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On the Banks of the Tigris: the hidden story of Iraqi music
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8 November 2015
Jewish International Film Festival - Australia
Australian premiere screenings in Sydney and Melbourne
Event Cinemas, Bondi Junction
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My Year of Living Mindfully
Health & Wellbeing, Refugees
What does an American celebrity who had a meltdown on national television have in common with an Aboriginal Australian elder? What does a Syrian refugee facing the terror and uncertainty of fleeing her war-torn homeland have in common with a British woman dealing with incessant chronic pain? All these people advocate using contemplative practices to cope with the stress of modern life. In the last 20 years, the ancient practice of mindfulness has become a mainstream phenomenon that is hyped as a wonder drug that can reduce stress, change brains, improve relationships, and even treat chronic disease and depression. But while media headlines hail the “Mindful Revolution,” the backlash has also begun, with prominent scientists now warning that the “compelling” meditation research is poorly designed, exaggerated, and may even be dangerous. So who to believe? Can our modern-day troubles really be transformed by learning to contemplate the inner workings of our own mind? Amidst all the ambiguity, why should we put meditation on our daily To Do list? From the producers of the acclaimed documentary The Connection, comes My Year of Living Mindfully, a film which follows journalist Shannon Harvey, as she enlists a team of scientists in order to put meditation to the test. The stressed-out mother of two young kids, who has insomnia and an autoimmune disease decides to meditate every day for a year to find out if it really can revolutionise her health and happiness, or if it’s just another over-hyped, self-help fad. Throughout the year Shannon travels the globe to meet scientists, celebrities, and tribal elders, as well as chronicle the moving stories of people who are using mindfulness to face unimaginable suffering. She meets Vidyamala Burch who lives with a horrific spinal injury, as well as Larisa Abadi*, an aid worker in Jordan who is facing one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our generation, and journalist Dan Harris, who turned to meditation after having a panic attack live on U.S. TV. Featuring interviews with leading scientists including molecular biologist-turned Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, as well as best-selling author Daniel Goleman, and the “father” of contemporary mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn, My Year of Living Mindfully is insightful, captivating, and grounded in scientific evidence. At the end of her year, after more than 400 hours of meditation, Shannon’s scientific team scan her brain, test her immune function, measure her stress hormones, and analyse her DNA to see what if anything, has changed on a biological level. As she faces her moment of truth, Shannon knows that there has never been a greater need for a simple and effective solution to help people cope with the stress of modern life. In the midst of a chronic disease epidemic, when the WHO has warned that mental illness will soon be the biggest burden of disease, Shannon wonders; if her year-long self-experiment fails, what other solutions are left?
Bone to Pick
Community, Education, Health & Wellbeing, Indigenous, Social Justice
LOGLINE:A pet owner switches his dog from processed food to a raw diet in an effort to cure a range of chronic illnesses. The dog’s dramatic recovery compels the owner to embark on a journey to confront the pet food industry and end the global epidemic of sick pets.PARAGRAPH:Bone to Pick“There’s no money in healthy pets, and there’s no money in dead pets. The money is in the middle - pets that are alive, sort of, but with one or more chronic conditions.”- Dr Richard Malik, University of SydneyLike ‘Super Size Me’ and ‘That Sugar Film’, ‘Bone to Pick’ challenges a multibillion dollar industry built on providing low cost and harmful foods to pets across the world.This film follows our celebrity Dan, and his beloved rescue dog, Charlie as they embark on a quest to cure Charlie’s chronic poor health. Dan switches Charlie from processed pet food to a 60-day diet of raw meat and bones whilst he is monitored by 3 international animal experts to track his progress. Charlie’s dramatic recovery surprises everyone and spurs Dan on to investigate the pet food industry that made Charlie so sick. Together they attempt to end the epidemic of ill-health and suffering of pets all over the world. This film will forever change the way you think about what you feed your pet.
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