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Spirits Rise High with Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival

By: for Idaho Mountain Express on Sept. 23, 2010
World News
A scene from the documentary film "The Asian and Abrahamic Religions: A Divine Encounter in America."
The changing climate of religion in the 21st century has brought about a spiritual awareness and awakening around the world, allowing people to experience life beyond their traditional religious upbringings. In its sixth year, the Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival is a testament to the world's changing spiritual climate, having received over 400 film submissions about spiritual awareness and changing religious ideals and practices.

The Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the exploration of the human spirit through the medium of film and discourse. In the past year, the festival has made a year-round presence in the Wood River Valley with film screenings and discussions.

The festival will kick off at the Sun Valley Pavilion on Thursday, Sept. 16, with Jayanthi Raman's "Shrishti, Creation: Temple Dance Ballet from India." The performance will include a multimedia presentation featuring Jayanthi Raman Dance Company, which includes 11 dancers accompanied by an orchestra of Indian musicians. Raman is the principle dancer and choreographer. The performance will include elaborate stage lighting and will present Bharatha Natyam, a South India dance style. In addition, dancers will also perform Odissi dance style and Manipuri dance with Pung drummer dancers from Manipur who perform folk and tribal dances and martial arts. Original music is by Ganesh Rajagopalan.

"It gets bigger every year," said Executive Director Mary Gervase. "There were so many youth films submitted this year. We added a youth program."

The addition of a youth program will offer children and adults a chance to view films from around the world including animation, documentary and clever dramatic films. The films will be shown in the Sun Valley Resort Boiler Room on Saturday and Sunday.

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