In addition, the festival will host a series of film industry programs — the Conscious Film Convergence, the Conscious Cinema Summit and the Conscious Cinema Accelerator — which offer workshops, networking and mentoring for those working to elevate consciousness through filmmaking.
The festival will present its second annual Conscious Visionary Award to conscious evolution pioneer Barbara Marx Hubbard and offer a special evening with filmmaker, author, musician and peace troubadour James Twyman.
In conjunction with a spotlight world premiere of “Heal,” special guests Joe Dispenza and Anita Moorjani will share their timeless wisdom. “Heal” is a deeply empowering, life-affirming film featuring Michael Beckwith, Marianne Williamson, Joseph Dispenza, Deepak Chopra, Anita Moorjani, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Anthony Williams the “Medical Medium,” Gregg Braden and several other leaders who take the audience on a scientific and spiritual journey to discover that by changing one’s perceptions, the human body can heal itself from any disease. This important film proposes people have more control over their health and lives than they have been taught to believe. “Heal” follows three people on high stakes healing journeys to find out what works and why.
This year’s film lineup includes a special focus on spiritual movements and the influential leaders that sparked global awakening and self-realization. Some of the films in this section include:
“The Last Dalai Lama?”
Director Mickey Lemie [“Ram Dass Fierce Grace”] brings to the big screen a powerful and intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual.
Lemie was able to film extensively with the Dalai Lama with an intimacy only made possible by their 30-year relationship. The Dalai Lama speaks candidly about the issues that come with aging that can disquiet the mind: Regrets, unfulfilled dreams, frustrations, the inevitability of death and his next incarnation. This is the film’s Southwest premiere.
“Shadows of Paradise”
This film documents the transcendental meditation movement with intimate access to two of transcendental meditation’s leaders — iconic filmmaker David Lynch and dedicated disciple Bobby Roth.
The film tracks the movement’s metamorphosis following the death of founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Having grown up within transcendental meditation, 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 world view. This is the film’s Southwest premiere.
“Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and Swami Who Started It All”
The true story of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the revolutionary pioneer of Bhakti Yoga in the Western world.
Born into extreme poverty, he overcame all odds to become one of the greatest singers of Nepal. In 1965, he journeyed to America carrying nothing but a timeless message and a vision of a world united. In a time of war and disillusionment, he inspired a generation of youth and against all odds, formed an unstoppable spiritual revolution.
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:
“The Golden Age”
The film is a tour de force musical 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 in an attempt to resolve his troubled past. Set against a dreamy backdrop of his compelling songs, the film shifts between the present day, and performances and interviews from his past, as it reveals Maya’s tumultuous journey toward spiritual redemption. This showing is the film’s U.S. premiere.
“RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World”
The film tells 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 full selection of films that will be announced in mid-April will be posted on Illuminate’s website at illuminatefilmfestival.com.
The festival’s films will be shown at the Sedona Performing Arts Center, the Mary D. Fisher Theatre and The Collective.