James Zito is an independent film and video maker based in northern California. Interested in exploring Buddhist issues on film and in the electronic media, he has been involved in helping to create electronic archives of Buddhist materials as well as documenting the progress of Buddhism in America and the west.

He has had the opportunity to meet, interview and document many of the world’s greatest remaining Buddhist teachers as well as a number of the world’s most prominent Buddhist scholars.

His current production is a film documenting the veneration of Buddhist relics around the world. Shot on location at prominent Buddhist sites in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea and the United States, the film is an investigation into the phenomenon of Stupa and relic veneration and its important role in Buddhism as a whole. The veneration of the stupa forms a core element in most different types of Buddhism around the world. Prominent Buddhist teachers and scholars were interviewed for the film and their insight provides an illuminating take on this mystical subject.

Zito is perhaps best known for his film Compassion and Wisdom which outlines the
basics of the Bodhisattva way of life and featured interviews with prominent teachers and scholars including HH the Dalai Lama, HH Sakya Trizin, Prof. Robert Thurman etc. It has been hailed as one of the best documentaries about Buddhism.

He also produced a short history of Zen in Japan featuring profiles of the great Zen masters
of Japanese history including Muso, Daito, Ikkyu, Dogen and Hakuin which was shot extensively on location in Japan and contains beautiful footage of sacred Zen gardens, calligraphies and scrolls seldom seen in the west.

He is currently in preproduction on a profile of the great Indian scholar and siddha
Padmasambhava, also known to the Tibetan people as Guru Rinpoche, the precious teacher
who played such an important role in establishing the Buddha's teachings in Tibet and Bhutan.

In the light of recent catastrophic earthquakes in Nepal and Myanmar and the incredible destruction of priceless archaeological and historical resources at temple and stupa sites there, we are faced with the urgent necessity of documenting and studying the culture and practice of Buddhism as it is practiced as a living tradition around the world today.

It is Zito's mandate to create a spectrum of programming investigating and documenting an array of topics dealing with Buddhist history and practice. It is his hope that these materials may be used not only to entertain but also to provide valuable source material for students of the Buddhist tradition.