ILLUMINATE One of the Top Festivals to Revitalize Your Soul in 2016

Sedona Launch PartyYou’ll not want to miss ILLUMINATE 2016 – the 3rd annual World Premier Festival for Conscious Film. We promise.

Huffington Post identified ILLUMINATE Film Festival as one of the Top 24 Worldwide Festivals  and Retreats To Revitalize Your Soul In 2016.  Read more

Picture you and the planet’s most talented conscious filmmakers, actors and thought leaders. All together. In one sacred space to celebrate and honor stories that will inspire, move and mesmerize you. ... [read more]

ILLUMINATE Co-Presents “Heart of a Dog”

ILLUMINATE Film Festival features year-round screenings of conscious films and programs to keep your consciousness expanded throughout the year.

HEART OF A DOG, a film by Laurie Anderson is presented by Sedona International Film Festival in partnership with ILLUMINATE at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, in Sedona, Arizona on December 11-17, 2015.

HEART OF A DOG is shortlisted for the 2016 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for the upcoming Oscars. It is one of the top 15 documentaries of the year vying for one of the five nominations and going for the coveted gold statue. ... [read more]

AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda Lives On in Sedona

The Life of YoganandaSpecial Screening of AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda for the Sedona Vedic Astrology Conference

AWAKE, the film that never dies… at least in Sedona!  Since it premiered at ILLUMINATE in May 2014, AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda has returned to enthrall Sedona audiences seven times in 18 months, an unusual feat for even a Hollywood film.

This topical tale of the East Indian mystic who brought yoga to the West continues to draw spiritual filmgoers. ... [read more]

Champions of Conscious Cinema: Meet the Distributors

So you’ve made a great film. Now comes the question, “How do I get it out there?” It’s a question independent filmmakers have been asking for decades. Luckily for today’s independent filmmakers, new technologies and distribution models are making this process much easier. This year Illuminate’s Conscious Film Convergence is proud to host a special panel exploring this topic on Saturday, May 30. Champions of Conscious Cinema: Meet the Distributors features three esteemed panelists that understand the ins and outs of film distribution in 2015: Elizabeth Sheldon (Senior Vice-President at Kino Lorber) Richard Abramowitz (President, Abramorama), Brian Parsons (Head of Content Partnerships, TUGG) and Richard Cohn (President, Beyond Word Publishing.) ... [read more]

“Zen Dude” Movie Release Strategy Influenced by Illuminate Film Festival’s Conscious Film Convergence

By Shaeri Richards Coordinator of Conscious Film Convergence

To touch the heart and uplift the spirit: This has always been my motivating desire as a writer, journalist and filmmaker. Back in the late ‘80s when I made my first documentary film, the idea of spiritual or conscious cinema was relatively unheard of. Yes, there were films that touched our hearts, but with Hollywood as the center of film production and distribution, there was little chance of a spiritual or conscious film being financed, let alone distributed through any traditional channels. It wasn’t until 1989 that theater chains realized they could even draw in an audience for a documentary screening. The possibility of success in that arena became clear with Michael Moore’s groundbreaking film, about the closing of General Motors factories and the impact on his home town of Flint, Michigan: Roger and Me.
... [read more]

Movies Add Life

By Sheron Foster, ILLUMINATE Lead Programmer pictured above

I admit that I have sometimes felt lost in my life. I may have been unsure which direction to turn, or I wasn’t sure who I should trust or sometimes I just couldn’t seem to make a necessary decision. I hate when that happens! Also, there where times in my life when it would be very appropriate to me to jump for joy, or have a much needed meltdown and dissolve into tears, but I just couldn’t allow myself to be that vulnerable, for various reasons. During those times, I always thanked my lucky stars for movies! ... [read more]

Life Changers

Sharon Foster with Anna Sirotin

By Sheron Foster, ILLUMINATE Lead Programmer (pictured above with Programmer Anna Sirotin)

I find many things in life support growth, evolution and thriving. For myself, movies have always been an enjoyable way to safely process life events, bolster courage to move forward in a specific direction in my life and discover new strategies for experiencing life through the stories onscreen. Movies have also played a key role in saving my life (pardon the drama)! ... [read more]

Habit-Forming Holiday Films


By Sheron Foster, ILLUMINATE Lead Programmer

When a film allows me deep access into the center of my joyful being, I will return to it to experience that thrill again and again. My husband accuses me of being extreme. I confess to watching all versions of “Scrooge” and it’s twin “A Christmas Carol” at least 100 times in my life! My favorite being “Scrooged” by director Richard Donner and starring Bill Murray. Followed very, very closely by Ronald Neame’s 1970 musical masterpiece “Scrooge” featuring Albert Finney. ... [read more]

Did You Know? Celebrities Pave The Spiritual Way

Part 1

Consciousness is on the tip of everybody’s tongue these days – yes, it’s up and gone mainstream! What was branded “new age” in the eighties and nineties is now trendy, and seen as part-and-parcel for our fast-paced, high-stress, over-stimulated society. It’s why we see Jennifer Aniston promoting yoga as her stress-reducing and beauty-enhancing necessity in life; or Russell Brand extolling meditation and yoga’s virtues at every turn for his sobriety and cosmic insights. Rock legend and Eastern mysticism enthusiast Sting is championing yoga, meditation, and even tantra for decades; and 15-year meditator Hugh Jackman is using Transcendental Meditation to balance the self-described pace of being a globe-trotting movie star, Broadway star, husband, and dad. The list of stars who regularly meditate, practice yoga, do martial arts, and attend spiritual or personal growth retreats is far too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say, the times they are a changing… or as Eckhart Tolle said recently, “The time is now. The shift is happening.” ... [read more]

Conscious Business and Film: Teaming Up for a Common World Vision

The mind-body-spirit market is now a commanding force in the world economy, including everything from yoga / tai chi / meditation products, natural foods, holistic healing, nutritional supplements, earth-friendly household products, sustainable energy systems, “green” home manufacturing, and conscious feature films and documentaries.

With massive worldwide sales in every holistic sector, from $117 billion in Personal Health products, $100 billion in Green Building, $42 billion in Eco-Tourism, and $20 billion in Alternative Transportation including hybrid/electric vehicles, cohesion among conscious business leaders now appears to be the critical next step, according to the conscious business networking organization Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS). A detachment from the current business-as-usual competitive paradigm would make way for an all-for-one and one-for-all attitude that brings powerful change-makers together for a common purpose. ... [read more]