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An Example Of Writers And Filmmakers Who Are Not Looking For Hollywood Deals

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There are countless talented writers and filmmakers with important messages to share, whose only goal is to help educate and enlighten. They are not looking for Hollywood deals, except perhaps as a means of spreading their ideas about consciousness to the masses. I went to Sedona to attend Illuminate, a festival dedicated to such independent productions, with an emphasis on transformation and healing.

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Illuminate is “the world’s premier film festival for conscious cinema. Dedicated to spreading enlightened ideas and pushing humanity forward, Illuminate is poised to become a landmark destination event and centerpiece for conscious content.”

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All of the films and events at Illuminate were focused on consciousness and transformational themes, with an additional dimension of healing rifts and schisms within ourselves and within society.

The award winning feature SOLD was the opening night film, with Gillian Anderson (of The X Files) and the director/writer Jeffrey Brown in attendance and available for questions after the showing. SOLD is the story of a Nepalese girl who is sold into an Indian brothel, with Anderson playing a photographer who sees her plight and works, along with a team of rescuers, to free her. According to Brown, while the film goes through many of the material aspects of her situation, including brutality, it is really about healing and consciousness.

Brown stressed the need to use this consciousness to heal the massive spiritual rifts on our planet – and to save our species – by honoring the divine feminine as sacred healing energy.

Another young filmmaker, Fenullla Jiwani, explained that the young girl who was the protagonist doomed the systemic brothel from the moment of her arrival by bringing with her the light of a different level of consciousness. Fenulla is an Indian actress, writer, and producer, with several films devoted to transformation and consciousness already under her belt. One of Fenulla’s films, echoing SOLD, is about the casting couch in Indian Bollywood productions.

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There were also seminars about empowering the creative process and other issues of concern to filmmakers.

Barnet Bain is the producer of such films as What Dreams May Come and The Celestine Prophecy, and the author of The Book of Doing and Being. At the festival, he spoke about his current passion for “rediscovering creativity in love, work and art” (the book’s subtitle).

Barnet removed his eyeglasses and held them up as a symbol of the massive inner conditioning our young selves undergo which teaches us the “agreements” of our reality and also squashes the inner life that is the womb of creativity.

Barnet said that our imaginations are structured and that filmmakers and artists need to develop an intimate relationship with their structural conditioning. For Barnet, the “big game” is only Consciousness.

He compared our left brain of logic and reason – comprising a world of mental stories – to the tiny sliver of the electronic spectrum that is visible – leaving an infinitely vast subconscious netherworld of chaos and emotion to be explored via conscious cinema.

The real work for Barnet is the pursuit of oneness and healing of the self. He offered that the love affair with intellect is fundamentally disruptive and that all is received in the body as a gift.

Emotion is energy in motion. Thoughts are scary but they are not actual emotion. Rather, they are our conditioned thoughts about our sensed emotion in the body.

He listed the three main imperatives of the ego/mind:

Getting enough
Am I good enough
Figuring out what is the destiny of soul

When the Ego dissolves (see Dying to Know next) the destiny of the soul can unfold.  That is the premise of his work and actually also the mission of the festival – to open to consciousness through cinema.

Dying to Know

This was the film that drew me to the festival, and by the end I had laughed and wept with equal intensity, which is quite unusual for me.

The film sets the record straight, as the director said, of how Ram Dass and Timothy Leary were turned into caricatures by the popular media, and it provides a real context and background for their massive contributions as individuals, as friends, and as co-journeyers.

What the movie did for me, besides give me a profoundly helpful perspective on death (“die before you die” – something I have also heard from Eckhart Tolle), was help me to connect my dots and fill in many blanks. It helped me to understand the source of my seeking and also such a huge part of the tradition of wisdom, along with Alan Watts and others.

My need to figure out what else is “happening” is so much more understandable now knowing and understanding (as I did not at the time) the true force of their impact – how they paved a trail that culminated with my own inner discoveries.

As Gay Dillingham said after the movie ended, the discoveries of these two men are now in our “Zeitgeist,” but as I watched the film I had to remember my own shock and subsequent guilt when these realizations first hit my own nervous system – or awareness system as I like to call it.

Ram Dass was such a big shot in his field and described how he dropped all of his roles, letting them fall away one by one, as the chemicals dissolved his ego.

But Tim Leary was so profound and hysterically funny that I felt in him such a kindred spirit. He reminded me of Steve Jobs in many ways and his testimony in front of the Senate is both brilliant and heartbreaking, especially when one considers the cluelessness of the politicians he spoke with. Where Ram Dass let the rules and roles of society dissolve, Leary just never even considered them – a complete iconoclast, through and through.

Among the delicious ironies of the film and the only one I will mention here is that when Leary was imprisoned they gave him the Psych Profile that he himself had created as a famous psychologist.

Down to Earth

filmThis film blindsided me because I “happened to meet” the director on the first day of the conference. I was immediately intrigued. Down to Earth is brilliant in its depth and simplicity, but for an audience steeped in technology this film takes you to the edge of the earth, and the revelation that we are all One is made so apparent as to be self evident. At the fringes of the film are the darker forces that threaten our planet. Seeing this film will be a great step in our “collective” evolution

IMAG1373  Rolf Winters, co-director of Down to Earth being interviewed – his wife and co-creator Renata Heinen was with their kids.

The wisdom keepers made me think of Eckhart Tolle’s mention of “frequency holders” in A New Earth and the role of even unheralded individuals in our destiny.

Saturday night’s main event was a showing of Paulo Coelo’s Best Story, a biographical tale about the author of The Alchemist.

A sense of purpose and community was created through a Conscious Filmmakers’ Summit moderated by Kia Kiso, where we brainstormed and charted trends that would support the vision of transformative media in the future.

The theme of healing permeated the conference and there were practitioners of various kinds available throughout the conference.  One pair of sisters, Jewels and Shondra, gave readings, and Jewels, who works in Tarot, will be seen on an upcoming reality show – look for her in “Real Psychics of Sedona.”

There were other excellent movies that deserve more attention than we have space for here, all with significant social and culturally transformative and uplifting themes. Please check out the Illuminate web site for more information.

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10 Great Conscious Films Of 2020 – If You’re Looking For A Good Film To Watch

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Finding a film that is both conscious and entertaining isn't always the easiest thing to do. Here is a great list to keep you entertained in a healthy way in 2020.

  • Reflect On:

    How do I feel after watching each of these films? Who else might benefit from watching them?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

What makes a film conscious and what makes a film entertaining are not always the same thing.

As the Founding Director of the Tribeca Film Festival, former Head of Content for GAIAMTV (Gaia), and now Founder and CEO of CGood TV and Conscious Good, I’ve always been on the pulse of consciousness elevating entertainment.

Placing a high value on both consciousness and entertainment in film, my team and I have chosen 10 films from 2020 that we would like to share with the Collective Evolution community to act as your guide this holiday season and beyond.

1. Sing-Me-A-Song

Sing Me a Song, the new feature from acclaimed documentary filmmaker Thomas Balmès (Babies, Happiness), follows Peyangki, a young monk living in a rural monastery in Bhutan. When TV and the Internet come to the remote country, Peyangki is lured by the power of smartphones, which now compete with the rituals of monastery life. Unexpected and profound, Peyangki’s journey challenges us to reassess our own perceptions of relatedness and self-worth in an age of unparalleled connectivity. As highlighted by Courtney Howard from her Variety review, “Thomas Balmès’ profound documentary explores the ripple-effect ramifications of a seemingly positive invention perverting an unspoiled community.” We are compelled to wonder if technology has really made us more evolved or perhaps it’s the other way around?

WHERE TO WATCH IT: On CGOOD TV from January 14th-30th 2021

2. The ReUnited States

The Reunited States is a hopeful and deftly crafted documentary that follows several individuals who are committed to finding ways to heal the deep divide within our country. The filmmaker, Ben Rekhi, respectfully shares the hearts, souls and stories of these individuals, true American heroes.  A few of the people profiled include Susan Bro, who lost her daughter when a car drove through a crowd in Charlottesville; Steven Olikara, the founder of the Millenial Action Project, a bipartisan coalition of 1,500 young lawmakers; Greg Orman, an independent politician who ran for Governor of Kansas in 2018; 

and David and Erin Leaverton, a Republican couple who travel to all fifty states in an RV to find out what divides us.  As we usher in a new year and a new President, this is an ideal film to enjoy and share with family and friends who may have differing world views.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: iTunes and Amazon on February 9th 2021 – Watch Q&A with the filmmakers HERE

3. My Octopus Teacher

South African naturalist, Craig Foster closely follows a female octopus for a year and the result is nothing short of astonishing.  We witness Foster’s obsession with his shape-shifting muse through a personal narrative that evokes a love-letter.  Through his eyes, we don’t just witness the life of this other-worldly creature, but become emotionally involved with her in a way that elevates the film from a scientific exploration to a completely immersive experience.  Co-director James Reed ponders this emerging kind of nature documentary: “Hopefully the lesson is that, actually, everywhere you turn there are complex personalities in nature that just haven’t been documented yet.”  What March of the Penguins did for the penguin – igniting a worldwide love fest – this film does for the octopus.  Fall in love with your new favorite.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix

4. The Secret: Dare To Dream

Starring Katie Holmes (Miranda Wells) and Josh Lucas (Bray Johnson), “The Secret: Dare to Dream” is inspired by the phenomenally successful 2006 book, “The Secret”, by Rhonda Byrne.  Like the book, the film is infused with the principles of the Laws of Attraction.  Without spoilers, the two main characters literally crash into each other in a minor fender bender, setting up a chain of events that involve a storm, a missing message, personal transformation, romance and humor.  Throughout the film, the enigmatic Bray’s musings on life echo the philosophy of Byrne’s book. The lesson is that in learning how to turn off automatic patterns of thought our minds become open to new and more empowering ways of thinking.  As Bray says, “we have to be careful because we get what we expect”, and therein lies the ‘secret’ to happiness.  Ultimately, this family film is a feel-good love story that draws you in and will warm even the coldest of hearts.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Amazon Prime

5. Kiss The Ground

Kiss the Ground is a full-length documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson that sheds light on an “new, old approach” to farming called “regenerative agriculture” that has the potential to balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world. This film comes to us at a time when the health of our ecological systems are fragile. Understanding the root origin of how we thrive as humans is essential in empowering everyday citizens to make small but meaningful changes to their daily lives for the better.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix – Watch Panel with the filmmakers HERE

6. Infinite Potential:  The Life & Ideas of David Bohm

A transformational journey through the mystery of consciousness, Paul Howard’s film is surprisingly accessible for those of us who have never taken a physics course.  David Bohm, one of the 20th Century’s most brilliant physicists, was Albert Einstein’s spiritual son and the Dalai Lama’s “science guru.” Not only does Bohm discover through science Quantum Potential, he unites these discoveries with Eastern wisdom, firmly establishing the interconnectedness of all things.  Infinite Potential includes interviews with luminaries such as H.H. the Dalai Lama, esteemed artist Antony Gormley, Oxford philosopher and physicists Sir Roger Penrose, and many more who were influenced by Bohm’s revolutionary work.  Today Bohm’s work is finally being recognized for its potential to revolutionize human thought and our relationship to the planet.  If watching this film doesn’t spark your neurotransmitters, it’s time to up your consciousness-raising practice.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: GAIA – Watch a Q&A with the Filmmakers HERE

7. The Social Dilemma

The documentary examines the effect that a handful of leading digital social media platforms, including but not limited to Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have over the public; it is emphasized that a relatively small number of engineers make decisions that impact billions of people. The alarm bells have been sounded for years, but have been layered in tech jargon and a lot of consumer confusion. The Social Dilemma strips away the tech talk and speaks to the human impacts of these connected platforms that seem to be fragmenting society more than they are connecting them.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix

8. The High Note

Starring the always inspiring and entertaining Dakota Johnson as Maggie and Tracey Ellis Ross as Grace, The High Note is set in the dazzling world of the LA music scene and tells the story of Grace Davis, a superstar whose talent, and ego, have reached unbelievable heights. Maggie is Grace’s overworked personal assistant who’s stuck running errands, but still aspires to her childhood dream of becoming a music producer. When Grace’s manager presents her with a choice that could alter the course of her career, Maggie and Grace come up with a plan that could change their lives forever. A lovely film that reminds us that our stations in life are really just in our heads!

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Apple TV

9. A Life On Our Planet

Growing up in the UK, David Attenborough inspired my passion for world travel and nature. Now 93, this icon who practically invented the nature documentary genre, lays bare his ‘witness statement’ for the environment.  In his lifetime, Attenborough has watched with horror as the planet’s biodiversity has degenerated before his eyes. His utter sadness is revealed in Close-up shots of a face that has seen the advent of global air travel, the first images of the earth from the moon, and the astonishing beauty of the natural world.  Yes, we grieve with him, but all is not lost.  This beloved man lifts our spirits and raises consciousness with solutions that will save the planet if we act quickly.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix

10. Happiest Season

Bringing an all-star cast together, including Kristen Stewart as Abby and Mackenzie Davis as Harper, The Happiest Season is a contemporary love story that will warm hearts and bring families together. Abby Holland and Harper Caldwell are a lesbian couple who have been dating nearly a year. Abby dislikes Christmas since her parents passed away, so Harper spontaneously invites Abby to celebrate the holidays with her family in her hometown. Things are looking bright and starlit until Harper reveals to Abby she actually hadn’t come out to her family, so back in the closet they go. Watch as The Happiest Season reveals how the key to our own personal freedom can’t be controlled by anyone, but ourselves.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Hulu

Featured image photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.

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Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Our Discussion About Dr. Fauci Telling People To Wear Goggles To Protect Against COVID-19

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Joe, Ruby and I recently sat down for our weekly show, “The Takeaway” to discuss Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recent recommendation that all people should be wearing goggles as well as a mask in order to protect themselves against COVID-19. As most of you reading this will know, mask mandates in public settings have caused quite a controversy, especially in Canada and in the United States. Well known and reputable doctors and scientists seem to be the catalyst, having brought a lot of attention to themselves by sharing their expert opinions and research. Today, however, we are living in a very different environment as information that contradicts what’s told to us by our federal health regulatory agencies is now deleted, blocked, and censored from social media platforms and Google searchers.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, based on what I have been seeing and from our own experience here at Collective Evolution, we are living in a time where a digital authoritarian Orwellian fact-checker is patrolling the internet and censoring information, deeming it as “false” when in many cases, the information doesn’t appear to be false at all. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of “fake news” out there, but should people not have the right to examine information and determine for themselves what is, and what isn’t instead of having someone else do it for them?

In the episode below we share our opinions and talk about where we see things going within the next few months. It’s a two part episode, in the second part we talk about an interesting document within the CIA’s electronic reading dealing with the affect human intention can have on physical material systems. If you’re interested in that, you can access it on CETV, here.  CETV is a platform we created to combat the censorship we are currently experiencing, as many  of you probably already know of by now.

Related CE Articles About Wearing A Mask:

Study Finds That Cloth Masks Can Increase Healthcare Workers Risk of Infection

Social Media Giants Remove Viral Video of Doctors Talking About Coronavirus, Masks & Treatment

Harvard Doctors Examine Whether or Not Masks Can Provide Any Protection From Infection

Are Mandatory Masks A Precursor To A Mandatory Coronavirus Vaccine? 

 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Woody Harrelson Shares A Powerful Video: ‘Thoughts From Within’ He Calls It

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CE Staff Writer 1 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Woody Harrelson shares some spoken word with a deep message.

  • Reflect On:

    How do you view our current world? Does it truly resonate with you? Is it something you want to support? If you could put your energy into a world of thriving abundance, would you? Then why so much energy into the way things are?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

I sit here today having been reminded of a Woody Harrelson video after watching a movie he acted in. I recalled the first time I saw this video. It was one of the first realizations I had, about 9 years ago, that many celebrities also go through life with trials and tribulations of the average person. Perhaps not in all ways, but certainly in many. This is an obvious thought of course, but sometimes not all that common.

When I saw this video, I remember thinking, wow, I love what he is sharing, and coming from his place of influence this truly has a powerful message. This is an awesome video made by Woody Harrelson sharing some powerful thoughts from within.

In the video Woddy lays out a spoken word masterpiece that touches on all of the main aspects of our current society. If you truly take the time to listen, there is much to reflect on. And of course, there is an inspiring side of it all too.

This one is a bit of a throw back, but it’s a good one. Enjoy it!

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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