IMAGINE Magazine Autumn 2015 Volume 1 Number 1 - Page 23

Film as a Modality for Peace An Interview with Danette Wolpert, Executive Director, ILLUMINATE Film Festival T he Sedona International City of Peace believes that film is an excellent vehicle for advancing our three key objectives: expanding awareness, deepening connections and engaging community. As part of this effort, we are grateful for our ongoing collaboration with the Sedona International Film Festival and Illuminate Film Festival, now in its second season here. What is the mission of the ILLUMINATE Film Festival? ILLUMINATE’s mission is to expand consciousness through film. As the world’s premier film festival for conscious cinema, ILLUMINATE showcases cinematic gems that uplift the human heart and inspire all who see them to live kinder, wiser, more enlightened lives. What exactly is “Conscious Cinema”? Conscious Cinema is lifeaffirming cinematic works that encourage audiences to ponder existence more deeply than their daily routines — e.g. films about yoga, meditation, spiritual practice, body-mind science, sustainable living and most importantly, the human journey. How is ILLUMINATE a vehicle for global world peace? Our team believes world peace begins with inner peace. Our selections create opportunities for cultivating self- awareness, stillness and a feeling of oneness. My teammate Miguel Montoya put it best when he said: “ILLUMINATE believes in sharing messages of hope, inspiration, and beauty, inclusive of all philosophies, without suggesting any one path as the answer. All such artistic renderings of defining human moments serve one purpose: to remind us all, whomever we are and wherever we sit, of the beauty of the human soul. Only by this recognition, are we driven to change self-serving behaviors — not by threats, guilt trips, or slick persuasion, but by the personal realization of the beauty within each one of us; a connection to something greater; a purpose in life far more satisfying than chasing money, power, lust, or fame.” What inspired you to launch ILLUMINATE?  At 35, sparked by Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love, I took off on a yearlong round-the-world journey to connect with my soul’s purpose. Though I wanted to be a healer, I realized one afternoon that my calling was not to do the healing, but rather to organize it. Is it true you aim for ILLUMINATE to become the “Sundance” of Conscious Cinema? Yes, but not for the reasons you’d think, not for the prestige or the red carpets. Sundance is a launching platform for mainstream independent cinema and largely influenc