ILLUMINATE 2016 Lineup

 Full Program • 2016 Program Guide  

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ILLUMINATE Launch Party and Outdoor Movie - FREE
Screening of Be More

Wednesday, Jun 1, 6:30 pm The Collective Sedona

Pre-Festival Launch Party and Free Outdoor Screening of work-in-progress BE MORE, a stirring documentary film narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, about seven activists who make it their mission to create a more compassionate world. Their goal: To transform the lives of seventeen teenagers in seven days. 

Join us for a Q&A with director Justin C. Haulbrook as we look at how everyday heroes change the world.


The C Word
Southwest Premiere

Thursday, Jun 2, 12:00 pm
Friday, Jun 3, 10:45 am
Mary D. Fisher Theatre
SPAC Black Box


The C Word, directed by Meghan O'Hara – Cancer is no laughing matter – but the archaic way we are battling it is. Executive produced and narrated by Morgan Freeman, this film explores hidden science, the absurdity of the status quo, and introduces a vibrant cast of characters changing the cancer game.

Producer Pascaline Servan-Schreiber will be in attendance

Home Care
Sedona Premiere

Thursday, Jun 2, 2:15 pm
Saturday, Jun 4, 3:45 pm
Mary D. Fisher Theatre
SPAC Black Box

Home Care, directed by Slávek Horák – The official 2016 Oscar® entry for the Czech Republic, this appealing humanist tale follows Vlasta, a dedicated home nurse whose entire life is devoted to saving others, as she reluctantly ventures into spirituality and alternative medicine to find salvation for herself.

Maya Angelou And Still I Rise
Opening Night
Arizona Premiere

Thursday, Jun 2, 6:00 pm SPAC Main Theater

Maya Angelou And I Still Rise portrays the vibrant spirit of an American Legend - author, poet, Grammy-winner, civil rights activist and shining example of what it is to be empowered moment by moment in one's life. Directed by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack, the film features interviews with Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones, Alice Walker and Hillary Clinton

A Q&A with director Rita Coburn Whack follows.


Best of Conscious Shorts

Friday, Jun 3, 10:15 am
Sunday, Jun 5, 6:00 pm
Mary D. Fisher Theatre
SPAC Black Box


Today I Acknowledge
Arizona Premiere

Strangers on the street are asked to pause from their busy lives to acknowledge each other with what happens next. A Q&A with director Jessica Hahner follows.

Forgotten Ritual
U.S. Premiere

Mirjam Hlastan explores our relationship with technology and modern society's incessant need to be "plugged in." Have we lost the most important connection to others and ourselves by plugging in and checking out?

Holistic Life Foundation: Breathing Love Into A Community
Southwest Premiere

Resolute by their own survival, three guys return to their childhood neighborhood to revitalize the community and foster hope in the youth through yoga, mindfulness techniques, and so much more... A Q&A with director Chris Farina follows.


The Avadhut
World Premiere

After three years of relentless mourning, a mother happens upon a stranger's memorial on a winter walk. The message transforms her grief and liberates her heart. A Q&A with director Fenulla Jiwani and producer Rahim Hirji follows.

Teal: The Making of a Spiritual Teacher

Friday, Jun 3, 1:00 pm
Sunday, Jun 5, 6:15 pm
Mary D. Fisher Theatre
Mary D. Fisher Theatre

Teal: The Making of a Spiritual Teacher, directed by Paola Marino – Referred to as "The Spiritual Catalyst" and dubbed the next Wayne Dyer, Teal Swan's extrasensory gifts and connection to the spiritual realm are a light in the perpetual darkness of the modern age.

A Q&A with director Paola Marino, spiritual teacher Teal Swan, and close friend Blake Dyer follows

Keynote by Chaz Ebert
Conscious Film Convergence

Friday, Jun 3, 1:00 pm SPAC Main Stage

Chaz Ebert will open the Conscious Film Convergence, speaking on the role of transformational entertainment and its potential impact on humanity. Chaz, wife of late esteemed film critic Roger Ebert, is the CEO of several Ebert enterprises, including as well as the Co-Founder of Ebertfest, a film festival now in its 18th year. With a passion for Conscious Cinema, Chaz says she and her husband developed a form of mental telepathy while he was alive. Now, three years after his death, she continues to communicate with him on the other side. Chaz believes in stories that have the power to transform.

Followed by Spotlight Conversation: Norman Seeff On Creativity—The Power of a Dream

Spotlight Conversation: Norman Seeff On Creativity - The Power of a Dream
Conscious Film Convergence

Friday, Jun 3, 1:30 pm SPAC Main Stage

As a photographer for the most prolific artists of our time - Tina Turner, Johnny Cash, Jim Henson, Steve Jobs, Martin Scorsese and Will.I.AM, to name a few, Norman Seeff knows something about the creative process. Through his innovative methodology, he has developed a body of content exploring the roots of creativity, innovation and optimal performance. The fundamental tenet of his work is that all creation is sourced in the inner resources of consciousness and that everyone has access to the same innate resources. Photo of Steve Jobs by Norman Seeff

Preceeded by the Conscious Film Convergence Keynote by Chaz Ebert.

Pursuing Happiness
Sedona Premiere

Friday, Jun 3, 1:00 pm SPAC Black Box

Pursuing Happiness, directed by Adam Shell – The desire to be happy is so intense that we spend an immeasurable amount of time and money in an effort to obtain it. This enchanting, revelatory documentary explores the happiest people in America and uncovers the secrets to their happiness.

A Q&A with director Adam Shell follows.

Behind the 'Seen' - Investing in Transformational Entertainment
Moderator: Simon Kilmurry (Executive Director, IDA)
Conscious Film Convergence

Friday, Jun 3, 3:00 pm SPAC Main Stage

Join an in-depth dialogue on film finance moderated by Simon Kilmurry (Executive Director, International Documentary Association), hear from three savvy individuals who are committed to bringing transformational entertainment to mainstream audiences about the art and science of financing conscious and cause-based cinema. 

Orange Sunshine
Arizona Premiere

Friday, Jun 3, 4:15 pm Mary D. Fisher Theatre

Orange Sunshine, directed by William A. Kirkley – During the early 1960's, a group of family, friends, and surfers formed a church centered around psychedelics. For The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the mission was to enlighten the world, and the law was but a mere interference.

PANEL DISCUSSION: A discussion on ethics and psychedelics follows.

From This Day Forward
Sedona Premiere

Friday, Jun 3, 4:00 pm SPAC Black Box

From This Day Forward, directed by Sharon Shattuck – Filmmaker Sharon Shattuck examines the mystery at the heart of her upbringing – How her transgender father Trisha and her straight-identified mother Marcia stayed together against all odds – depicting a love that survived the most intimate of transformations.

A Q&A with Trisha Shattuck and Marcia Shattuck follows.

Love, Sweat and Tears
& Conscious Visionary Tribute to Michael Bernard Beckwith
World Premiere

Friday, Jun 3, 7:00 pm SPAC Main Theater

Love, Sweat and Tears, directed by Scott Jacobs – Dr. Pamela Dee Gaudry is on a mission to "Save The Menopausal Vaginas of America!" In this documentary, Gaudry marries medical facts with profound insights from some of today's influential spiritual leaders such as Hon. Dr. Rev. Michael Beckwith and Rev. June Gatlin, as well as riotous comedians Joan Rivers and Jenny McCarthy.

Introducing the inaugural Conscious Visionary Award!  With gratitude and love, we honor a pioneer in the world of conscious cinema, spirituality and life achievement as a teacher and facilitator of human transformation -  Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith.

Join us for a Q&A with filmmakers Scott Jacobs and Jim and Roxy Stone along with cast members Dr. Pamela Gaudry, Rev. June Gatlin and Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith.


Thank You For Your Service
Southwest Premiere

Saturday, Jun 4, 10:00 am
Sunday, Jun 5, 1:00 pm
Mary D. Fisher Theatre
Mary D. Fisher Theatre

Thank You For Your Service, directed by Tom Donahue – This gripping documentary about four Iraq War veterans struggling with PTSD explores the healing aspects of meditation, native ceremony and equine therapy. Impactful interviews include former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, General David Petraeus and Mayor Rudy Guiliani.

A Q&A with director Tom Donahue, producer Ilan Arboleda and Sgt. William Rodriguez follows.

Planting Seeds of Mindfulness
World Premiere

Saturday, Jun 4, 10:30 am
Sunday, Jun 5, 3:15 pm
SPAC Black Box
SPAC Black Box


Planting Seeds of Mindfulness, directed by Gregory Kennedy-Salemi and Stuart Jolley –Based on the teachings of world renowned Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, and featuring riveting music by Tina Turner, this live action-animated film about a teenager's mindful journey is a powerful tool to help children, parents, teachers and communities develop the skills to promote peace within themselves and in the world around them. A beautiful film for families and their children ages 5-13.

A Q&A with director Gregory Kennedy-Salemi follows.

Conscious Media and the Mainstream - Finding Your Audience
Conscious Film Convergence

Saturday, Jun 4, 11:00 am SPAC Main Stage

Media, industry outlets, and tastemakers play an essential role in building buzz, and excitement around new cinema titles as they seek to find their audiences, often defining their position in the marketplace. Join this discussion and learn how to best leverage the media and how conscious cinema can be branded, marketed and presented to build communities, engage audiences and maximize box office.

Distribution Therapy
Conscious Film Convergence

Saturday, Jun 4, 1:15 pm SPAC Main Stage

Disabuse yourself from assumptions about what it is like to tie the knot with a distributor! Get a rare chance to observe a series of conversations between filmmakers and their distributors. Join facilitator Shaeri Richards as she helps distributor-filmmaker couples share their feelings in an entertaining format that will provide abundant wisdom on setting expectations, how to keep the flame alive and when to call it quits with your distributor.

Act of Transformation - A Screenwriter's Workshop
Conscious Film Convergence

Saturday, Jun 4, 2:30 pm SPAC Main Stage

Emmy Award winning screenwriter Dev Ross conducts a workshop focused on the act of transforming your conscious concept into an engaging and authentic screenplay. Sharing the wisdom of Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey," Ms. Ross will guide us to a better understanding of the problems inherent in setting out to write a "conscious" screenplay. Then, using the lessons learned, we'll help Dev to draft a foolproof three-act story outline based on audience-contributed ideas.

Icaros: A Vision
Southwest Premiere

Saturday, Jun 4, 1:15 pm Mary D. Fisher Theatre

Icaros: A Vision, directed by Leonor Caraballo and Matteo Norzi - A film shaped like a shamanic journey utilizing the unique qualities of plant medicine, steeped in a psychoactive brew exploring fear and destiny in the jungle of the mind and the Amazon.

A Q&A with director Matteo Norzi following Icaros: A Vision. A Q&A with director Sande Zeig, executive producer Sandra Morse and Sister Judy Bisignano follows the short

Preceded by:  
Sister Jaguar's Journey | USA | 2015 | 20 minutes • Documentary Short

The Highest Pass
Cinema Revisited

Saturday, Jun 4, 1:15 pm SPAC Black Box

The Highest Pass, directed by Jon Fitzgerald – Seven motorcycle riders share the journey of a lifetime along some of the most dangerous roads in the world, guided by a modern yogi and guru.

A Q&A with writer/producer Adam Schomer follows.

Vegan: Everyday Stories
World Premiere

Saturday, Jun 4, 4:00 pm Mary D. Fisher Theatre

Vegan: Everyday Stories, directed by Glenn Scott Lacey – Explore the lives of four remarkably different people who share a common thread – they're all vegan. Follow an ultramarthon runner, a cattle rancher's wife and an 8 year-old girl through their profound transformations. Featuring interviews with Moby, Russell Simmons and Ed Begley Jr.

A Q&A with filmmakers Glenn Scott Lacey, Eric Day and Ian Stout, along with cast members Genesis Butler, Genelle Palacio-Butler and Renee King-Sonnen, follows.

Going Deep: Diving into Virtual Reality Content
Conscious Film Convergence

Saturday, Jun 4, 4:30 pm SPAC Main Stage

See for yourself how Virtual Reality is poised to revolutionize the way we experience cinema! Meet three VR pioneers for an overview and demonstration of the technology used to create The Click Effect, a VR film shot almost entirely underwater. Then swim out to the lobby, put your GEAR on and prepare to dive 100-feet below the ocean's surface to witness the "click" communication and visual language of dolphins. Take a deep breath!

Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru
Spotlight Film
Arizona Premiere

Saturday, Jun 4, 6:45 pm SPAC Main Theater

The Festival's Spotlight will be the emotional tour de force Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru, directed by Academy Award® nominated Joe Berlinger. This film pulls back the curtain on the internationally renowned life and business strategist and his mammoth annual seminar, capturing the life changing transformations of the participants in real time.

A Q&A with a surprise guest follows!


World Premiere

Sunday, Jun 5, 10:15 am Mary D. Fisher Theatre

TreeStory, directed by Ward Serrill – A series of short documentary films that explore the relationship between humans and trees from every conceivable angle: the scientific, the mythical, the practical, the cultural, and the spiritual.

A Q&A with director Ward Serrill follows.

Preceded by:  
Catching Fire | USA | 2016 | 30 minutes • Documentary Short

A New High
Sedona Premiere

Sunday, Jun 5, 10:30 am SPAC Black Box

A New High, directed by Samuel Miron and Stephen Scott Scarpulla - Everyone defines their mountain. For the residents of a Seattle homeless shelter, it's homelessness, addiction, abuse.... and the 14,400-foot Mt Rainier.

Mantra - Sounds Into Silence
& Kirtan Concert with Jai Uttal

Sunday, Jun 5, 1:00 pm SPAC Main Theater

The Closing Film event will be a Sneak Peek of Mantra - Sounds Into Silence, a film about the revolution underway in world Kirtan, yoga's call-and-response form of devotional music. Clips of the film will be followed by a Q&A and live concert with world-renowned Kirtan sensation Jai Uttal

A Q&A with director Georgia Wyss, executive producer Howard Glasser, and artist Jai Uttal follows.

The Connected Universe

Sunday, Jun 5, 3:30 pm Mary D. Fisher Theatre

The Connected Universe, directed by Malcom Carter – Returning after its sold out Sneak Peek at Illuminate 2015, this documentary featuring Nassim Haramein discovers the science behind the interconnection of all things in a magnificent, groundbreaking union of science and spirituality.

A Q&A with director Malcom Carter follows.