A case study of the success of “Awake: The Life of Yogananda” will highlight the second annual Illuminate Film Festival’s “Conscious Film Convergence,” a series of workshops and panels offering filmmakers – those with experience as well as those just starting out – the
opportunity to learn about developing, producing and distributing conscious films, May 27-31 in Sedona, Arizona.
After its southwest premiere at last year’s inaugural Illuminate Film Festival, “Awake: The Life of Yogananada,” the unconventional
biography of the legendary East Indian mystic, went on to screen at 250 venues across North America and booked more than 30,000 tickets through the GATHR®
theatrical on-demand platform. At this year’s Festival, the filmmakers and their distribution partners will discuss how they combined strategic
partnerships, grassroots marketing and a hybrid distribution model to gross over $1 million at the U.S. box office within the first three months of
Additional panels at the Conscious Film Convergence, the first gathering of significant industry executives in this independent film genre, will
feature master distribution strategist Peter Broderick and industry icons Barnet Bain (“What Dreams May Come,” “The Celestine Prophecy”); Elizabeth
Sheldon, Senior Vice President at Kino Lorber; and Abramorama President Richard Abramowitz, among others, as part of the Festival’s five days of
life-affirming cinematic works that encourage audiences to ponder existence more deeply than their daily routines.
The Illuminate Film Festival curates narrative features, documentaries and shorts in the mind-body-spirit genre, featuring inspirational
human journey stories and themes related to mindfulness, self-discovery, body-mind science, yoga, meditation, spiritual practice, organic and plant-based
food movements and sustainable living.
“As a launching platform for conscious cinema, our goal is to get enlightening content into movie theaters across the globe,” said Illuminate Film Festival
Executive Director and Founder Danette Wolpert. “The Conscious Cinema Movement has reached a tipping point. Conscious concepts, once trivialized, have
become mainstream thanks to moguls like Oprah, Russell Brand, Deepak Chopra and Russell Simmons. The Illuminate Film Festival is poised to
establish conscious cinema as a viable business sector within the independent film business.”
The Conscious Film Convergence schedule is:
Friday, May 29
• Spotlight Conversation with Barnet Bain:
Bain, a television and film industry veteran whose credits include Oscar-winning “What Dreams May Come,” Emmy-nominated “Homeless to Harvard,” spiritual classic “The Celestine Prophecy” and the new documentary, “When I Was Young I Said I Would Be Happy,” will tell you that to make a conscious film, you must first become a conscious individual. In this
Q&A with Barnett, attendees will discover how to connect with their true calling and unleash their full creative potential.
• Conscious Film Financing: “The Connected Universe“
Perhaps it’s fitting that a film that explores the science behind the interconnection of all things has just become the highest funded documentary in Indiegogo history with over $290 thousand raised via the popular crowdfunding website. Join “The Connected Universe” director Malcom Carter and others for insight into cracking the crowdsourcing code.
Saturday, May 30
• The Conscious Cinema Accelerator:
Five applicants will be invited to participate in 20-minute speed meetings for personalized project
and career coaching from veteran film professionals in conscious film production, finance, marketing and distribution. Submissions: https://filmfreeway.com/festival/ConsciousCinemaAccelerator.
• Powered By Your Audience with Peter Broderick
How can a filmmaker increase their independence and build a sustainable career that goes far beyond one film? Distribution guru Peter Broderick presents a comprehensive guide to help filmmakers develop and maximize their “own” audience and establish a strong
foundation from which they can build a long-lasting filmmaking career. Using examples from across the US 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.
• Million Dollar Movie: “Awake: The Life of Yogananda” Case Study
Panelists: “Awake” Director Paola di Florio, Producer Peter Rader (CounterPoint Films); Richard Abramowitz (President, Abramorama); Richard Matson
(Head of Distribution & Acquisitions, GATHR); The inaugural Illuminate Film Festival in 2014 was a launching platform for “Awake: The Life of Yogananada,” the unconventional biography of the legendary East Indian mystic, whose box office success has turned the heads of
distribution executives nationwide. Is this a model that can be replicated? Find out.
• Champions of Conscious Cinema: Meet the Distributors
Panelists: Elizabeth Sheldon (Senior Vice President, Kino Lorber), Richard Cohn (President, Beyond Words), Richard Abramowitz (President, Abramorama),
Brian Parsons (Head of Content Partnerships, TUGG); 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” vs. “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.
Sunday, May 31
• Conscious Cinema Summit (Industry Guests Only): a roundtable
discussion with conscious film industry visionaries and media change-makers to discuss how conscious cinema can become a viable business independent
film-sector business. Conversations will range from how to define conscious cinema to new business models to brainstorming new collaborative strategies to
increase quality, quantity and availability of conscious cinema around the globe.
To register for the Conscious Film Convergence, visit HERE!
The 2015 Festival will feature 22 films and more than 50 expert facilitators, practitioners, healers, performers, musicians, speakers and new thought
leaders. In addition to the panels and films, the Festival’s series of “View and Do” events will let audiences more deeply integrate a movie’s message into
The full list of films exhibiting at the 2015 Illuminate Film Festival are online. For more information, visit HERE!