In just over three weeks some of us are getting together in LA to participate in a small festival of extraordinary films: You’re invited, and we’d love to have you with us – please read on:
Beyond Cinema: Film and Spirit will be a night and a day of movies and meaning, featuring Tibetan Buddhists, New Zealand communitarians, Russian mystics, and Native American wisdom. We’ll have three local premieres, in-person appearances by the film-makers, and conversation to nourish the soul, provoke the mind, and encourage change.
The film-makers have produced, photographed, or directed movies as diverse and important as ‘Hoop Dreams’, ‘City of Industry’, and U2’s ‘Zoo-TV’ concert film, and we think their personal projects are as thematically rich, beautifully mounted, and emotionally resonant. Hosted by film critic, writer, and failed Irish lounge singer Gareth Higgins, and theologian, musician, and renaissance man Barry Taylor, and open to a maximum of 40 people, Beyond Cinema aims to provide space to reimagine ourselves through reflecting on extraordinary films, and encountering other people passionate about film and spirituality.
When? Friday 22nd January, 7pm – 10pm; Saturday 23rd January, 10am-10pm.
Where? 506 N Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
What? Screenings of the following movies:
This Way of Life (Dir. Thomas Burstyn, Barbara Sumner Burstyn; 84 mins): A New Zealand family live off the land, and seek to resist technological stresses, while being nurtured by the spirituality of nature. Official Selection Berlin Film Festival, 2010. We hope to be able to have a conversation with the directors during the Beyond Cinema event.
Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky (Dir. Dmitry Trakovsky; 90 mins): 24 year old Russian film maker Dmitry Trakovsky travels across Europe to search for traces of his spiritual mentor and near-namesake Andrei Tarkovsky. Director will be present and participate in our conversation.
Gaia (Dir. Jason Lehel; 100 mins): A woman recovers from abuse on a Native American reservation. Director, producer, and lead actor will be coming to the event and will do a Q&A. Official Selection Toronto Film Festival, 2009.
Journey from Zanskar (Dir. Frederick Marx, 90 mins approx. work-in-progress screening): Tibetan Buddhist monks bring children on a treacherous journey to the schools where they will live for a decade. We hope that film-maker Frederick Marx (producer of ‘Hoop Dreams’) may be able to join us for conversation.
Who? Anyone, from any faith background or none is welcome to sign up for an invitation to attend the event. This is not a conventional film festival, nor are the screenings open to the general public. We’ll watch four feature length movies, facilitate some conversation, have Q&As with film-makers, and provide creative space for interaction with spiritual practices. But no faith background will be assumed or expected. We’re deliberately aiming for a group of no more than 40 participants to enhance the opportunity for conversation; and we’ve invited the film-makers and others to participate in the whole event as fellow travellers with everyone who is attending. We really do hope for the event to be a time of extraordinary cinema and conversation with a dynamic group of people. We’d love you to be one of them.
How much? We’re asking $99 for attendance at the whole gathering, including dinner on Saturday night (there are plenty of local places to eat lunch on Saturday); and $20 per session/film if you can’t make it to the whole event. (Session 1: Friday evening; Session 2: Saturday 10am-1pm; Session 3: Saturday 2-5pm; Session 4: Saturday 7-10pm) We want to make the event accessible – so please feel free to pay less or more as your budget and desire to support the event and others like it allow.
Places are limited to 40 participants, so if you want to be there, please sign up as soon as possible using this link. You can also contact us through the link if you have any questions. For now, we hope you’ll be able to join us.