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5th Annual ILLUMINATE Film Festival Offers Movies That Stir Your Soul: Michael Franti, Mooji and More

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release                                             

Contact: Betsy Klein714-478-0353

5th Annual ILLUMINATE Film Festival Offers Movies That Stir Your Soul:
Michael Franti, Mooji and More 

Film has the power to illuminate, to make us feel deeply, essentially taking us to a place beyond ourselves.  As a medium, it opens hearts and minds, and our response to it is both visceral and personal. Underneath this response lies the unspoken connection between us all, and nowhere is this more evident than at the ILLUMINATE Film Festival. Renowned for their groundbreaking immersive approach to the film festival experience, the 5th annual ILLUMINATE Film Festival returns May 30th-June 3rd.  The premier conscious film festival, which some have referred to as the Sundance of the conscious film industry, ILLUMINATE is dedicated to elevating awareness and inspiring lasting transformation through cinema.

Each season, ILLUMINATE searches out the year’s most compelling, paradigm-shifting, life-affirming films. For their 5th annual Festival, they have selected 26 conscious narratives, documentaries and shorts. The schedule includes evening spotlights, special guests, post-screening presentations with directors and producers, filmmaker panels, nightly parties and live musical performances.

View the entire 2018 Illuminate lineup and schedule here.

“Film as a medium has a paradigm shifting power. Our commitment to audience members is to support them on their own journey.” Says Festival Founder and Executive Director Danette Wolpert, “This year’s lineup answers both micro and macro-level questions: how do we become the best and fullest version of ourselves? How do we make a true and measurable impact on the world?  Individually and collectively, how do we rise?”

Participants in the festival are able to mingle with some of the renowned thought leaders of today, as well as like-minded individuals set on being the change they wish to see in the world.

The festival kicks off Wednesday, May 30th with a free screening of The Push featuring the inspiring story of the indomitable Grant Korgan. Opening Night features the Festival World Premiere of the Emmy-nominated Live Your Quest, which shares the wisdom of Michael Beckwith, Jack Canfield, Lisa Nichols, Tom Chi and others who explore the science, psychology and spirituality behind living a life of passion and purpose.

The festival will close with the latest from musician Michael Franti; Stay Human. This heart-drenched film reflects on Franti’s personal journey facing adversity as a child, struggling to find his voice as a musician, and how he came to find inspiration through six stories of extraordinary change-makers across the globe who chose to overcome cynicism through optimism and hope.  There will be a Q&A with Franti after the film.

New this year is the festival’s $5,000 cash prize, the Mangurama Award for Conscious Documentary Storytelling, which will be awarded to the most transformative non-fiction film that exhibits a strong story arc, compelling subjects and high production value.

For the first time, ILLUMINATE will be offering the cutting-edge Reel Healing Online program. This multi-week educational web series, hosted by both established and emerging leaders in the field of transformation, will allow participants to more fully integrate a film’s message into their lives after the festival wraps.

One of the luminaries offering a Reel Healing Online program is rising star and bestselling author Hal Elrod whose work has been featured in segments on every major television network. Part of the next generation of game changers, his film The Miracle Morningfeatures leading research detailing extraordinary but simple processes, made up of daily practices, that allow people to quickly transcend their limitations, enabling them to maximize their full potential.

In live discussions, festival goers will hear from visionary thinkers such as national GMO expert Jeffrey Smith, Reverent June Juliet Gatlin, spiritual advisor to the late Michael Jackson, Tom Chi, founding team member of Google X, and John Raatz, who co-founded the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment with author Eckhart Tolle and actor Jim Carrey.

Other highlights include an online Satsang with enlightened master Moojibaba, a Reel Healing with Somewhere in Time producer and Spiritual Cinema Circle co-founder Stephen Simon, and 11 world premieres including 3100: Run And Become, a sweeping examination of running’s spiritual nature; Calling All Earthlings, an exploration of the controversial ET and Nikola Tesla inspired electromagnetic dome built by George Van Tassel, a one-time Howard Hughes confidante; From Shock to Awe, a gripping look into controversial therapies for PTSD; The Edge of Paradise, which tells the story of Taylor Camp, a hippie paradise started by Elizabeth Taylor’s brother in 1969, You Are What You Act, a feature doc that exposes an intriguing body mind pattern among many of the world’s action heroes; The Way Home, which points people past their limiting beliefs and attachments; Black Star, which explores art as a healing modality for addiction; and Living Music, a documentary short chronicling a rehabilitative journey of artistic experimentation and unconventional healing.

In addition, the festival will host its 5th Conscious Film Convergence, a series of film-industry programs offering panels on pitching, film funding and distribution. Added to the offering this year are the Take Twenty Mentoring Sessions, a speed networking opportunity where advice seekers can spend twenty minutes each with pioneers and leaders in conscious entertainment.

Finally, ILLUMINATE will be honoring author Lynne Twist with the Conscious Visionary Award. Author of The Soul of Money, this SuperSoul Sunday favorite and founder of the Pachamama Alliance is a recognized global visionary committed to ending world hunger, supporting social justice and environmental sustainability, and reframing our society’s relationship with money.

VIP All-Access Passes include unlimited film screenings, VIP receptions, Conscious Film Convergence panels, Luminary Living Room series and the Virtual Reality Zone. (Access to Filmmaker Labs is not included.) Passholders also receive priority theater access.

For tickets go to: https://illuminatefilmfestival.com/tickets-passes.

The 2018 ILLUMINATE Film Festival is scheduled for May 30 – June 3, 2018, at the Sedona Performing Arts Center and Mary D. Fisher Theatre. For more information, visit www.illuminatefilmfestival.com.

Sponsors of the 5th annual ILLUMINATE Film Festival include: Sedona Chamber of Commerce, Natural Action Technologies, Chocolatree Organic Oasis, El Rincon, Conscious Life News, The Lodge at Sedona and Sedona Real Inn & Suites.

ILLUMINATE Film Festival, a 501(c)3 sponsored organization, is the world’s premier film festival for conscious cinema. For more information, visit www.illuminatefilmfestival.com or call 928-421-1108.




ILLUMINATE Film Festival Reveals 2018 Lineup

PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
Contact: Betsy Klein, 714-478-0353

Sedona, Arizona (May 6, 2018) Renowned for their groundbreaking immersive approach to the film festival experience, the 5th annual ILLUMINATE Film Festival returns May 30th- June 3rd.  The premier conscious film festival, ILLUMINATE is dedicated to elevating awareness and inspiring lasting transformation through cinema.

With this intent, each season ILLUMINATE searches out the year’s most compelling, paradigm shifting, life-affirming films. For their 5th annual Festival, they have selected 26 conscious narratives, documentaries and shorts. The schedule includes evening spotlights, special guests, post-screening presentations with directors and producers, filmmaker panels, nightly parties and live musical performances.

“As a medium, film viscerally immerses us, opening our hearts and minds to larger possibilities.” Says Festival Founder and Executive Director Danette Wolpert, “This year’s lineup answers both micro and macro-level questions: how do we become the best and fullest version of ourselves? How do we make a true and measurable impact on the world?  Individually and collectively, how do we rise?”

Participants in the festival are able to mingle with some of the renowned thought leaders of today, as well as like-minded individuals set on being the change they wish to see in the world.

The festival kicks off Wednesday, May 30 with a free screening of The Push featuring the inspiring story of the indomitable Grant Korgan.

Opening Night features the Festival World Premiere of the Emmy-nominated Live Your Quest, which shares the wisdom of Michael Beckwith, Jack Canfield, Lisa Nichols, Tom Chi and others who explore the science, psychology and spirituality behind living a life of passion and purpose.

The festival will close with the latest from beloved world renowned musician Michael Franti; Stay Human. This heart-drenched film reflects on Franti’s personal journey facing adversity as a child, struggling to find his voice as a musician, and how he came to find inspiration through six stories of extraordinary change-makers across the globe who chose to overcome cynicism through optimism and hope.

New this year is the festival’s $5,000 cash prize, the Mangurama Award for Conscious Documentary Storytelling, which will be awarded to the most transformative non-fiction film that exhibits a strong story arc, compelling subjects and high production value.

For the first time, ILLUMINATE will be offering the cutting edge Reel Healing Online program. This  multi-week educational web series, hosted by both established and emerging leaders in the field of transformation,  will allow participants to more fully integrate a film’s message into their lives after the festival wraps.

One of the luminaries offering a Reel Healing Online program is rising star and bestselling author Hal Elrod whose work has been featured in segments on every major television network. Part of the next generation of game changers, his film The Miracle Morning features leading research detailing extraordinary but simple processes, made up of daily practices, that allows people to quickly transcend their limitations, enabling them to maximize their full potential.

In work-in-progress WeRise, a group of the nation’s top social innovators propose new models of success in business, medicine, education, politics, entertainment, technology and happiness to empower humankind. An inspiring call to action, it features insight from The Dalai Lama, Arianna Huffington, John Mackey, Alanis Morrisette, Moby, Joe Dispenza, Tony Robbins, Lynne Twist and more.

Other highlights include an online Satsang with enlightened master Moojibaba, a Reel Healing with Spiritual Cinema Circle Co-founder Stephen Simon and 11 world premieres including 3100: Run And Become, a sweeping examination of running’s spiritual nature; Calling All Earthlings, an exploration of the controversial ET and Nikola Tesla inspired electromagnetic dome built by George Van Tassel, a one-time Howard Hughes confidante; From Shock to Awe, a gripping look into controversial therapies for PTSD; The Edge of Paradise, which tells the story of Taylor Camp, a hippie paradise started by Elizabeth Taylor’s brother in 1969, You Are What You Act, a feature doc that exposes an intriguing body mind pattern among many of the world’s action heroes; Black Star which explores art as a healing modality for addiction; and Living Music, a documentary short chronicling a rehabilitative journey of artistic experimentation and unconventional healing.

In addition, the festival will host its 5th Conscious Film Convergence, a series of film-industry programs offering panels on pitching, film funding and distribution. Added to the offering this year are the Take Twenty Mentoring Sessions, a speed networking opportunity where advice seekers can spend twenty minutes each with pioneers and leaders of the conscious film industry.

Finally ILLUMINATE will be honoring author Lynne Twist with the Conscious Visionary Award. Author of The Soul of Money, this SuperSoul Sunday favorite and founder of the Pachamama Alliance is a recognized global visionary committed to ending world hunger, supporting social justice and environmental sustainability, and reframing our society’s relationship with money.

View the full selection of films and the schedule HERE on ILLUMINATE’s website.

VIP All-Access Passes include unlimited film screenings, VIP receptions, Conscious Film Convergence panels, Luminary Living Room series and the Virtual Reality Zone. (Access to Filmmaker Labs is not included.) Passholders also receive priority theater access.

Patrons can take advantage of discounted early-bird pricing through April 20th.  Early Bird All-Access Passes can be purchased online for $349 until April 20 ($444 after that date). Passes are on sale now and can be purchased at www.illuminatefilmfestival.com.

The 2018 ILLUMINATE Film Festival is scheduled for May 30 – June 3, 2018 at the Sedona Performing Arts Center and Mary D. Fisher Theatre. For more information, visit www.illuminatefilmfestival.com.

Sponsors of the 5th annual ILLUMINATE Film Festival include: Sedona Chamber of Commerce, Natural Action Technologies, ChocolaTree Organic Oasis, International Documentary Association, Conscious Life News, The Lodge at Sedona and Sedona Real Inn & Suites.

ILLUMINATE Film Festival, a 501(c)3 sponsored organization, is the world’s premier film festival for conscious cinema. For more information, visit www.illuminatefilmfestival.com or call 928-421-1108.




Illuminate Film Festival – The Very Best in Conscious Cinema | May 30 – June 3, 2018

ILLUMINATE is the world’s premier film festival for conscious cinema. Dedicated to spreading enlightened ideas and pushing humanity forward, ILLUMINATE is a landmark destination event and centerpiece for conscious content. Founded on the premise that the language of film is universal and a dynamic force in carrying messages to the masses, the Festival showcases the best of transformational media to uplift, inspire and transform.

ILLUMINATE Film Festival
May 30 – June 3, 2018 | Sedona Arizona
Buy Passes Now: https://illuminatefilmfestival.com/tickets-passes




Illuminate Film Festival’s 4th Annual Celebration of Conscious Cinema – Here Are the Highlights

ILLUMINATE Film Festival, the premier festival dedicated to elevating and empowering humanity through transformational cinema, is holding its 4th annual event May 31 – June 4 in the spectacular red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. ILLUMINATE brings people together to experience life-altering shifts through inspirational films.

Spanning five days and three venues, ILLUMINATE will present 25 of the most compelling conscious themed films of the year. There will be evening spotlights, post-screening presentations with directors and producers, Reel Healing immersions, musical performances, a virtual reality showcase, and a Healing Lounge. The Festival opens with the free-to-the-public Launch Party and Outdoor Screening on May 31 and will host nightly parties for passholders every night of the festival.

In addition, the Festival will present a series of film industry programs – the Conscious Film Convergence, the Conscious Cinema Summit and the Conscious Cinema Accelerator, offering workshops, networking and mentoring for those working to elevate consciousness through filmmaking.

Register for the Illuminate Film Festival here (use promo code: SPRING17 for a $49 discount).

Special Guests and What’s New

The Festival will present its second annual Conscious Visionary Award to conscious evolution pioneer Barbara Marx Hubbard following the world premiere of American Visionary: The Story of Barbara Marx Hubbard (last year’s Visionary Award Recpient was Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith).

Another highlight in the lineup is a special program with celebrated filmmaker, author, musician and peace troubadour James Twyman.

New to the festival this year is the Luminary Living Room Series, an offering of intimate workshops with nationally renowned teachers in the mind-body-spirit realm. Teachers include renowned neuroscience and human potential expert Dr. Joe Dispenza, who will share his timeless wisdom in conjunction with a spotlight world premiere of HEAL.

HEAL is a deeply empowering, life-affirming film by director Kelly Noonan and producer and ILLUMINATE alum Adam Schomer, featuring Dispenza, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Anita Moorjani, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Anthony William the “Medical Medium”, Gregg Braden and several other leaders who take us on a scientific and spiritual journey where we discover that the human body can heal itself from any disease. This important film proposes we have more control over our health and life than we have been taught to believe.

Spiritual Movements and Influential Leaders

This year’s film lineup includes a special focus on spiritual movements and the influential leaders that sparked global awakening and self-realization. Three of the films in this section are:

The Last Dalai Lama? – Director, Mickey Lemle (Ram Dass Fierce Grace) brings to the big screen a very powerful and intimate portrait of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Lemie was able to film extensively with the Dalai Lama with an intimacy only made possible by their 30-year relationship. (Southwest Premiere)

Shadows of Paradise – This film documents the Transcendental Meditation Movement with intimate access to two of TM ‘s leaders – iconic filmmaker David Lynch and dedicated disciple Bobby Roth. The film documents the movement’s metamorphosis following the death of founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Having grown up within TM, Director Sebastian Lange approaches his subject through an introspective lens, seeking to reconcile the present-day incarnation with the teachings and practices that have shaped his worldview. (Southwest Premiere)

Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and Swami Who Started It All – Hare Krishna! is a documentary on the life of Srila Prabhupada – the 70-year-old Indian Swami who arrives in America without support or money in the turbulent 1960s. Suddenly thrust into the raging counterculture, he speaks of the world’s real need – a need for a revolution in consciousness. This captures the attention of a generation of youth seeking answers and ignites a worldwide spiritual movement, now known as the Hare Krishna movement. (World Premiere)

Music’s Role in Expanding Consciousness

Music and the role it has played in expanding world consciousness will be highlighted in several musical spotlight programs featuring performances, concerts and kirtans. Films include:

MANTRA – Sounds into Silence shares the stories of people who are experiencing healing and a sense of inner peace by singing mantras together. It’s a film about people reconnecting with their true selves and with others. Through encounters with a variety of characters, we discover how Deva Premal & Miten, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Snatam Kaur and MC Yogi came to this music themselves and to the practice of Kirtan, and how, over the years, it transformed their lives. (World Premiere)

RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World will tell the story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence. This deeply insightful film cements how some of our most treasured artists – Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Randy Castillo, and others – found their inspiration in ancient, native melodies and harmonies that were infused with a desire to resist. You’ll never listen to your favorite rock and roll classics the same way again.

The Golden Age is a tour de force musical film inspired by true events about subversive pop star Maya O’Malley. After a string of incendiary remarks in the press, Maya gets dropped from his music label, and sets out on a spiritual pilgrimage to immerse himself in the vast teachings of Hindu mythology. Set against a dreamy backdrop of his compelling songs, the film reveals Maya’s tumultuous journey towards spiritual redemption. (US Premiere)

Stay tuned for the full selection of films which will be announced in mid-April on ILLUMINATE’s website.

Purchase All-Access passes at https://illuminatefilmfestival.com/tickets-passes until April 28th for $395 with the promo code SPRING17. Passes are $444 thereafter.

Major sponsors include: Natural Action Technologies, ChocolaTree, Sedona Chamber of Commerce, Science of Mind Magazine, Collective Evolution, The Collective, Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, Sedona Real, and The Lodge at Sedona.

ILLUMINATE Film Festival, the world’s premier film festival for conscious cinema will be held May 31-June 4, 2017 at the Sedona Performing Arts Center, the Mary D. Fisher Theater and The Collective in Sedona, AZ. To register or get more info: https://illuminatefilmfestival.com




Illuminate Film Fest: “Landfill Harmonic” Proves the Creative Human Spirit Can Always Triumph

landfill-harmonic-orchestra-ii

Last night I had the great pleasure of attending the Arizona premiere of Landfill Harmonic at the Illuminate Film Festival in Sedona, AZ. It was wonderful. I cried tears of joy several times during the screening.

Landfill Harmonic is a heartfelt, moving documentary that shows how the human spirit triumphs in even most trying living conditions.

The movie takes place in Cateura, a poor suburb of Paraguay, where most families make their living working in the local dump. It’s their job to pick through the tons of garbage that comes from nearby cities. Located in a huge flood zone, Cateura is an extremely challenging place to live, and the kids who grow up there rarely dare to dream of a bigger life.

Landfill Harmonic tells the story of how one man, Favio Chavez, changed everything for the people of Cateura when he decided to teach the children how to play music. There was only one problem: there were lots of children who wanted to learn and only a few instruments. This is understandable since most violins are worth more than one of the shack-homes in Cateura.

Favio asked one of the town’s garbage pickers, who also happened to be a carpenter, if he could make instruments out of the garbage. With great tenacity, he learned to turn tin drums, wooden spoons, metal forks, and even x-ray film into drums, violins, guitars, and more. Soon, the kids were playing music together as the “Recycled Orchestra of Cateura.”

The inspiring film follows the kids as they learn to master their instruments, play together, step into the limelight (particularly when a YouTube video of them goes viral – see below), and continue to deal with the hardships of living in a poor, environmentally-challenged town.

I’m not going to give away any more of the story, but suffice it to say that Landfill Harmonic has more drama, character growth, excitement, and emotional impact than most fictional films. There’s even a cameo of a famous rock star who was touched and impressed by the kids.

The bottom line is Landfill Harmonic is a documentary you have to see.  Here’s the original teaser for the film:




ILLUMINATE Film Festival Brings Conscious Cinema to Sedona May 27-31

 

Narrated by Liam Neeson, "Love Thy Nature" (Arizona Premiere at the Illuminate Film Festival on May 31) is a cinematic immersion into the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world. Neeson is the voice of Homo Sapiens—our collective humankind—who, in the past few thousand years, has come to believe that we are separate from nature. But doctors are unveiling new findings on the role of nature to sustain and heal the human body-mind. Experts have discovered that just spending time in nature promotes healing, emotional stability, connectedness and even neurological health in children.

Narrated by Liam Neeson, “Love Thy Nature” (Arizona Premiere at the Illuminate Film Festival on May 31) is a cinematic immersion into the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world.

Film has the power to transform lives. Where better to midwife the rising trend in conscious cinema than Sedona, Arizona, home to mind-body-spirit revolutionaries among the red rocks. The second annual ILLUMINATE Film Festival expects to draw an attendance of 3,500 May 27-31. Three state-of-the-art Sedona venues will premier 22 world-class films and offer additional activities.

“Our purpose at ILLUMINATE is to showcase cinematic gems that empower those who see them to live kinder, wiser, more enlightened lives,” said Danette Wolpert, festival executive director. “ILLUMINATE films inspire viewers to seek greater levels of awareness. They remind us who we are by awakening the heart to embody love once more.”

Wolpert and her team, a 501c3-sponsored group, are at the forefront of this new wave in cinema, the mind-body-spirit genre called the conscious film movement.

“Humanity craves inspiring stories that push us along on our journey toward happiness, freedom, abundance and peace,” Wolpert said. Those film stories, in general, revolve around wellness, self-discovery, mind-body science, organic and plant-based nutrition and sustainable living.

According to a recent study (by Sparks & Honey in partnership with Gaiam TV), more than 100 million people in the U.S. are hungry for information on how to grow spiritually and live in harmony with other people, other cultures, and the earth.

Conscious concepts, once trivialized, are becoming mainstream thanks to moguls like Oprah, Russell Brand, Deepak Chopra, Russell Simmons and others.  And film production values have kept pace, dramatically improved as both veteran and novice filmmakers enter the conscious media space to hone their craft, Wolpert pointed out. “These developments, as well as technological advancements in everything from camera gear to social media tools, have democratized our ability to produce, market, and distribute conscious content.”

Take last year’s films, for example. Speciesism explored how the collective global consciousness could very well be shifting to include all life forms as sacred. May I Be Frank told one man’s true story of redemption, from drug addiction and illness to a second chance at finding love through an amazing mind-body-and-spirit transformation. Films also included the Southwestern premieres of AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda, Song of a New Earth, and other independent film gems. This year’s films include several narrative features, documentaries and shorts as world and US premieres.

ILLUMINATE’s model is unique. It pairs transformational films with a “view and do” experience called Reel Healing. Filmgoers may participate in world-class healing workshops, performances and activities, sound journeys, kirtan, group meditations, hikes and more. “These enable people to more deeply integrate the movie’s message,” Wolpert explained. “We herald film as a healing modality.”

The festival supports that theme with its own healing village, which offers products and services by health and wellness practitioners.

Also in support of its mission to expand human consciousness through film, ILLUMINATE will once again host the world’s only Conscious Film Convergence this year at the festival. It brings together the nation’s key stakeholders in the conscious content industry, including filmmakers, producers, distributors, brands and press. They explore strategies for the financing, sales, marketing and distribution of transformational films.

According to Wolpert, Sedona is the ideal home for ILLUMINATE.

“[It] enjoys a unique reputation as the energetic capital of North America, and is distinguished by its natural beauty, wellness resources and metaphysical appeal,” she said. Indeed, statistics show wellness travel is growing at nearly twice the rate of total worldwide tourism, and that Sedona is a top 20 US Traveler’s Choice destination.