ILLUMINATE 2015 Lineup

Conscious Film Convergence • Healing Village

Tickets Now On Sale! • Festival Grid

Download the printable 2015 Program Guide  (6 MB PDF)


Landfill Harmonic
ILLUMINATE Launch Party and Outdoor Screening - FREE
Arizona Premiere

A worldwide sensation since its spotlight on 60 Minutes, Landfill Harmonic (South by Southwest 2015) is a heartfelt, moving tale of how instruments made from recycled trash bring hope to children whose futures are otherwise spiritless. This empowering film follows the lives of a garbage picker, a music teacher and a group of kids from a Paraguayan slum as their trash-into-music orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight. Landfill Harmonic is a beautiful story about the transformative power of music that touches the heart while addressing two vital issues of our times: poverty and waste pollution.

Free and open to the community
Food and beverages for sale
Complimentary Reception for VIP and All-Access passholders

Join us for a Q&A with producer/co-director Juliana Penaranda-Loftus and founder/executive producer/story concept creator Alejandra Amarilla.

Preceded by:  
Shots of Awe—The Revered Gaze | USA | 2014 | 3 minutes • Documentary Short


Opening Night Film and Benefit Concert with Gillian Anderson
Arizona Premiere

Based on the bestselling novel by Patricia McCormick and executive produced by Emma Thompson, SOLD is an award-winning drama that tells the story of a young Nepali girl’s struggle after being sold into prostitution and how her faith, Bhakti practice and memories of her mother give her the courage to fight against all odds. Directed by Oscar-winner Jeffrey D. Brown and featuring Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Fall) and David Arquette (Conception, Scream), SOLD offers a riveting script and gripping performances that powerfully capture the resilience of the human spirit. [Audience Award winner, Sonoma Film Festival]

A Q&A with actress Gillian Anderson, director Jeffrey D. Brown, impact producer Jane Charles and Molly Birkholm, iRest Institute’s Director of Human Trafficking Relief, will follow.


On Meditation 2
World Premiere

The World Premiere of On Meditation 2 is a fascinating portrait series that offers a rare glimpse into how meditation has transformed the personal and professional lives of notable figures, including business and hip hop mogul Russell Simmons; motivational speaker, Super Soul Sunday favorite and NBC Today Show expert Gabrielle Bernstein; New York Times bestselling author and Insight Meditation Society co-founder Sharon Salzberg and acclaimed author and psychotherapist Mark Epstein.

A Q&A with director Rebecca Dreyfus and producer Susannah Ludwig will follow.

A Place to Stand
Encore Screening

A Place to Stand is the remarkable story of Jimmy Santiago Baca’s transformation from a functionally illiterate convict to an award-winning poet, novelist and screenwriter. A petty thief and drug dealer sentenced to five years in Arizona State Prison, Jimmy survived the brutal inhumanity of his incarceration by exploring deep within, discovering poetry at his soul’s core and healing deep childhood wounds. His story, both shocking and awe-inspiring, shows us how the power of art can transform and awaken.

A Q&A with director Daniel Glick will follow.

Arizona Premiere

Bipolarized follows Ross McKenzie on his intricate journey to heal the root cause of his mental breakdown rather than merely control symptoms with prescription medications. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Ross was told he would have to take lithium for the rest of his life. Frustrated after years of drug treatment, he embarks on a healing journey using shamanic healing, trauma release, yoga and inner-child work to restore his health and reclaim his life. This film will surprise you and leave you inspired to be an intuitive advocate for your own health and well-being.

A Q&A with Ross McKenzie will follow.

Preceded by:  
Automatic Fitness | Germany | 2015 | 20 Minutes • Animated Short

Spotlight Conversation with Barnet Bain
Conscious Film Convergence

Barnet Bain will tell you that if you want to make a conscious film, you must first become a conscious individual. And his prescription for this is to bring ALL of one's self into the light of awareness. Whether it's fear, frustration, shame, anxiety, pride, longing or any other aspect of our self that hides in the darkness, it's all meant to be embraced and—through the power of love and acceptance—transformed. In this Q&A with Barnet, attendees will discover how to connect with their true calling and unleash their full creative potential.

Conscious Film Financing: The Connected Universe
Conscious Film Convergence

Perhaps it's fitting that a film exploring the science behind the interconnection of all things has just become the highest-funded documentary in Indiegogo history. What's more is that, The Connected Universe has been selected as the first film to benefit from a newly announced distribution partnership that pegs Vimeo On Demand as the preferred distribution platform for films financed through Indiegogo. Join the film's director, Malcom Carter and Mile... Mile & A Half producer Kia Kiso for a scientific and very hands-on approach to crowd funding for conscious cinema.

Transcending the Storm
World Premiere

Scottish filmmaker Stephen Mulhearn takes us on a journey of discovery as he attempts to leave an alcoholic and violent past behind following a dramatic near-death experience. His quest to understand human suffering, experience miraculous rituals and gather profound insights runs the gamut of alternative modalities for healing addictions, including firewalking, drumming, shamanism and reconnecting with his ancestral roots. The result is a triumph of the human spirit echoing the great quest before us all.

A Q&A with director Stephen Mulhearn will follow.

Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet
Southwest Premiere

From producer Salma Hayek-Pinault comes this stunning visual adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, one of the most popular volumes of poetry ever written and cherished guide to life, death, love and art. Chock full of wisdom, Gibran’s timeless verses have been given enchanting new form in this painterly cinematic adventure about freedom and the power of human expression. This groundbreaking use of animation for divine storytelling will excite both adults and children alike. Written and directed by Roger Allers (The Lion King), the film stars Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek-Pinault, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina, John Rhys-Davies and Quvenzhané Wallis.

Dying to Know
Sedona Premiere

Two conventional Harvard professors began probing the edges of consciousness through their experiments with psychedelics in the 1960s. Timothy Leary ended up in jail, while Richard Alpert became Ram Dass, a respected spiritual teacher. Narrated by Robert Redford and containing rare interviews spanning 50 years, this intimate portrait of an epic friendship that shaped a generation challenges us to explore the final frontier of the human landscape.

A Q&A with director Gay Dillingham and associate producer Michael Donnelly and Skype with Ram Dass will follow.


Powered by Your Audience with Peter Broderick
Conscious Film Convergence

How can you increase your independence and build a sustainable career that goes far beyond one film? Distribution guru Peter Broderick (President, Paradigm Consulting) presents a comprehensive guide to help you develop and maximize your "own" audience and establish a strong foundation from which you can build a long-lasting filmmaking career. Using examples from across the United States and around the world, he will demonstrate how filmmakers are aggregating their audiences film by film and becoming empowered by followers who champion their work.

Festival World Premiere

Can the nature of God ever truly be understood or explained? iGOD traces how the various concepts of God have evolved and explores the questions that our greatest thinkers, spiritual leaders and philosophers have asked for thousands of years. Perhaps through this exploration we can finally begin to understand who we really are and why we are here. Featuring luminaries Neale Donald Walsch, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Gregg Braden, Alan Cohen and Barbara Marx Hubbard.

A live Skype workshop with Marianne Williamson, Barbara Marx Hubbard and Alan Cohen will follow.

Arizona Premiere

A straightlaced, middle-aged widow attempts to remove her daughter from a Bohrmian sex commune, but ends up understanding that each of us has a unique path to follow on the road to spiritual evolution and self-acceptance. 

Million Dollar Movie—Case Study of Awake: The Life of Yogananda
Conscious Film Convergence

Since screening at the 2014 ILLUMINATE Film Festival, Awake: The Life of Yogananda has screened in 250 venues across North America, many of them sold-out shows, and booked over 30,000 tickets via the GATHR® theatrical-on-demand platform. The filmmakers and their distribution partners discuss how they combined strategic partnerships, grassroots marketing and a hybrid distribution model to gross over one million dollars at the US box office within the first three months of release. Have they created a model for other conscious film projects to replicate?

Champions of Conscious Cinema: Meet the Distributors
Conscious Film Convergence

Abundant Internet connectivity and social media tools beckon today's filmmaker to flirt with the very real possibility of self-distribution, while the lure of traditional distribution offers remains strong. Join the leaders of conscious film distribution as they explore the pros and cons of "all-rights" versus "hybrid" distribution, debate the logic of day-and-date releasing and consider direct engagement via theatrical-on-demand. Learn your best options for theatrical, broadcast, video-on-demand and educational distribution as panelists share their outlook on the future of conscious cinema and the factors they consider before acquiring a film.

PlantPure Nation
World Premiere

From the producer and writer/director who brought us Forks Over Knives comes the newest health-breakthrough documentary. Nutrition scientist and bestselling author Dr. T. Colin Campbell shows how our whole nation is catching on to the power of a plant-based diet, a total paradigm-shifting movement that is just reaching the tipping point.

A Q&A with distributor Evan Saxon will follow.

US Premiere

Leaving the rat race behind, a family of five embarks on the journey of a lifetime. They travel the ends of the earth searching for a new perspective on life. During five years on five continents, they seek out tribal sages never filmed or interviewed before. DOWN to EARTH reveals the deep wisdom they found and its power to transform lives.

A Q&A with directors Rolf Winters and Renata Heinen will follow.

Paulo Coelho’s Best Story
Southwest Premiere

Paulo Coelho’s Best Story tells the amazing true story of Paulo Coelho’s life that turned him into a writer of tales enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. The author of spiritual classics The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage flirted with death, escaped from madness, experimented with drugs, overcame torture, suffered for love and made rock-and-roll history in Brazil, but never gave up on his biggest dream: to bring his spiritual realizations to light and triumph as a writer.

A Q&A with director Daniel Augusto and a musical tribute by Poranguí with readings by Sherab Khandro will follow.


A BRAVE HEART: The Lizzie Velasquez Story
Arizona Premiere

Bullying stories are known for having victims, not heroes. A Brave Heart tells the inspiring journey of 26-year-old, 58-pound Lizzie from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist. Born with a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight and called "the world's ugliest woman," Lizzie’s story is all about the transformative power of looking inward for validation, self-love and the power of family to instill it. This powerful film recently had its world premiere at South by Southwest.

A Q&A with director Sara Hirsh Bordo will follow.

When I Was Young I Said I Would be Happy
Arizona Premiere

This film chronicles the transformation of 12 orphan genocide survivors in Rwanda after participating in a new form of sustainable humanitarian aid called Project LIGHT. These young ambassadors learn to be skilled practitioners of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping) in order to heal themselves of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and teach others to do the same. In two short years, they pay forward their healing to hundreds, from Rwanda to Connecticut.

A Q&A with producer Barnet Bain will follow.

Messages of Hope
Sedona Premiere

When Naval Commander Suzanne Giesemann, a very left-brained military woman, walked the halls of the Pentagon and flew on Air Force One, she did everything by the book. Never did she expect that a life-changing family tragedy would propel her on a journey to launch a new career as an evidential medium connecting to loved ones on the “other side” and gain acknowledgment from authentic luminaries such as Wayne Dyer. A skepticism buster, this film will leave you with a renewed belief that there is so much more to this life and the next.

Love Thy Nature
Arizona Premiere

Narrated by Liam Neeson, Love Thy Nature is a cinematic immersion into the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world. Neeson is the voice of Homo Sapiens—our collective humankind—who, in the past few thousand years, has come to believe that we are separate from nature. But doctors are unveiling new findings on the role of nature to sustain and heal the human body-mind. Experts have discovered that just spending time in nature promotes healing, emotional stability, connectedness and even neurological health in children. Through Sapiens’ journey, the film reveals how a relationship with nature ignites a sense of meaning and wonder so profound that it touches us at the very core of what it means to be human.

A Q&A with director Sylvie Rokab will follow.

Preceded by:  
Chaos | Belgium | 2015 | 15 Minutes • Narrative Short

The Connected Universe: A Sneak Peek
Work-in-Progress World Premiere

Discover the science behind the interconnection of all things in clips from what many are calling the next big conscious film, still in final production. Featuring Nassim Haramein, The Connected Universe was funded by the highest-grossing documentary campaign in Indiegogo history. The trailer has already been viewed by 1.5 million people. A groundbreaking marriage of science and spirituality, these ideas will not only help to change THE WORLD... they will also help you change YOUR WORLD. This film takes us to the next step in our understanding of consciousness, propelling our evolution.

A Q&A with director Malcom Carter will follow.

The Power of the Heart
Closing Night
Encore Screening

From the director of The Secret, Drew Heriot, comes this unparalleled and life-changing film about the astonishing power and intelligence of your heart. This transformational film features some of the most inspiring visionaries, activists and scientists of our age, including Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Maya Angelou, Paulo Coelho, Jane Goodall, Marianne Williamson, Michael Beckwith and Rwandan Genocide survivor Immaculée Ilibagiza. Their deep wisdom inspires us to live a more loving and caring life.


Followed by onstage conversation with world-renowned speaker Immaculée Ilibagiza and producer Baptist de Pape.