Yesterday was a bright, sunny day as we drove into downtown Los Angeles to attend the Elevate Film Festival. I was sure the day would be an amazing experience and I was not disappointed.
As we entered the parking garage, I was delighted to see such colorful people gathering for the event. Surrounding me were members of a new global community . . . each person more interesting than the next!
There was the young man dressed in red striped pants, a sleeveless vest, a feathered fedora and a tiny ukelele. A dark haired vixen sashayed by in a strapless, black ethnic print dress with red heels and scarf. Only her parasol hid her beauty! She was friends with a lithe blonde in a cream colored crochet dress with matching feather swept up into her hair. And never before had I seen a shoulder holster man-bag! How could we enter the building when there was such an amazing display of creativity before even setting foot inside? And how could I have forgotten my camera?
Once inside, a group of drummers gathered on stage. They pounded out rhythms to rock the house and "clear the energy". The Shamanic Cheerleaders danced through the crowd, their sparkly pom poms shaking in time to the beat. Soon, the cheerleaders raised signs to quiet us down. "Be Here Now" was the message. The lights dimmed as native Ecuadorean, Carmen Vicente-Road led an inocation ceremony to begin the festival.
Over the next couple of hours, we witnessed more than 20 short films created to open our hearts, challenge our views and elevate our spirit. The documentaries, narratives, music videos and commercials were created by emerging and professional film makers. Each film maker had been given $1000, a volunteer crew and 7 days to complete their assignment. And none had any advance knowledge of their subject matter! No credits were displayed-this created the opportunity to be purely of service. Mission accomplished! The high quality films made me laugh, cry and think.
The night concluded with an award ceremony emceed by famed yoga teacher Shiva Rea. Reverend Michael Beckwith of the Agape Spiritual Center was awarded The Elevator for his tireless work in elevating the human spirit. Also, a touching tribute to Paul Newman for his work in film and charitable causes was made.
DVD's of a past festival are for sale on their website. Don't miss next year's event when once again all the Tribes will unite!