In response to the groundbreaking 2014 debut of the Illuminate Film Festival as an industry leader in presenting conscious film, the event is returning to Sedona, Ariz., on May 27-31.
Last year, the festival’s attendance reached nearly 3,000, attracting an audience from 23 states and six countries. Featuring celebrity luminaries Deepak Chopra, Dr. Marilyn Schlitz, Betsy Chasse of What the Bleep Do We Know!? and many others, Illuminate’s wildly successful inaugural installment boasted four world premieres and seven U.S./Southwest premieres, and featured the world’s first Conscious Film Convergence for key film industry players.
The full slate of 2015 films, events, panelists and workshops was announced on April 1.
“Given the overwhelming success of our inaugural festival,” says Illuminate Executive Director Danette Wolpert, “we are uniquely positioned to become the ‘Sundance of Conscious Cinema’ — an exhibition and launching platform for transformational, mind-body-spirit-themed films. We are dedicated to expanding consciousness through cinema and are pioneering the concept of immersive movie-going, where attendees can participate at unprecedented levels, sparking opportunities for long-lasting transformation.”
Illuminate, touted as “The Best of Conscious Cinema,” was a launching platform for films such as Awake: The Life of Yogananda, which told the unconventional biography of the legendary East Indian mystic who introduced yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s (the film topped theatrical box office numbers in the spiritual film genre nationwide) and Song of the New Earth featuring the work of sound alchemist Tom Kenyon. It also resulted in a distribution offer for the 2014 Director’s Choice Award Winner — When My Sorrow Died: The Legend of Armen Ra & the Theremin — and resurrected the irresistible 2010 documentary May I Be Frank, which is now re-booking screenings and companion workshops.
Illuminate curates content that meets the “Conscious” film criteria categories, such as wellness, spirituality, healing, sustainability and environment. It features narrative features, documentaries and shorts in the mind-body-spirit genre, including inspirational human journey stories and themes related to mindfulness, self-discovery, body-mind science, yoga, meditation, spiritual practice, organic and plant-based food movements.
“We define conscious cinema,” Wolpert says, “as films that hold human beings as sacred rather than expendable and encourage audiences to ponder their existence more deeply than their daily routines.”
The 2015 Festival will feature four days, three venues, 22 films, and more than 25 expert facilitators, practitioners, healers, performers, musicians, speakers and new thought leaders. A pioneer in immersive movie-going, Illuminate offers a groundbreaking Reel Healing series, a View-and-Do experience pairing films with world-class immersive workshops, events, performances and panels to enable the audience to deeply integrate the movie’s message. These include meditations, sound journeys, red rock hikes, energy sessions, drum circles, ecstatic dance workshops, on-stage Q&A’s and conversations with filmmakers and stars, and more, ultimately providing a full transformational experience unlike any other.
Another unique aspect of Illuminate is The Conscious Film Convergence, which is dedicated to establishing conscious cinema as a viable business sector within the independent film industry, forging ties between key stakeholders and extending the conscious cinema movement into a global phenomenon. Leading conscious filmmakers, distributors and other like-minded film, media and brand professionals will convene for dialogue, education, networking and creative visioning with the intention of elevating the world’s collective mind, body, spirit and environmental consciousness through cinema. The event offers panel discussions, social receptions and creative brainstorming workshops surrounded by the most compelling conscious cinema of the year.
All-Access Passes are available at an early bird price until April 20. To purchase, visit www.IlluminateFilmFestival.com.