We have selected many beautiful films for this year’s festival. Many of the films are made by Indian filmmakers or filmed in India by International filmmakers. We have many female film directors and films featuring women. Thank you to all the filmmakers for contributing their films to Franklin Flicks International Film Festival. Namaste.
AGNIYOGANA is a meditative inquiry into the lost art of classical Hatha Yoga. Offering an experiential collage of action and stillness, light and darkness, sound and silence, AGNIYOGANA explores the richness of traditional Hatha Yoga teachings and the deeply connected states of heart, mind, and freedom these practices deliver to sincere truth seekers. AGNIYOGANA takes the viewer on a journey through time and space to rediscover the inner dimensions of Hatha Yoga and reconnect the human spirit to the true meaning of “yug,” the connecting root of all yogas.
Director – Marc Baraka
Followed by Q&A with Marc Baraka
Marc Baraka is one of our featured RIFF Consciousness & Creativity Film Directors. This year Marc Baraka adds BORDERS to his collection of short films. Enjoy the series as it develops and expands!
P A R A : Unbounded Stillness in Motion – Best Experimental Film, RIFF 2017. PARA: Unbounded Stillness in Motion briefly explores the experience of transcendence as a baseline for experiencing the five elements – fire, water, earth, air and space – through direct cognition.
AGNI [fire] – Official Selection, RIFF 2019. In sutra-like poetic form, “AGNI [fire]” explores the power of creation and the might of disruption, its manifestation in our personal hero’s journey and our world. AGNI [fire] is the second of six short films metaphorically experiencing the five elements through the lens of consciousness.
WATERS – Best Experiential Film Riff 2020. WATERS is the third in the PARA series on the five elements as a metaphor for consciousness. “WATERS’ explores the spiritual dynamic between the personal aspects of water and human relationship with our planet.
BORDERS: A 12 Month Exploration of Space and Consciousness – A visual exercise in seeing. Photographed over a 12 month period in the northern Arizona bioregion using an iPhone X and its native camera app, BORDERS explores the boundaries between reality and imagination and the bio-psychological nuances of perception.
It’s not about a cup of tea alone! It’s about the love and respect we show through our actions towards people who support and work in our homes doing mundane tasks. Feed them well. Treat them right! They are, and should be treated like family.
Divine Mother is a homage to Mata Ganga the divine feminine deity taking care of the Ganges River. The 108 images were done one at a time as a photographic sketch each day at the end of my 108-day sadhana meditation. This is a meditative video for an intimate Mata Ganga experience.
“Hare Krishna!” is a documentary on the life of Srila Prabhupada, the 70-year-old Indian Swami who arrives in America without support or money and ignites a worldwide spiritual phenomenon, now known as the Hare Krishna Movement.
Hare Krishna! is the true story of an unexpected, prolific, and controversial revolutionary. Using never-before-seen archival verite, Prabhupada’s own recorded words, and interviews with his early followers, the film takes the audience behind-the-scenes of a cultural movement born in the artistic and intellectual scene of New York’s Bowery, the hippie mecca of Haight Ashbury, and the Beatle mania of London, to meet the Swami who started it all.
“Srila Prabhupada has already had an amazing effect on the world. There’s no way of measuring it. One day I just realized, God, this man is amazing!” – George Harrison
‘Here’ is about discovering our reality by connecting with nature that co exists in a world filled with reveries and illusion. Everything is ‘Here’, we only find what we seek.
Spiritual Seeker Gwen Lentz “Gwenji” travels throughout India to learn about Yoga and Enlightenment while meeting Gurus, Spiritual Masters and Holistic Practioners. She travels with Indian Film Square Hills Productions and photographers of All Planet Studios. While in Rishikesh she makes friends with the Musician Handpan player Sumit “Baba” Kutani and Ayurvedic Doctor Amrit Raj of Maa Yoga Ashram Arogyadham. The short film showcases the music of the Handpan and an enlightening Yoga technique from Dr. Raj called Hugging the Sky.
The life and teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, the man regarded by many as the greatest spiritual master of modern times. His teachings, all of which lead to self knowledge, are clearly explained by foremost experts and writers on the sage’s philosophy, such as David Godman, Michael James and Sri V. Ganesan, the great-nephew of Sri Ramana Maharshi.
The Langa music is an upkeep of high integrity and values based on living life close to God, the earth, family and community. The essence of who the Langa are lives in the roots of mysticism. They are a unique tribe, even in the history of the arts from the East. It’s not because of the ambition of the Langa that they create music, it’s about the traditions that they pass on. However, in a time when life is moving so fast these ancient tribal communities struggle to stay alive, and it is to our demise as a human global community that we might lose what could essentially be the cure for a displaced, modern society. In the documentary Keepers of the Song, we meet the Langa through the world of Colleena Shakti, international dancer who has been living in Rajasthan India for the past 15+ years, where she has an international school, Shakti School of Dance. Her mission has been to preserve ancient art forms, such as the Langa muscians, by diving deep into the meaning of their music, learning the ragas (composition of the songs), and dancing until sunrise out in the high deserts of Rajasthan, India. She is a bridge for westerners to see beyond the comforts of western culture, and attempt to venture into the deeper meaning of art, how to be a true artist, and living life close to the earth. There is a mystical, transcendence space in ones souls that can be profound for anyone that dives deep into the music of the Langa. The music, the lyrics, the ancient poetry and ragas ultimately allows people to feel the essence of life moving through them and bringing one closer to Spirit, God, Allah, the One. Storytelling is a ancient tool for bring people together holistically.
A journey within and at the same time a world-wide movement, MANTRA- SOUNDS INTO SILENCE shows how effective harmonious sounds can be in our noisy world of non-stop communication. In search of concentration, community and connection, thousands of people all over the world are turning to an ancient type of human gathering – community singing. A form of this phenomenon, the so-called ‘Kirtan’, involves singing mantras. Originally from India, this traditional form of chanting was first used in the West as a musical background for Yoga classes. But its power is such that it has now spread to a far wider public – as far as Grammy nominations for the stars of the scene such as Deva Premal & Miten, Krishna Das, Snatam Kaur, Jai Uttal and Dave Stringer.
At concerts and festivals as well as in daily life, and at unusual locations such as San Quentin Prison near San Francisco, MANTRA-SOUNDS INTO SILENCE shows how communal chanting can dissolve walls between people and help them find themselves, and all through ravishing visual images and music that carries you away. It’s a film free of esoteric mumbo jumbo, and full of passionate enthusiasm for life.
In Georgia Wyss’ documentary the following artists make an appearance Deva Premal & Miten, Manose, Krishna Das, Snatam Kaur, Jai Uttal, MC Yogi, Lama Gyurme & Jean-Philippe Rykiel, C.C. White, Dave Stringer, Mirabai Ceiba, Gaura Vani und Nina Rao.
This documentary is an exhilarating, inspiring round-up of questions and answers from David Lynch’s European and Middle East tours of 2007-2009, when he visited 16 countries to meet film students, receive national awards, launch university projects, and describe the extraordinary benefits for creativity and peace to be gained by transcending thought with Transcendental Meditation, introduced to the world by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Naked, covered in ash, and quite literally standing for years on end. These are not your typical yoga enthusiasts. They are the holy gurus in India who contort themselves for years on end, dedicating their lives to extreme practices. It’s all in the name of distancing themselves from the material world. They are menagerie of the weird and the wonderful and travelers come from around the world to consult theme. Set in present day India, this documentary is a research of the origins of yoga ,and specifically an investigation of the monastic order of the Naga Baba ,worshipers of Shiva and Dattatreya. It is a journey that accompanies a young ascetic from this most ancient monastic order of the sub-continent of India, to the most important holidays for Hindus : the Kumbh Mela . This event is the largest gathering of men on earth, both in size and attendance ,and it is estimated that during this twenty day celebration that more than 100 million people gravitate to this place. It follow the protagonist ,a young ascetic, leaving his temple and reaching the festival in three months, during which he meets friends, gurus and devotees, giving the filmmakers the chance to interview, compose and complete the puzzle of this research.
The film follows acclaimed photographer Michael O’Neill in understanding the philosophy and spirituality of Yoga. O’Neill spent ten years photographing Yoga’s greatest masters and as he travels back to India, Tibet and New York, we witness his serene encounters with them. The result is a humanist portrait of the Gurus and their immense character and eloquent explanations on the Art of Yoga. Starring Michael O’Neill, Deepak Chopra, and Moojibaba.
Episodes 1-3 of Season 1 DocuSeries – Adventure and Journey to Freedom. Both a stunningly filmed adventure on motorcycles through the Himalayas and a deep look at our personal search for freedom, we follow a group of real people facing their fears when dropped into Himalayan road killer traffic cliffs, monsoon rains, and high altitude hiking. Led by a fearless, charismatic, and modern Indian Master, each rider must confront their physical fear, their self-limiting ideas and personal relationships that enslave them. We will be screening the first three episodes of the Ten Episodes in Season One take us to The Four Sacred Peaks in India, pushing their every capacity to find that thing that all humans desire: Freedom!
A young woman challenges her society’s patriarchal traditions in order to give her deceased grandmother her last rites.
Aastha Verma is an award-winning Director and Producer based in Los Angeles, with roots from India and the Middle East. Because of this multi-cultural background, she surrounds herself with stories that are built on ground reality and is a keen storyteller with female protagonists. Her vision is to bring out hidden realities of any given society, to tell stories which are entertaining yet heartfelt and produce films that the viewers can enjoy as well as learn from.
Tantra is mysterious, provoking, hard to grasp, controversial, both praised and dishonoured, but primarily unique, impressive, open-minded and effective way to get to know ourselves and our personal limits. Feature documentary film by Viliam Poltikovič presents Tantra in its original Hindu and Buddhist form including current Neotantra. A story of Tantra intertwines with a story of peculiar tantric artist Papia Ghoshal, who lives in Calcutta, London and Zbraslav. We’ll visit places where Tantra lives since the very beginning. We’ll take a look into powerful and bizarre rituals and practics in India and Tibet. There are significant people such as the 14th Dalai Lama, Daniel Odier, Rob Preece, Anandi Ma, Stanislav Grof, Chokyong Palga Rinpoche and others who will introduce us to Tantra.
Under cover of darkness and with no word of his plans, much-beloved Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche walked away from his life on the international stage to live that of a wandering yogi. Unheard of among eminent teachers today, such a practice is rife with hardships. For Mingyur Rinpoche, these challenges—begging, finding food and shelter, illness, and all the attendant risks of wandering incognito from place to place with the barest of possessions—present fertile ground for deepening insight into the true nature of the mind.
Wandering . . . But Not Lost is an intimate account of Rinpoche’s four-and-a-half-year retreat (June 2011 – November 2015) interspersed with the master’s own guidance in applying Buddhist wisdom to our daily modern lives.
“The entire path is a shift in perception,” says Mingyur Rinpoche. These and other words of wisdom culled from his extraordinary wandering retreat and devoted adherence to his meditative practice will touch—and inspire—audiences everywhere.
Director – Malang
When the mind is somber, broad daylight gives birth to demons and evil spirits. When the mind is clear, a dark room has its blue sky.
Director – Deanna Schultz
“I thought yoga [therapy] was for hippies!” That’s what American Television Director Marty Callner thought until he tried it and saved him from taking opioids and pain killers.
Rajashree Choudhury, renowned yoga teacher and certified yoga therapist, grew up in India seeing first-hand how yoga therapy is used as a non-drug alternative to pain.
Named by the L.A. Times as “one of America’s most respected yoga teachers,” Larry Payne, Ph.D., shows how yoga therapy helps and gives you the tools you need to fix yourself simply by linking up your body, breath and mind.
“It all comes back to the breath,” Christopher Key Chapple, an esteemed professor at Loyola Marymount University, emphasizes.
Any one can benefit! From private sessions to providing access to patients at the Venice Family Clinic, learn how yoga therapy can be accessible to all no matter one’s weight, size, religion, and/or amount of money one has.
Take a journey with Callner and two patients from the Venice Family Clinic as they share their personal stories of empowerment, hope and change.
You’ll have a chance to gain valuable information as well from Actress and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Julie Carmen, along with other revered yoga therapy experts, i.e. Amy Wheeler, Ph.D., and others in the distinguished field of yoga therapy.