Chalo Hamara Des and Dr.Linda Hess at the Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival
Chalo Hamara Des will be screened as part of the Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival 2010 in Sun Valley, Idaho(USA). Dr. Linda Hess, who is featured in the film, will provide a reading of poems by Kabir following the screening.
About the Film
Chalo Hamara Des (Come to my country: Journeys with Kabir and friends), explores the great poet of fifteenth-century North India, Kabir, and his living presence in South Asian music, religion, and society today. A provocative and challenging figure who can’t be pinned down by any religious label, Kabir is admired by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, secularists, and atheists, as well as by followers of the Kabir sect who claim him as a God. A profound mystic to some, a biting social critic to others, a Dalit hero to others, Kabir is all of these things and much more. His presence today can be sought in multiple social locations and in vibrantly diverse forms of music.
About the Festival
The Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival is a celebration of human spirituality through film.
Given this vision, the mission of the Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival is to:
*Present films that explore spiritual traditions from around the world, as well as films that cherish the human spirit.
*Encourage the production of new films and documentaries, by providing an event in which these films can be screened.
*Promote discussion among recognized leaders in the fields of arts and spirituality, by presenting interactive discussion panels.
*Offer the public an opportunity to engage with film-makers and spiritual leaders.
*Enhance the public’s understanding of, and respect for, diverse spiritual traditions from around the world.
Read more at http://www.svspiritualfilmfestival.org
Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival News
A heartfelt thank you to…
MarySt. Luke’s Wood River Foundation
Idaho Compassion Foundation
Marshall Frankel Foundation
Your faith in our work and your financial gifts are greatly appreciated.
- Dr. Mary Gervase, Executive Director
Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival News
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Next edition we highlight more guest speakers, the Reel Raffle and Films
September 3rd, 2010 Issue
Guests, guests and more guests!
Meet Consuelo Alba, John Speyer, Reverend Wendy Collins, Dr. Linda Hess, Peter Shiao, Stephen Kiesling, and Elizabeth Sheldon
and meet them in person at the fest!
El Andalon FilmmakersConsuelo Alba and John Speyer are a filmmaking team with extensive experience in journalism, education and cultural activism in Mexico and the United States. Consuelo was born and raised in Mexico, and has dual Mexico/US citizenship. After coming to the US, she worked as a professional journalist for the San Jose Mercury News, where she won the New California Media Award in the Civil Liberties category. She also ran a successful private translation/editing business for more than a decade. John is a former bilingual high school teacher of world cultures and American history, and specialized in working with Mexican immigrant youth.
Together they created Alma, a tienda/gallery/community center that promoted Latino arts & culture in Santa Cruz, California. Consuelo and John started Veremos Productions, LLC in 2009. They are graduates of the Digital Media Academy at Stanford University, and currently live in California. El Andalon: Portrait of a Maverick Humanitarian is their first documentary. Veremos Productions, LLC. www.veremosproductions.com Consuelo and John will be speaking at the screening of El Andalon. Consuelo is also a member of the Coffee with the Filmmakers Panel.
Wendy CollinsReverend Wendy Collins has contributed compassion, solice, patience and care to the Wood River Community in a variety of capacities. She recently retired as Program Director for Sagebrush Equine Training Center for Challenged People, serving our community for the past 12 years. In 2008, Wendy received the Therapeutic Riding Instructor of the Year Award from the North American Riding Association for the Handicapped, representing the Pacific Northwest Region. Not surprisingly, Wendy is a founding member of the Animal Hospice/Compassionate Crossing organization that supports people grieving over companion animal losses. Additionally, she was senior minister at the Wood River Spiritual Center, a Church of Religious Science, in Hailey, Idaho for 5 years.
Wendy has been married for 48 years. She currently serves the community through Willows Ministry, a nondenominational Church Without Walls. Reverend Wendy Collins will be moderating a panel discussion following the screening of The Asian and Abrahamic Religions: Divine Intervention in America with guests David Shaner, Jessi Kaur, and Filmmaker Jerry Krell.
Dr. Linda HessDr. Linda Hess
began her travels to India in the 1960s and has been studying and translating the poetry of Kabir since the 1970s. In the current century she has also been singing it, as she has focused on oral and musical traditions of Kabir in North India. Her publications and present research include The Bijak of Kabir , (New York, Oxford University Press, 2002 - with Shukdev Singh, orig. 1983); Singing Emptiness: Kumar Gandharva Performs the Poetry of Kabir (Calcutta, Seagull Books, 2009); and a book in progress, Bodies of Song: Kabir Oral Traditions and Performative Worlds in Norhern India. Since 2003 she has been an advisor on Shabnam Virmani’s documentary film project, “Journeys with Kabir” (see www.kabirproject.org). Somehow during the shooting and editing, Linda became a featured character in Chalo hamara des/ Come to my country: Journeys with Kabir and friends—one of Shabnam’s four feature-length documentaries on living Kabir traditions. Linda is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University. The film will be screened at the festival and Linda will be speaking at the screening.
Peter Shiao Peter Shiao
is the founder and chief executive officer of Orb Media Group, a “transmedia” production and financing company focused on mainstream entertainment with an East-West “evergreen” orientation. Orb currently is in development on a slate of feature films, television programs, and new media properties, such as the modern day Shaolin franchise The Tri-gon, Legend of 2 Rivers, the “super-natural” hero project Tai Chi, The Lost Years, the television show From Punks to Monks. Peter chaired and organized the first-ever US-China Film Industry Conference with the White House and the Chinese Ministry of Radio, Film and Television. He was an organizer of the 1995 Shanghai International Film Festival. Peter is a certified dispute resolution mediator, and a translator and editor, and is currently at work on adapting classic Chinese martial arts literature for the Western world. Peter returns to the festival as a special festival mentor, a panelist at the Movie Making: Dialogue with the Filmmakers Seminar and on the Coffee with the Filmmakers Panel.
Stephen Kiesling 2Stephen Kiesling
returns to the Film Festival for a second year, brought back by popular demand! He is Editor-in-Chief of Spirituality & Health magazine, winner of the Folio Gold Award for best magazine in religion and spirituality. He is the author of four books including the bestselling The Shell Game: Reflections on Rowing and the Pursuit of Excellence, and his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, and Outside. He was a Scholar of the House in philosophy at Yale, where he was a member of the 1980 US Olympic Team. He is a world champion rower in his age group, and was the oldest competitor at the 2008 US Olympic Trials. He has been featured on NBC’s Today, All Things Considered, and The New York Times. He lives on the Rogue River in Oregon at the site of the annual Talelma Sacred Salmon Ceremony and Bubbling Man! www.spiritualityhealth.comStephen returns as a festival advocate and member of the Coffee with the Filmmakers Panel.
Elizabeth SheldonElizabeth Sheldon
is Vice President of Kino Lorber, Inc. She is responsible for business affairs and acquisitions for Lorber Films, Alive Mind and Knitting Factory Entertainment, as well as the company’s educational division. Recent acquisitions include: the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, The Red Chapel; The Edge of Dreaming; Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould; and Taqwacore; The Birth of Punk Islam. Elizabeth received her master’s degree from Princeton, is a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Mills College. She is a frequent panelist, contributing writer and juror to film festivals, as well as the recipient of three NEH Film Development grants. She is a master rower. www.alivemindmedia.comElizabeth will be introducing two films, Griefwalker and Brilliant Moon. She is a panelist on both Movie Making: Dialogue with the Filmmakers Seminar and the Coffee with the Filmmakers Panel.
Films: Chalo Hamra Des, Leap of Faith, Mister Rogers and Me
Chalo Hamara DesChalo hamara des/ Come to my country: Journeys with Kabir and friends
2008, India, 98 minutes
Chalo hamara des/ Come to my country: Journeys with Kabir and friends, explores the great poet of fifteenth-century North India, Kabir, and his living presence in South Asian music, religion, and society today. A provocative and challenging figure who can’t be pinned down by any religious label, Kabir is admired by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, secularists, and atheists, as well as by followers of the Kabir sect who claim him as a God. A profound mystic to some, a biting social critic to others, a Dalit hero to others, Kabir is all of these things and much more. His presence today can be sought in multiple social locations and in vibrantly diverse forms of music. www.kabirproject.org Hindi, Malawi with English subtitles
Dr. Linda Hess, who is featured in the film, will provide a reading of Kabir poetry following the screening.
LeapLeap of Faith
2009, USA, 95 minutes
The recent and dramatic Pew Forum survey on Religion and Public Life concludes with astounding information that one out of four Americans have changed the faith to their childhood to join another religion or no religion. Leap of Faith is the first ever cinema verite film to explore the phenomena of religious conversion. The film takes an in-depth look at one of modern man’s more dramatic and difficult spiritual journeys, following four families through their religious conversion from Gentile to Orthodox Jew. it is a decision that some will find courageous, others utterly absurd.
Mister RogersMr. Rogers and Me
2010, USA, 80 minutes
Benjamin Wagner first met “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” creator and star, Fred Rogers, at Rogers’ summer home on Nantucket, Massachusetts. His mother rented the cottage next door, so Mister Rogers really was his neighbor. On the afternoon of their first meeting, “America’s Favorite Neighbor” asked the young journalist about his job as an MTV News producer. Wagner felt exposed and embarrassed a PBS mind in a jump-cut, sound-bit MTV world. Mister Rogers said warmly, “I feel so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than complex. ” Later, Rogers told Wagner, “Spread the message, Benjamin.”
After Rogers’ death in 2003, Wagner and his brother, Christofer, set out to meet some of Mister Rogers’ neighbors to find out more about the man himself, what he meant by “deep and simple,” and with whom in our junk food culture those values endure. Inn the end, the brothers come to know more than just the man and his luminous legacy. Their deeply-personal journey explores the roots of Mister Rogers’ values, unmasks the forces acting against depth and simplicity, and helps them to develop the means to lead deeper, simpler lives. www.misterrogersandme.com. This film is generously co- sponsored by Ric Lum and Margaret Reitzel.