Simha Kuti Frederick Marx
A dharma practitioner for 30 years, Simha (Young Vigilant Lion) sat the second ever Hollow Bones in Providence, Rhode Island in May 2000. In 1989 he had a vision while chanting the Heart Sutra that told him he’d spend his final years on the planet primarily as a dharma teacher.
A slow learner, attached to his neuroses, it took him 28 more years to wake up to his calling and get ordained on Jan. 14, 2017. The rest is silence…
Frederick Marx has lived his life mission as a socially dedicated film artist for 40 years. He is an internationally acclaimed, Oscar and Emmy nominated producer/director. He was named a Chicago Tribune Artist of the Year, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of a Robert F. Kennedy Special Achievement Award. His film HOOP DREAMS played in hundreds of theatres nationwide after winning the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was the first documentary ever chosen to close the New York Film Festival. It was on over 100 “Ten Best” lists nationwide and was named Best Film of the Year by critics Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel, Gene Shalit, and Ken Turran and by the Chicago Film Critics Association. Ebert also named it Best Film of the Decade.
HOOP DREAMS ignited Marx’s lifelong passion for the well-being of youth. That led to BOYS TO MEN? (2002) – a snapshot of the dire state of teen boys in the U.S. today. BOYS TO MEN? chronicles one year in the lives of three fifteen year-old boys as they struggle to define themselves meaningfully as men.
Now Marx is focused on his final film on youth – RITES OF PASSAGE: MENTORING THE FUTURE. This documentary is about solutions. It will demonstrate why it’s necessary to initiate and mentor all the world’s youth. It will show audiences how it can be done, provide them with the tools to do it, and inspire them to take up the challenge.
In 1993, Marx received an Emmy nomination for HIGHER GOALS (1992) for Best Daytime Children’s Special. Producer, Director, and Writer for this national PBS Special, Marx directed Tim Meadows of “Saturday Night Live” fame. Accompanied by a curriculum guide, the program was later distributed for free to over 4,200 inner city schools nationwide. His most recent film JOURNEY FROM ZANSKAR (2010) – featuring the Dalai Lama, with narration by Richard Gere – is now in worldwide release.
THE UNSPOKEN (1999), Marx’s first feature film, features stellar performances from star Sergei Shnirev of the famed Moscow Art Theatre (Russian voice of Disney’s ALADDIN), and Harry J. Lennix, most known for MATRIX, Spike Lee’s GET ON THE BUS, Tim Robbins’ BOB ROBERTS, and Julie Taymor’s TITUS. A hobbyist songwriter, Marx recorded a number of his songs collectively known as ROLLING STEEL (1991).
Marx’s vision for cross-cultural understanding is reflected in PBS’ international human rights program OUT OF THE SILENCE (1991), the widely acclaimed personal essay DREAMS FROM CHINA (1989), and Learning Channel’s SAVING THE SPHINX (1997). He consulted on Iranian-Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi’s feature TURTLES CAN FLY (2004) and was a teacher of renowned Thai feature filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Having dedicated his life to the making and promotion of independent films, Marx, a true maverick in the increasingly commercialized world of “independent cinema,” continues to provide a voice of artistic and social integrity. He repeatedly returns to work with disadvantaged and misunderstood communities: people of color, abused children, the working poor, welfare recipients, prisoners, the elderly, and “at risk” youth. He brings an urgent empathy for the suffering of the disadvantaged to every subject he tackles. He has taken a special interest in the last 15 years in men’s maturation and healing and has been certified by the ManKind Project to co-lead their New Warrior Training Adventure workshops. As his mission statement indicates (“Bearing witness, creating change”), his is a voice strong and clear, and profoundly human. By living his life’s deepest purpose he inspires citizens worldwide to live theirs.