The Awareness Film Festival in Santa Monica was incredible. It was such an honor to host the closing night program and to be a part of an event that is striving to make a difference. As part of a healthy lifestyle, dedicating your personal time to issues important to you helps create balance and gratitude. Thank you to, Heal One World,for putting together so many wonderful films that create awareness on important issues. The first step in effecting change is through awareness. I was fortunate to see and learn about a few select movies that I highly recommend....such as:
See Me: The movie takes place in a South African orphanage where the kids were given disposable cameras with which they then took pictures of their lives. We get to see the world through their eyes and WOW.....they have so much pride and gratitude. Their creativity and excitement in using a camera was heartwarming.
G-Dog. There are no words to describe how moved I was by this movie. I have been a volunteer working with kids in South LA for over 10 years so this was close to my heart. The movie is about Father Greg Boyle,who started Homeboy Industries to help gang members reform and rebuild their lives. He works by a powerful idea: "Nothing Stops a Bullet like a Job." Over the years, his unstoppable compassion has turned around the lives of thousands of gang members. He has come up with an international model of positive change...that really works. He teaches us that a little compassion and love go a long way. This is a must see movie!!
Awakening World: Have you ever wondered about the purpose of life or what is love? That's what filmmaker Sebastian Siegel sets out to uncover through interviews with renowned authors, leaders and globally recognized artists. I had a profound moment of clarity during this movie. Years ago, my father was in a very serious and horrific accident that left him in ICU for weeks. While he was lying there hooked up to all kinds of tubes he realized the meaning of life was about "who you love and who loves you." In this movie, one of my heroes, Marianne Williamson, said the exact same thing. I was incredibly moved and reminded about the power of love.
One Track Heart, The Story of Krishna Das: Since my world is based on music and yoga, he is an icon to me. His music is in every yoga class I teach and once helped me out of a panic attack on an overnight train in India. He heals the world through his music. It was fascinating to learn about his struggles and his journey. Not too mention, he was once the lead singer of Blue Oyster Cult....who knew?
In addition, I was moved by the awards ceremony that I also hosted. Being able to meet such amazing people that in their own way are making a difference, was a powerful experience. We need more people like them to open our eyes and our hearts so we can take action. Action to create positive change and help others along the way.
Here are the award winning movies:
Feature Doc: 420 - The Documentary
Feature Narrative: Home
Short Narrative: Hark
Short Doc: Wheelchair Diaries
Music Video: Alchemy
Audience Award Winners:
Feature Film: Driving Blind
Student Program: There is No Place for You Here
Youth Program: A Quest For Peace