Thursday, March 8th, 2012. 7:30pm-8:30pm - Project Happiness Workshop with Randy Taran
Project Happiness: Skills for a Meaningful Life Is happiness a habit that can be developed? Learn to identify, cultivate, and practice personal happiness in all aspects of your life in this one hour workshop. Deepening your happiness is not a selfish act – it enriches our lives and the lives of others. Engage in a stimulating group discussion with other people wanting more happiness in their own lives and in the lives of people they care about. Empower yourself by recognizing patterns that can increase your happiness and gain a renewed awareness of your own strengths.
Led by: Randy Taran Randy Taran is an author, motivational speaker, and the creator, narrator and producer of the award-winning documentary, Project Happiness. Inspired by the making of the documentary, Randy went on to create Project Happiness, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California. Project Happiness creates educational programs to teach young people how to find their authentic happiness no matter their external situation. Her programs are currently being used by hundreds of schools and organizations throughout 42 states and in 29 countries.
Thursday, March 8th, 2012. 8:30pm-9:30pm - Project Happiness Film. Randy Taran will answers questions about the film afterwards.
Here is a summary of the Project Happiness recent achievements from Randy Taran:
As I look back on 2011, I am so grateful for the profound impact Project Happiness has been able to make in the lives of so many young people throughout the world. This has been a huge year for us and it has been made possible thanks to the support of people like you. This year, the Project Happiness team has worked passionately to amplify your generosity and we are well positioned to make an even bigger impact in 2012! To date, Project Happiness programs are being used in schools in 40 states and 27 countries.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2011
* Project Happiness educational curriculum was initiated in more than 230 schools and organizations spanning nearly every U.S. state and in countries throughout the world! * The Project Happiness online curriculum was incorporated into the Science of Happiness class at the University of Southern California and into programs and conferences at Stanford University. Project Happiness Town Halls have been hosted at USC, Rollins College, Clark University, Creighton University and Emory University. * I have had the honor to speak about Project Happiness at Google, TEDx GoldenGateED, the Wisdom 2.0 Youth conference, Stanford University, Tibet House, the University of Southern California, the New York Open Center and for the George Lucas Educational Foundation. * The Project Happiness film premiered in May and has been chosen as an official selection at 17 film festivals where it has won three awards for excellence in documentary film making. * Our first schoolwide Project Happiness program was implemented at the Saklan School with all students, kindergarten through eighth grade participating. * Project Happiness continues with its global expansion! In 2011, we brought on Emmanuel Ande Ivorgba as director of African programming. With his guidance, Project Happiness is affecting social change with more than 1000 children in Nigeria. African programming is now being expanded into Kenya, Ethiopia, Liberia and Egypt. * In India, we have launched a year-long program to teach Project Happiness to children from the urban slums of Delhi. This program is being headed by Vibha, founder of the NGO Muskaan. * Proyecto Felicidad! We have just finalized the Spanish language version of the Project Happiness film and will be premiering it next month in Mexico. In addition to the film, all of our other resources will be available in early 2012 for the Spanish speaking communities here in the U.S. and abroad.
Thursday, March 8th, 2012. 9:45pm-10:00pm - Very Short Excerpt read from “Justice, Peace, Prosperity and Sustainability: Why economics obstructs these goals, and what we can do about it.” Written by Kellia Ramares. For more information see details below.
Thursday, March 8th, 2012. 10:00pm-10:15pm- Awards Presentation.
Mugs Cahill, Screenwriter of '40 Days Road.'
Thursday, March 8th, 2012. In person or online- Script Reading Exhibitions - "40 Days Road" read by screenwriter Mugs Cahill
3-Line Synopsis of Script An American priest kidnapped along with a female physician from Doctors Without Borders finds his faith by losing his religion in war-torn Darfur.
Thursday, March 8th, 2012 - More in person or online Script Reading Exhibitions
“Justice, Peace, Prosperity and Sustainability: Why economics obstructs these goals, and what we can do about it.” Written by Kellia Ramares
Economics obstructs these goals because we use money to acquire the goods and services we need to survive as a biological being (food, clothing, shelter and healthcare) and to thrive as an engaged member of society (education, transportation, communication, and the tools of one’s chosen trade or profession).
For most of us, access to money is rationed via access to jobs, and access to jobs is rationed via competition. It is this fact of competition for access that is at the basis of the economy’s failure to satisfy everyone’s needs.
Even if all greed, corruption, discrimination and war were to magically disappear tomorrow, the fact of competition would be there. Competition for resources is at the root of the other four. By trying to eliminate those four without eliminating competition for resources is only treating the symptoms and not the disease that afflicts humanity today.
Capitalist politicians across the political spectrum, as well as socialists, talk about job creation as the answer. Job creation does not solve the problem because you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet.
Even if you could have a very high level of employment, after a while, you run into the problem of “enough”. Especially with today’s technologies that increase individual productivity, we overproduce, which is a waste of environmental resources. Also, when we overproduce, inventory builds up, workers get laid off, and their decreased purchasing power kicks off a chain reaction that gives us the familiar boom and bust cycle. Overproduction is the problem of capitalism that socialism’s insistence on the human right to a job does not solve.
Creating a just, peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world for all means firstly a revolution in thinking, which is why I wish to give this talk to raise consciousness. The revolution will include relegating our competitive urges to the sports and games sector, (re)building community and (re)learning how to share, recognizing that individual freedom and achievement is maximized by being in community not outside it, and ultimately abolishing monetary systems, which ration goods unfairly and destroy community.
I will talk about the values we must develop (pointing out where we have them already), encourage discussion of values and lead an exercise in community building without money.
My qualifications to undertake this project are a lifetime in the work world, where I have seen “close up and personal” the failure of economic systems based on money to provide well for people, formal education in economics (BA Fordham University 1977) and law (JD Indiana University – Bloomington, 1980), and over a decade in journalism, including work for Pacifica Radio Station KPFA, Free speech Radio News, Women’s International News Gathering Service WINGS) Indymedia and Radio4All.net (Under the names R.I.S.E. and Broadcaster At-Large. I have also written articles for several web sites, most frequently Intrepid Report (formerly Online Journal), Center for Research on Globalisation and my own web site The End of Money: A Critique of Paying, Owing and Working “for a living.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Kellia is a freelance journalist in Oakland, CA who left the Pacifica Radio Network in July, 2010 after 11+ years in the KPFA news department and over 10 years with Free Speech Radio News. She has also done extensive work and audio and print on the Internet, most frequently for Women's International News Gathering Service and Online Journal. She has covered a wide range of stories, for Pacifica and independently, from the controversy over spraying pesticides to control an infestation of glassy-winged sharp shooters in Sonoma county, to 9-11 Truth, Peak Oil, a plethora of environmental stories and performance enhancing drugs in major league baseball. She also writes book reviews and commentaries for the Internet on occasion. Kellia is looking forward to spending more time on a book project called: The End of Money: a critique of paying, owing, and working "for a living", which asks the question: "Why must we pay to live on the planet we're born on?"
Saturday, March 10th, 2012. 7:00pm-8:15pm - Cultures of Resistance
Cultures of Resistance 3-Line Synopsis In 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, director Iara Lee embarked on a journey to better understand a world increasingly embroiled in conflict and, as she saw it, heading for self-destruction. After several years, traveling over five continents, Iara encountered growing numbers of people who committed their lives to promote change. This is their story.
Programming Descriptors FORMS:Documentary GENRES:Independent, Environmental, Period/Historical, Social Issue, News
Medium Synopsis Does each gesture really make a difference? Can music and dance be weapons of peace? In 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, director Iara Lee embarked on a journey to better understand a world increasingly embroiled in conflict and, as she saw it, heading for self-destruction. After several years, traveling over five continents, Iara encountered growing numbers of people who committed their lives to promote change. This is their story. From IRAN, where the graffiti and rap became tools in fighting back the regime, to BURMA, where monks acting in the tradition of Gandhi take on a dictatorship, moving on to BRAZIL, where musicians reach out to slum kids and transform guns into guitars, and ending in PALESTINIAN refugee camps in LEBANON, where photography, music, and film have given a voice to those rarely heard, CULTURES OF RESISTANCE explores how art and creativity can be the ammunition in the battle for peace and justice.
Featuring: Medellín poets for peace, Capoeira masters from Brazil, Niger Delta militants, Iranian graffiti artists, women’s movement leaders in Rwanda, Lebanon’s refugee filmmakers, U.S. political pranksters, indigenous Kayapó activists from the Xingu River, Israeli dissidents, hip-hop artists from Palestine, and many more...
People in the Film CULTURES OF RESISTANCE does not focus on one place in the world where a military unit or private corporation is violating a group of people’s human rights. Instead, the film looks at conflicts all over the world and seeks out artists who devote their work to fighting injustice and violence.
Poets for Peace Medellín, Colombia, a city once notorious for drug violence, is reinventing itself as a world center for the living word. We attend the Medellín International Poetry Festival, which has been instrumental to this transformation by bringing the work of poets committed to promoting peace and social justice to the wider public. Founded in 1991, when the streets of Medellín were at their worst, organizers envisioned the festival as a form of artistic resistance against injustice and terrorism at the hands of drug cartels and the military. Over the years the festival has brought 1,000 poets from over 140 countries to Colombia and in 2006 received a Right Livelihood Award, widely known as "The Alternative Nobel Peace Prize.
Iranian Graffiti Artists In Iran we encounter citizens who are at once patriotic—in rejecting heavy-handed threats from the U.S.—and critical of their own government—taking personal risks to demand greater political freedoms. Among these are the so-called Tehran Rats, a group of graffiti artists that under the cover of night expresses its dissent with spray-paint on city walls. As one of their members says, “good art is something that moves and shakes you.”
Rwandan Women Leadership In Rwanda, where a greater proportion of women serve in the legislature than in any other country, we meet Hutu women who risked their lives to protect Tutsi children during the country’s 1994 genocide. One survivor, standing next to the rescuer who put herself in danger to help him, describes his experience: “She took me into the house and suggested that I hide up in the roof,” the survivor says. “I came out after three months, together with this brave woman.”
Liberian Cartoonist In Liberia we encounter Leslie Lumeh, a survivor of his country’s civil war in the 1990s, who has since made sketches to recreate scenes from the conflict. Lumeh’s work was featured in a short documentary that aired on a local television station in Monrovia, which provoked then-president Charles Taylor to force the artist and his family into exile. Since his return home in 2005, his work has been widely welcomed and he continues to draw and paint to encourage ongoing peace in Liberia.
Brazilian Favela Photographer Artists and community organizers work to stem violence in one of the most turbulent urban spaces in the world: the slums of Rio De Janeiro. One of them is photographer Andre Cypriano, whose startling images document the existence of those who persevere to build peaceful lives amid widespread poverty and despair. “These communities are where the violence exists,” Cypriano tells us. “But why? Through my photos I try to show where the problem is, where the solution is.”
Lebanon’s Refugee Filmmakers In Lebanon we meet filmmakers who are devoted to offering their craft to those trapped within the walls of refugee camps. By giving the art of film to members of these communities, they are providing the tools to make visible what life is like for Palestinian refugees. As one member of the Zakira Photo Project says, “When you give them the camera, they feel a responsibility to document the community, so you are empowering them.”
Political Pranksters The Yes Men are about as skilled as it gets in the art of deception. They first garnered international attention when one of them posed as a spokesperson for Dow Chemical on live television to make an announcement that would temporarily cause the company’s stock value to fall by over $1 billion. Since then, they have continued to pull off outrageous stunts, including the distribution of a special edition of The New York Times. The fake newspaper announced the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other improbable news, and asked its readers to think deeply about the state of our world.
Indigenous Activists We travel to the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, where the Brazilian government has for decades pushed for the construction of the so-called Belo Monte dam. If built, it would be the world’s third largest dam and would displace many thousands of the region’s residents. During our visit we encountered an uprising of over 1,000 people from various indigenous communities who were joined by national and international supporters to express their unequivocal opposition to the project. Today, their resistance remains as unified as ever.
Israeli Dissidents The Israel/Palestine conflict often gets reduced to worn-out accusations and talking points, and in the process loses sight of the real human suffering that comes as its result. Jeff Halper, an Israeli citizen who has become a vocal opponent of many of his government’s policies, is one member of a surprisingly vibrant community that condemns its government’s policies toward the Palestinian people.
Hip-Hop Artists from Palestine Palestinian hip-hop group Katibe 5 carries on a tradition of socially conscious rap, even as the genre becomes increasingly commercialized in the U.S. The group is made up of five members who came of age together inside the walls of a refugee camp in Beirut where over 16,000 people reside in less than a square mile. While the plight of the Palestinian people is a central focus of their work, they rap in solidarity with other struggles around the world. As one member put it, “We're not just Palestinian refugees speaking about our problems, or our lives in the camps, because the problems we face are not only a Palestinian problem. All over the world there are people who are oppressed, people who are incarcerated, people who are suffering."
Monks of the Saffron Revolution In Burma, where a military junta has refused to recognize the democratically elected leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi and has ignored calls for national dialogue, voices of dissent have been brutally repressed. But there are signs of hope and courage here, too. Dressed in brilliant saffron robes, the monks in this heavily Buddhist nation have braved the possibility of arrest, torture, and even execution in order to give voice to a more humane ethics.
This is only a handful of the inspiring artists who appear in the movie. You can see them and many more perform their music and explain what motivates their work in CULTURES OF RESISTANCE.
The Power of Nonviolence: A statement by Iara Lee Cultures of Resistance director Iara Lee states: "The Cultures of Resistance (CoR) feature documentary profiles conflicts in over 10 countries—including Israel/Palestine, Nigeria, and Burma—with a focus on how artists and musicians creatively oppose various forms of oppression. As both a filmmaker and an activist, I believe that nonviolent resistance is the only effective, long-term approach to conflict resolution. Nonviolence does not mean passivity. In fact, strategic nonviolence is often militant, active, and requires its practitioners to put themselves on the line. It uses unarmed resistance to create a crisis that undermines the viability of violence and oppression.
"In the film, I try to explore the challenge of violence; I show situations where victims of injustice resort to violence in order to address their grievances. While I can sympathize with the deep frustration and legitimate indignation that motivates such action, I do not endorse their approach. I ultimately believe that artistic resistance combined with active nonviolence, as advocated by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., is the only way to break the cycles of militarism and oppression upon which so many of the world’s injustices depend.
"When combating a massive military machine that profits from the creation of militarized conflict, choosing the path of armed resistance plays into our opponents' strengths. I hope to show in my work that our strengths--the strengths of forces promoting democracy, human rights, and economic justice--are based in art, creativity, and grassroots participation in nonviolent social movements."
Friday, March 10th, 2012. 8:15pm-8:30pm - Community Feedback and Conversation about the film Cultures of Resistance.
Saturday, March 10th, 2012. 8:30pm-8:45pm - "One Minute" Film followed by Q+A with Director Dutch Merrick
One Minute 3-Line Synopsis The Shortest Film about our Longest War. Are War and Gasoline connected? Take this Hummer for a short spin and see both sides of the story about how we actually acquire our comfortable lifestyle.
Programming Descriptors FORMS:Narrative Fiction, Short GENRES:Alternative, Educational, Microcinema, Human Rights, War, Environmental, Docu-Drama, Social Issue NICHES:Native/Aboriginal Peoples, Black, Hispanic, Islamic, Latino, Native American, Third World, Youth/Teen, Buddhist
Foreign Titles ENGLISH One Minute SPANISH Un Minuto
Medium Synopsis Billions of dollars and over a million lives have been poured into promoting and fighting recent wars in the middle east, just as countless dollars have been shoveled into glorifying our runaway consumption. Find a connection, within the context of your everyday existence, between our daily lifestyle choices and the destruction occurring halfway round the world.
Long Synopsis Give me a minute and I'll give you the truth about why American, British and a tiny handful of other Western powers are compelled to wage wars of aggression in oil-rich lands. Our consumptive, wasteful lifestyle choices are biting us in the ass, hard.
We're just not feeling it painfully enough yet. That's the long.. ..and the short of it.
Saturday, March 10th, 2012. "Debt to Society " 8:45pm ~ 9:02pm with Q+A afterwards with Director Bradd Hopkins. Bradd Hopkins is an award-winning screenwriter, author and publisher of award-wining fiction and non-fiction books. Bradd's Debt to Society screenplay is based on his award-winning original short story by the same name.
Programming Descriptors FORMS:Short GENRES:Drama, Horror, Thriller, Human Rights, Social Issue NICHES:Hispanic
Long Synopsis An imprisoned felon in a dystopian future pays his Debt to Society in sinister lottery when his number is drawn the day after a poignant visit from his wife and children.
Xavier, prisoner 1031, is doing hard time for manslaughter, soon to be paroled, when his number comes up as an involuntary organ donor in the corporate correctional system’s legal lottery.
Co-opted by their own economic necessities in a jobless economy, prison administrators, parole board members, and guards, as well as the prisoners and their families, are insulted, desensitized, and dehumanized in a macabre process that is designed only to assure fiscal viability at the expense of human dignity.
At every contact with the dysfunctional system, Xavier’s family is violated and degraded incidentally, but in the broader view, it becomes hard to determine who the victims really are. As the viewer absorbs the impact of Xavier’s losses, awareness emerges that the losses to the victimizers are even greater.
This work touches on the psychological horror of a powerful institutional system-gone-mad that compromises human values and ethics in the name of profits while maintaining a hypocritical façade of callous political correctness and superficial legality.
For more information about this award winning film, please see the profile for this film on the Love to SURGE Directory found at www.LoveToSurge.org or visit the profile page found here.
Important Note Regarding the Below Schedule: Make certain to click on "Look for more" found below in order to see more events.
Exact February 2013 Schedule of films and screenplay reading will be posted in early 2013.