. And there is no more important time for that than this moment.”

-His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

On Saturday Dec 5th and 6th, 2009

The Dalai Lama Visit Trust New Zealand is pleased to announce that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet will visit New Zealand in 2009.

The Dalai Lama will give a Public Talk in Auckland on Saturday December 5th at the Vector Arena and Buddhist Teachings at the same venue on Sunday December 6th at the invitation of the Tibetan Buddhist community of New Zealand.

The Dalai Lama last visited New Zealand in June 2007.

Official Site.


Tomorrow, Saturday 5 December @ 6pm – Rialto Cinema, Newmarket, Auckland

The latest film from acclaimed New Zealand director Niki Caro (Whale Rider, North Country), The Vintner’s Luck is a story about balance, questions, struggles, ambition and life. A story that has hit a chord with the Dalai Lama Visit Trust New Zealand.

This is a powerful, meditative tale of Sobran Jodeau, an ambitious young peasant winemaker and the three loves of his life – his earthy wife Celeste, the proudly intellectual baroness Aurora de Valday and Xas, a plain spoken  angel who strikes up an unlikely but enduring friendship. Under his guidance Sobran must wrestle with the constant duality of life; from success to failure, love to hate, betrayal to belief – all in pursuit of the perfect vintage.

Following the public talk by his Holiness the Dalai Lama on Saturday at Vector Arena, a special event will be taking place at 6pm at the Rialto Newmarket. A screening of the film will be followed by a panel discussion: Unity and Duality, When Angel and Demon are One with Niki Caro (Director), Joan Scheckel (Screenwriter) and  Za Choeje Rinpoche, an emminent Buddhist scholar recognised by the Dalai Lama as the sixth reincarnation of one of the highest Buddhist Lamas of Eastern Tibet. The panel will be exploring themes skilfully woven through Niki Caro’s adaptation of Elizabeth Knox’s acclaimed book.

After seeing the initial screening of The Vintner’s Luck the Dalai Lama Visit Trust New Zealand invited director Niki Caro to be a part of the public event with His Holiness and have worked with her and Za Choeje Rinpoche to create this post-screening dialogue. Za Choeje Rinpoche stated;

I loved it very much. I think the story in the film is a great metaphor about life. It teaches some lessons on life about the hope, acceptance and balance.”

This is a provocative film that has inspired polarized responses. This is an opportunity for a deeper discussion about the themes of the film and how they are received. It is for a broad audience who would like to contribute to the conversation.  It is for anybody who would like to speak truthfully from their hearts, but fear attack.

What are you thoughts on this issue?  Post your questions and I will ask them during the screening and panel discussion with director Niki Caro, co writer Joan Scheckel and  the eminent Buddhist teacher and scholar Za Choeje Riponoche.  Post now!  The panel is this saturday, Decemeber 5, 2009 in Auckland NZ.  We would love  your  questions to be part of this extraordinary night.  We look forward to a rare meeting of spiritual and cinematic thought…

Inspiring and moving look at the trials and tribulations experienced by a 19th century

wine maker!, 13 September 2009

Author: Adam0001 from Canada, Toronto

I was thrilled to hear Niki Caro was going to make this movie, no one else would have been able to portray the ‘basic’ elements of the novel better than she could and very well did. From start to finish the movie consisted of a real feeling of love and life. More so that she exactly put just that into making this film. The importance of simple things which when given love, sweat and time grow into something special, which if you haven’t read the novel is the basic idea.

There is a heavy pagan love of the earth atmosphere in the movie ensuring an uplifting feeling. Leading me onto the visuals which where spot on, the sweeping French vineyards and valleys where just as I imagined them.

The casting was perfect, Sobran who is played by Jeremie Renier provided us with a inspiring and moving look at the trials and tribulations experienced by a 19th century wine maker. I would hate to give this remarkable film any negativity but it does bare mentioning that Xas is completely neglected. Played by the fantastic Gaspard Ulliel much that could have been anticipated was actually not used at all. In fact almost all of the characters fascinating background such as his knowledge of there whereabouts of haven and hell, his relationship with another human, other than Sobran, and the reason why he is a fallen angel is not remotely even mentioned in the movie. The angel seams to be of no importance sadly and could in fact have been withdraw all together. Niki Caro sort of justified this in the Q&A “the movie is about life”. It seams to me that she didn’t want to add the philosophical characteristic’s which was very sad to me, Xas is a captivating individual. Aurora De Valday (Vera Farmiga) was compelling but sadly Celeste (Keisha Castle-Hughes) fell flat in the second half.

Many fans of the novel might be disappointed due to the amount of fundamental moments in the development of the characters which is simply dropped out all together. However I do strongly think that this is as great an adaptation as anyone could have hoped for. Also if its anything to go by I was at the gala presentation, after which it received a huge round of applause.

To read more:


Hello Everyone!

Hello Everyone!

Thanks for finding your way to our Blog! We love having you here and are excited to make this website our hub for discourse and conversation on this amazing film, The Vintner’s Luck. With you, we’d like to make this blog the central spot for opening conversation. This movie is gorgeous and quiet and original, and it does something unique – it provokes not only feeling but thought. Yes,thought… On real questions that come up in adult minds – like what do I do when I’m confronted with duality? What is the hard work of love? What if the angel I love becomes the demon I fear? What happens when my expectations are dashed? And how does life flourish with nothing but dirt and rock and our love and our spirits…

We’re excited to hear your thoughts and questions. This website is not just about the film- but a new way to interact with the makers of the movie. We want to go further with you into the dialogue the film provokes… We are interested in the meeting of spritual and cinematic thought. As the film continues to create strong feeling in it’s early audiences…we see that a broader context for discussion itself is warranted. The film is about duality… And it’s bringing up duality in viewers, reviewers and in it’s makers. We believe this is an opportunity for a serious, cultural conversation on a central human issue… Good and Evil are one.

Love it, hate it. We are one.

We believe that a film is a conversation with the world. Let’s get into it…together! We want to know your thoughts!