World Interfaith Harmony Film Festival Runs This Week

In News by 1 Billion Rising Lower Mainland Initiative

Inspired by a resolution from United Nations from October of 2010 calling for the celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week, the Culver City-based World Interfaith Harmony Film Festival offers screenings from February 6 to February 10 of films on themes of peace, non-violence, social justice, and environmental balance. Screenings are held at the Magnin Theatre at the Skirball Cultural Center at 2701 N. Sepulveda, at Sony Pictures Studios, and at the Imam Cultural Center at 3376 Motor Ave.

Check the organization’s WEB SITE for more information about ticket price and venue. Here are some of the films being screened:



Wednesday February 6th (OPENING NIGHT)


6:00 PM

Directed By Stephen Copeland

82 minutes

Shift of the Ages reveals the story of the Mayan culture and its sophisticated prophecies of time, as told for the first time by the Grand Elder of the Mayan people, Alejandro Cirilo Perez Oxlaj. The film, shot over the course of seven years, shares indigenous wisdom passed down to Wandering Wolf in a way that expresses the role human consciousness plays in connecting to the universe.



7:30 PM

Directed By Ron Fricke

Documentary Feature (USA), 102 minutes

Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, Samsara is a visually breathtaking cinematic adventure shot entirely on 70 millimetre film. A triumph of the moving image, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders in one unforgettable journey.


Thursday February 7th



6:00 PM

Directed By Mary Ann Sullivan

Short Film — Digital Poetry (USA)

3 minutes

Saint Katharine Drexel was an American heiress who spent  her family fortune helping the poor. This film represents a new genre of poetry, called digital video poetry. Inspired by filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, digital video poems explore shots as moving hieroglyphs and ideograms. Digital poets often combine animated hieroglyphs with words to craft their poems, returning to an ancient form of writing: the pictograph. But unlike early Chinese, Egyptian, and Greek hieroglyphs, these poetic symbols utilize cinematic motion.


6:05 PM

Directed By Ruth Broyde Sharone

Documentary Short (USA)

25 minutes

Following the devastating events of 9/11, filmmaker Ruth Broyde-Sharone saw an urgent need to document the efforts of courageous Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Los Angeles who are determined to bring healing to a fragmented nation. The film illustrates how interfaith dialogue, community outreach, and even dinner conversation can be harnessed to dissolve fear and suspicion and, ultimately, to create a path towards true reconciliation. God/Allah is always talking to us, but are we talking to one another?



7:45 PM

Dramatic Short Film (USA)

2:55 minutes


7:48 PM

Directed By Suzanne Taylor

Documentary Feature (USA)

81 minutes

What On Earth deals intelligently, scientifically, and with a sweet sense of grandeur one of the globe’s most persistent and beautiful mysteries, the phenomenon known as crop circles. It easily dispenses with the notion that the vast majority of these beautiful formations in the world’s fields are human-made, and it explores with depth and cunning just how and why they might be here. If you have an inkling of adventure and a curiosity to other potentialities, you will savor this lovely and pleasant voyage, guided by filmmaker Suzanne Taylor, into the realms of the magnificent and our human relationship with it. The film offers a sensible cultural investigation, a thoughtful analysis, and a visionary exploration “outside the box” of conventional and superficial wisdom to suggest other worlds of possibility.


Friday February 8th


11:00 AM

Written and Directed By Jon Cooksey

Documentary Feature (Canada)

53 minutes

How to Boil a Frog is an eco-comedy that gives an overview of the Big Mess We’re In – environment, energy, economic – and lays out a set of personal solutions that will make your life better and save civilization as a by-product. This clever and good humored film journey chronicles Jon Cooksey’s personal, three-year adventure as a filmmaker, activist and, above all, a father driven to make sure his daughter would have a future beyond living on a raft with the last polar bear. The film mixes humor, facts and a sprinkling of experts to show how climate change is just one symptom of an even messier problem: overshoot. “Overshoot means too many people using up too little planet,” says Cooksey, “so in the end, we either need fewer people, more planets, or we’re going to have use less stuff. Or all three. I dib Mars.” With its Everyman approach in the style of “Supersize Me”, interviews with scientists, journalists and energy experts across North America, How To Boil A Frog suggests five ways that people can save habitability on the earth while improving their own lives at the same time.



TIME: 3:15 PM

Directed By Vishal Hiraskar

Documentary Feature (India)

91 minutes

“The TIME Is…NOW” explores ordinary people who have survived extreme crises when the only thing they had to draw upon was their inner power and faith. Did these people know that they had some unique power before they were forced to face those situations? Was it the human spirit inside of them that endured? Or was it that in the most extreme situations their soul reached out to a higher power? These questions and others are addressed by World Leaders, Politicians, War Psychologists and Spiritual Leaders, intermixed with deeply personal stories and superb animation sequences to offer a view that human beings are actually instrumental in creating peace in the world. The Time Is Now…takes a stand that there is still HOPE for Peace.



Time: 5:30 PM

Directed By Patrea Patrick

Documentary Feature (USA)

106 minutes

Called a “revolution in film” by The Huffington Post and a “provocative” production that “makes you think” by film Director Oliver Stone, American Empire received instant accolades after its premiere at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival as “the most controversial movie of the year…and quite possibly the decade.” The film has been described as “a gripping, provocative analysis of the current state of the U.S,” through its tale of corporate shenanigans, bank manipulation, and environmental damage. From the gigantic bailouts of the country’s largest banks to the destruction of the economy through corporate and government ties to genetically modified foods and global ecosystems, American Empire claims that the world as we know it is screaming for help, and makes a point that there, quite simply, are not enough resources remaining for the country to continue down its current path.



Time: 8:00 PM

Directed By Oliver Hauck

Documentary Feature (Germany)

100 minutes

“The Blue Jewel” is a film by people for people. The film underlines in a unique manner how important it is for human beings to understand that they are One with the Earth. The film asks questions like: “How might our world look if human beings were to realize that they are one with the Earth?” “Or if we realized that humans are made of the same materials as a volcano or a raincloud?” “Or that the pulse of the Earth is One with the heartbeats of human beings?” “Or that human beings are intelligent, conscious creatures with free will, able to take responsibility for their actions at any time in respect to our planet.” Filmed in a myriad of locations around the globe, the film is a stunning visual masterpiece mixed with narration recorded from the point of view of Mother Earth, voicing in a unique manner how important it is to protect “The Blue Jewel” which is Our Home, Our Mother, Our Earth.


Saturday February 9th (Children’s, Family and Community Harmony Day)=


9:00 AM

Celebrity Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger’s Famous

Border Grill Food Truck will be on-site cooking up a special Breakfast Menu for purchase to kick off the morning. Come early and enjoy some great food at reasonable prices before the Family Shorts Program begins!


10:00 AM


10:35 AM

Directed By First Drops Interfaith Youth Group

Young Voices For Harmony — Youth Film (USA)

9 minutes



10:45 AM

Directed By First Drops Interfaith Youth Group

Young Voices For Harmony — Youth Film (USA)

5 minutes



10:50 AM

Animated Short Film (USA)

2:25 minutes


10:55 AM

Animated Short Film (USA)

3:50 minutes


11:00 AM



11:30 AM

Documentary Short Film (USA)

3 minutes


11:33 AM

Directed By Tina Petrova

Documentary Short Film (Canada)

23 minutes

Historians tell us that between the ninth and second centuries B.C.E. a new concept for living came into the consciousness of humans. Inexplicably it filtered throughout the world and began to appear in the sacred records of all civilizations. The concept was that of Compassion. And the focal point of this was the Ethic of Reciprocity; commonly know as the Golden Rule. Animating the Golden Rule is a captivating journey through the world’s variety of faith traditions examining and exploring one of the fundamental tenets underlying many of the world’s religions: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Through music, rap and drama as animated by grade 10 and 11 youth, the film explores how ideals of multiculturalism, diversity, ethics, youth and global citizenship tie directly into this Golden Rule philosophy.



1:00 PM

Celebrity Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger’s Famous

Border Grill Food Truck will be on-site to offer a special Lunch Menu for purchase during our Childrens, Family, and Community World Interfaith Harmony Luncheon. Come inside after you purchase your meal to chat, meet, and greet friends from the USA and around the World. Special Guests from the local Interfaith Community will be facilitating stimulating dialogue.


2:15 PM

Directed By Mark Elliot

Documentary Feature (USA)

82 minutes

An intimate portrait of a young Tibetan boy who is recognized as the reincarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, one of the most revered Tibetan Buddhist masters of the twentieth century. He is known as The Yangsi, “the one who has come again into existence”. Providing a unique window into the world of Tibetan Buddhism, this film is a coming of age story with universal themes, made over a fourteen year period by Mark Elliott, an acclaimed film maker and longtime student of Tibetan Buddhism. Beginning with his enthronement at age four before a crowd of fifteen thousand people in Kathmandu, Nepal, the young teacher gives a first person account of his experience of growing up in, and coming to terms with, his unique inheritance. With unprecedented access, the film chronicles the Yangsi’s life during his training in Tibetan philosophy and various rituals, filmed intimately and beautifully in Nepal and the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.



4:00 PM

Directed By Sharat Raju

Documentary Feature (USA)

92 minutes

More than 1,000 hate crimes were reported within one week of September 11, 2001, and at least nineteen people were murdered in hate violence in the twelve months following September 11th. The wave of hate crimes and hate violence affected Muslim Americans and anyone perceived to be Muslim: Sikh, Arab, South Asian, Latino, and other brown-skinned Americans. Incidents occurred in every part of the public sphere: houses, workplaces, airports, school grounds, and street corners, in nearly every major city in the United States. In targeted communities, temples were burned, homes vandalized, families threatened, jobs denied, children bullied, women harassed, men and boys beaten and murdered. In fall of 2001, a young woman took off around the country following these hate crimes against the Sikh American community–her community–with a video camera and a streak of bravery. What began as a solitary journey to document untold stories became an award-winning documentary film that inspired a movement for brave new dialogue about race and religion in America.



6:30 PM

Directed By Catherine McGilvray

Documentary Feature (Italy)

58 minutes

How is it humanly possible to receive your daughter’s killer into your home?  The Heart of a Murderer, set in India, tells the true story of Samunder Singh, a twenty-two-year-old fanatic Hindu, who in 1995 murdered Sister Rani Maria, a Franciscan missionary nun from Kerala. The powerful mystery of forgiveness is at the center of the film, illustrating how unconditional forgiveness can truly transform hatred into love.



8:15 PM

Directed By Patrick Solomon

Documentary Feature (USA)

80 minutes

In the early 20th century, while studying world mythology, Joseph Campbell discovered a pattern hidden in every story ever told and he called it “the heroes journey”. A truly inspirational film, FINDING JOE takes us on the ultimate heroes journey: the journey of self discovery. As you slay dragons and uncover treasures, you just may find that the holy grail you seek is closer than you think. Rooted in deeply personal accounts and timeless stories, Finding Joe shows how Campbell’s work is relevant and essential in today’s world and how it provides a narrative for how to live a fully realized life – or as Campbell would simply state, how to “follow your bliss”.


Sunday February 10th


9:00 AM

Directed By Mark Elliot

Documentary Feature (USA)

60 minutes

‘Bodhisattva’ portrays the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa, one of the most important Lamas in the world of Tibetan Buddhism. Many view him as the natural successor to the Dalai Lama as the face of Tibetan Buddhism to the world for the next generation. The film interweaves footage shot on tour with superb background footage of the Karmapa’s childhood in Tibet, sequences in Dharamsala, India, and film of the previous Sixteenth Karmapa, capturing a portrait of this young man of extraordinary warmth, humanity and charisma.



12:10 PM

Directed By Mary Ann Sullivan

Digital Poetry (USA)

5 minutes

Saint Damien Of Molokai volunteered to serve lepers on the island of Molokai, which resulted in the Saint becoming a leper himself. This selfless act of kindness inspired the world to assist the ailing leper colony. This film represents a new genre of poetry, called digital video poetry. Inspired by filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, digital video poems explore shots as moving hieroglyphs and ideograms. Digital poets often combine animated hieroglyphs with words to craft their poems, returning to an ancient form of writing: the pictograph. But unlike early Chinese, Egyptian, and Greek hieroglyphs, these poetic symbols utilize cinematic motion.



12:15 PM

Directed By Robert Corsini

Documentary Short (USA)

12 minutes

For over a decade, Interfaith Communities United For Justice and Peace (ICUJP) has followed a clear mission — to organize communities of faith and conscience to stop blessing war and violence in the face of armed conflict, injustice and intolerance; and to advocate for Justice, Peace, and Human Dignity, by speaking truth to power – to whomever is in power. This 12 minute video, narrated by actor, peace activist and anti-death penalty advocate, Mike Farrell, tells the inspiring story of how ICUJP, under the visionary leadership of Dr. Rev. George Regas, Dr. Rev. James Lawson, and others from a wide spectrum of faith traditions, was formed in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy.  This compelling documentary describes how ICUJP has organized communities of faith and conscience to pursue justice and peace through direct non-violent action, and demonstrates the viability of Interfaith organizing as an effective tool for Justice and Peace both with the United State and in countries around the World.




1:00 PM

Directed By Libby and Len Traubman

Documentary Feature (USA and Nigeria)

65 minutes

200 courageous Muslims and Christians — young women and men unite successfully in Jos, central Nigeria. Refusing to be enemies, they are together during days and evenings of the 2010 International Conference on Youth and Interfaith Communication. Crossing lines of religion, economics, tribe, and gender they transcend the status quo and discover empathy for each other.

Listening-to-learn, they dignify themselves and the “other” realizing that “an enemy is one whose story we have not heard.” Face to face in small circles they begin with ice-breakers and continue in depth, discovering one another’s equal humanity – fear, grief, needs, hopes, and concrete plans for a shared future.