Review of Film Festival from Jan Goldstoff, JAN GOLDSTOFF
I attended the third day of Alan Steinfeld’s first New Realities Film Festival
which was presented by Streetwide Pictures Entertainment on April 9,
10 and 11, 2010 at both the Sudbud Center and Jodi Serota’s beautiful
META Center in New York City. The festival was hosted by both
Alan Steinfeld and Kim Jackson
I missed the opening documentary Tantric Tourists http://www.tantrictourists.com
on April 9 which told the story of Tantra teacher Laurie Handlers who
took a group of spiritual seekers on a hilarious tour of India.
Director was Alexander Snelling.
Shown before this was a short narrative “Never Wear a Dead Man’s Shoes”
a romantic comedy about the Jewish superstition of the same name by
festival organizer, Alan Steinfeld.
I also missed the New York Premiere of “The Scientist” of a story of
a physicist who must embrace his metaphysical existence.
But what I did get to experience on April 10, day three, were several
phenomenal films and I saw 5 of the 6 that were presented.
The day opened with “The Little Soul and the Sun”, an animation, and
the story of forgiveness by Neale Donald Walsh which I missed and look
forward to seeing.
“Sita Sings the Blues”- created by phenomally talented NY animator
NINA PALEY is a musical and animated film that is a personal interpretation
of the Indian epic the Ramayana. http://www.sitasingstheblues.com
The aspect of the story that Nina focused on is the relationship between
Sita and Rama, who are Gods incarnated as human beings, and shows
how they cannot make their marriage work. In real life it parallels Nina’s
life and how her marriage failed. While it addresses the question of why
Rama rejected Sita, sometime there is no answer, and the parallel is that
sometimes what we didn’t know 3,000 years ago, we still don’t know today
– why marriages fail. This is one of the most creative and exhilarating
films I’ve ever seen. Right after the festival it appeared on Channel 13.
The singing by Annette Hanshaw was mesmerizing. I missed the very
beginning of the film and I plan on going to the website www.sitasingstheblues.com <http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/> to download it and watch it in its entirety.
Nina is a gifted animator. There is much to learn about one’s individual
development, the way we look inside our heart and soul and discover our
wonderful and loving essence, as well as the roles each of us plays in a love
and marriage relationship. I highly recommend this film and I can’t wait to
watch it again!
Makawasi by Bill Cote is a fascinating documentary that answers the question
-Why are hundreds of mysterious faces etched on rocks high in the Andes
Mountains? Located in Peru in a very difficult place to reach, this film shows
many huge rock formations and in particular, one huge rock that shows 4 stone
figures and is regarded as the monument of humanity. The stones in this area
are astonishing to see. Earth is asking of us – is there a greater consciousness?
There is energy in these mountains talking to us. A few different people were
involved with discovering this ancient place and made several trips there to
film and unravel the secrets of the rocks in this place. The “giants” in the
mountains reveal themselves as you stand and observe them. They are
like a like a meditation. This is another documentary I want to watch again!
Disappointment Valley by filmmaker James Kleinert, Moving Clouds
Productions, http://www.theamericanwildhorse.com is one of the
most powerful documentaries I ever saw and shows the most amazing
footage of wild horses in their natural environment in the American Southwest.
They are positively breathtaking to watch. Seeing them touches you at
your core. I am a passionate horse person so this film affected me
instantly and dramatically and I was not fully aware of the depth of
this crisis in America. This film is a call to action.
Every person in the world should see this film -- and not just passionate
horse lovers like myself. The film is about the destruction of the wild
horses roaming around the southwest in the United States. Filmed by
James Kleinert it is an astounding and heartbreaking film. Several celebrities
star in it including singer Sheryl Crow, actor Viggo Mortensen, author of
Dances with Wolves Michael Blake, actors Peter Coyote and Raoul Trujillo.
Horses are messengers and it is a healing experience to be with them.
I had the opportunity to ride a horse just once, ‘so far’ in my life while on
vacation about 5 years ago in California. We spent about 3 hours riding
on mountain paths and next to the ocean. I can’t wait to do it again. Horses
represent freedom, power, strength.. At one time numbering over2 million
today there are less than 25,000 wild horses left in the country today and
the numbers dwindle by the day.
The documentary details the actions of the Bureau of Land management
and the Department of the Interior and reveals the dark heart of an agency
that is destroying and euthanizing the horses and tells how they have been
and are continuing to bring the wild horses to extinction.
These beautiful, magical and magnificent animals get rounded up by
helicopters that fly over large herds of the horses, make them run for
miles and get them exhausted, and then they are brought to huge holding pens.
Once they arrive the horses are separated from their partners/family members
and it just breaks your heart to see this. Many die of heartbrokenness.
Horses are used by many heath professionals to help heal wounded vets, and
people with disabilities. Horses carry us; they carry our burdens, our spiritual
burdens. I loved the part that told about Wild Horse Annie, a woman who helped
to establish the law in 1971 that helped to protect these magnificent creatures
but it seems that law has changed or is not enforced now.
This film is about the survival of the wild horses in the American West. And it is
about us, the people of America. The horses have a right to co exist in the west
and what is at stake is the future of this country and how our society values and
protects the wild horses. While parts of this film are shattering to watch, it is
imperative that we all become aware and educated about this crises so that
we are prepared to take action. I recommend everyone see this film!!!
The next film in the Festival was “The Hidden Hand” which is a work in
progress by Filmmaker James Carmen and explores the truth about aliens and
UFOs – an in-depth and fascinating film with lots of research and documentation.
I look forward to the finished product.
The last film For the Next 7 Generations directed by Carole Hart is
narrated by Ashley Judd is about 13 indigenous grandmothers who
come together from around the world to discuss the healing of the planet
and find ways to work together and create solutions.
Carole Hart has been a close friend of mine for years. This is an extraordinary
film that is an invaluable contribution for the world to have at this time of such
monumental challenge, change, and transformation.
We can’t change the past but we can move forward into the future. We need to
have peace in our hearts and this film provides hope – we see progress.
There is encouragement for the power of prayers for the environment, for
healing, for the water. We need to have more conversations and reach
across boundaries and cultural barriers.
Our planet is in agony and these 13 grandmothers from different cultures from
around the world are on an important mission -- to talk about ways to help heal
the planet. Many of them have visited each other’s countries. One visit by the
whole group to his Holiness the Dalai Lama was especially moving and unforgettable.
Shot in many countries throughout the world this brilliantly conceived and
brilliantly filmed documentary with a great soundtrack is a call to action and
will inspire any man, woman, or child who sees it. Everyone would benefit
from seeing it.
We are at a turning point in our civilization; there are crises everywhere; and
we must begin to work together to find solutions to these problems to bring
peace to humanity, save the animals and the environment, and understand
the power of prayer, friendship, love, and compassion and have appreciation
for people of all different faiths and backgrounds.
We can’t have fear anymore. We must realize the power of love, and respect
for one another. We have to move quickly as the light on a path toward peace,
Go to their website to order the film and arrange a showing of the film in