Brothers in the Buddha features Michael Nguyen, a Vietnamese Canadian youth whose parents came to Canada as refugees in the 1980s. Michael left his parents’ home in Toronto at the tender age of ten to join a ‘Brotherhood’ of monks at the Truc Lam Buddhist Monastery in Edmonton. Though Michael wears the tunic of a monastic, he doesn’t live a cloistered life; Michael is fully engaged in the modern world and attends Senior High School with other Canadian youth his age. Brothers in the Buddha examines the personal life and challenges undertaken by this young Canadian, while at the same time introducing viewers to some of the fundamentals of Buddhist philosophy and practice. By observing Michael we gain a sense of how, like the scent of incense in a temple, Buddhist practice and philosophy is intended to permeate every aspect of one’s life.

FESTIVAL  & COMMUNITY SCREENINGS: Global Visions FF Special Screening (Dec 2014), Edmonton, AB; FAVA FEST 2015, Edmonton, AB; Parliament of the World’s Religions 2015, Salt Lake City, UT; Culture Unplugged FF 2016, Global Online; Justice 4 Reel FF 2016, Edmonton, AB; Global Migration Film Festival 2020, Waterloo, ON;  Sacrae Scenae Festival 2021, Ardesio, Italy; Illuminate Film Festival (2021) Screening Room.

AWARDS: FAVA FEST 2014 Joe Viszmeg Doc Production Award; AMPIA AWARDS 2015 Nominee for Best Production Reflecting Cultural Diversity; FAVA FEST 2015 Award of Excellence; Campanile d’Oro/Golden Bell Tower Award, Sacrae Scenae Festival 2021, Ardesio, Italy.

Creative Team

Beth Wishart MacKenzie Writer/Producer/Director
Richard Gustavsen Cinematographer/Location Sound
Sarah Taylor-Bao Picture Editor
Johnny Blerot Audio Post Production
Tony Bao Guitar
Everett LaRoi Instrumental Music
Shout Out Out Out Out Recorded Music


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