THE FIRST ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVAL
May 29-June 1

by Joanna Paxinou

ILLUMINATE FILM FESTIVALAn exciting, new event will be held in Sedona, May 29-June 1. The first Illuminate Film Festival will feature mind-body-spirit films and documentaries, enlightening speakers and workshops, along with a "healing village" and a "view and do" experience that will deepen the film experiences for audiences.

The type of cinema that will be shown at the festival is "conscious cinema" as defined by Producer/Director David Christopher-Loya-Dojorquez: Life-offering work that holds human beings as sacred rather than expendable and encourages the audience to ponder existence more deeply than day-to-day routine.

Discussing the festival's objectives, Illuminate Founder and Executive Director Danette Wolpert said, "We want to share these new inspired works with an audience hungry for this particular media, launch these films into the world, and develop an illuminated hub for conscious cinema."

"We want our audience to feel part of the community dedicated to awareness, love, community. We want moviegoers to feel something inside that uplifts and inspires them, " she continued. "Because films are an accepted medium all over the world, we have the power to heal and to appeal to people who consciously engage in personal enrichment experiences." She hopes the festival's inspired movies will provide audiences with an AHA moment that takes their lives in a new direction.

Consciousness-expanding films and documentaries will be shown that feature inspirational journeys, wellness, yoga, meditation, and spirituality. The festival will feature the world premieres of "Death Makes Life Possible" presented by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Marilyn Schlitz; "On Meditation," showing how meditation has transformed the personal and professional lives of director David Lynch, actor Giancarlo Esposito, and others.

The world's first Conscious Filmmaker Convergence will be held, a half-day program for known and aspiring mind-body-spirit filmmakers. The festival will also have a "healing village" that will feature a number of practitioners and vendors who offer services to facilitate expanded consciousness. "We selected practitioners we felt will contribute significantly to the overall experience and more deeply interpret it. There will be real healing experiences," Ms. Wolpert stressed.

"View and do" will continue the movie experience for moviegoers while they are still in the theater. For example, the film "When My Sorrow Died: The Legend of Armen Ra and the Theremin" will be followed by a soul-shifting performance/sound journey by Ra, the legendary Iranian-Armenian musician.

The Illuminate Film Festival began with Ms. Wolpert. She left the corporate world because she felt she was not living her soul purpose. She wanted to inspire and enlighten people and do her part on the planet. She spent five years as Miami International Film Festival Associate Director but then took a year off traveling through South America, South Africa, and the United State.

Two years ago, she came to Sedona to take a course and decided to stay. "The energy, the resources, the opportunities for personal evolution in Sedona—I felt at home." She found authentic, warm people living in Sedona and said that she is just the channel for the festival's work.

Ms. Wolpert credits her unbelievable team, sponsors, Family Circle members, and partners who helped make this possible.
"Our staff is 100% volunteers," she said. "Our 'Illuminates' are so passionate about this mission, they have worked so hard to create the experience for our festival attendees."

The Illuminate Film Festival Board of Advisors includes: Nancy Shafer, former executive director of the Tribeca Film Festival; Nicole Guillemet, former co-director of the Sundance Film Festival and former director of the Miami International Film Festival; Sarah McLean, founding director of the McLean Meditation Institute; Steven C. Beer, entertainment and sports attorney; and Bill Stankey, president of the Westport Entertainment Associates.

Illuminate films will be shown at the Mary D Fisher Theater, Creative Life Center and Sedona Performing Arts Center.

To purchase tickets and to learn more information, visit www.illuminatefilmfestival.com.