Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Esalen Inspirational Film Festival Welcomes Artistic Director Trina Wyatt
"This work exposes me to new worlds, new information, new inspiration and new tools that nurture my growth and help me live more consciously. I love how visual stories can change how you see the world." —Trina Wyatt


The Seventh Annual Esalen Inspirational Film Festival (EIFF) comes to life May 3–8 at Esalen, attracting acclaimed filmmakers and film enthusiasts to explore thought-provoking cinema in an interactive environment.

This year the festival also welcomes a new artistic director, Trina Wyatt, who was founding director of Tribeca Film Festival and currently serves as founder and CEO of Conscious Good, a community-driven media platform dedicated to raising consciousness.

“The Esalen Inspirational Film Festival is unique in that Esalen was founded on the human potential movement and the visual stories that will be featured celebrate that human potential,” Trina says. “People are craving more meaning in their lives and therefore they crave it in the stories they experience.”

A film festival specifically curated with inspiring films is vital now, Trina adds, noting that while technology today has allowed immediate access to more information for everyone from Baby Boomers and Millennials to Gen Z, it has also created many “distractions, false images and dreams.”

“In addition to these advanced technologies, we also have a large populace that has either turned away from, or not growing up with, organized religion,” Trina shares. “More than a quarter of Americans say they are spiritual but not religious. That's up from 19 percent in 2012.

“People are waking up to the fact that their happiness is not dependent on something or someone outside of themselves. The nature and spirit of Esalen are integral to the festival experience because it brings together people in new ways. We hope the films presented help people discover something new within themselves.”

An inventive mix of panel discussions, presentations, master classes and stimulating conversation are on the creative roster during the five-day span of EIFF. The festival welcomes everyone and will be of particular interest to content creators and anyone with a passion for the environment, spirituality, social justice and personal growth. This is also a rare, collaborative opportunity to interact with filmmakers.

“It’s exciting to have Trina on board,” says Corinne Bourdeau, festival co-director. “It’s been an injection of great energy, new ideas and everyone is taking things to the next level. To have somebody who has been involved with Tribeca has allowed for amazing new ideas, brainstorming and we’ve been able to incorporate all of that into the festival.”

Cinema By The Sea

This year’s festival features a combination of award-winning films, special sneak previews, intimate discussions and question-and-answer sessions with directors. Several presentations explore the themes of storytelling, myths, the hero’s journey and female filmmakers. Feature films that originated at Esalen will also be screened.

One big coup: Chris Vogler, the author of The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, considered a classic work for screenwriters, writers and novelists, will attend the festival for a 25th anniversary celebration of his book.

“One truly unique thing about this festival is that it’s a destination festival,” Trina says. “We will have small groups interacting with each other constantly throughout the duration instead of popping in and out for a screening, and then going home. I think attendees can make lifelong friendships here and creative collaborations can be ignited.”

Originally from California, Trina grew up in Honolulu. She says her interest in film began at an early age: “Ever since I saw Bugsy Malone in grade school I have loved visual stories.” When Trina first began programming at Tribeca, she oversaw its independent film series, First Look. “A little-known fact is that the week I got the job at Tribeca, I was also accepted to Columbia University Film School,” she says. “I decided to defer film school for a year to work at Tribeca and, well, I stayed and skipped the school part.”

At Tribeca, she honed in on what audiences responded to and why, and established a lifeline to creators who appreciated finding a home for their work. “I love supporting visual artists in birthing their work and having it seen by an appreciative audience,” she says.

“My greatest challenge in launching the Tribeca Film Festival was managing organizational politics and large personalities—we all came together to help rebuild Lower Manhattan and heal ourselves and each other after 9/11—but from that experience, and in the years that followed, I have learned the importance of balancing a healthy ego with humility.”

That kind of discernment eventually led Trina to become Head of Content at Gaiam TV, part of a “conscious media” platform that streams thousands of inspiring videos. The rewarding experience helped her recognize how conscious media was evolving and she eventually went on to galvanize creators and audiences in new, courageous ways with the launch of Conscious Good, which “elevates entertainment” through online videos, podcasts and an innovative creators’ network.

“This work exposes me to new worlds, new information, new inspiration and new tools that nurture my growth and help me live more consciously,” Trina says. “I love how visual stories can change how you see the world. I’m highly sensitive and an avid dreamer so I love being so deeply impacted by what I watch that I think about the story and the characters for days. I think about how I can apply that inspiration to my own life.”


“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
"This work exposes me to new worlds, new information, new inspiration and new tools that nurture my growth and help me live more consciously. I love how visual stories can change how you see the world." —Trina Wyatt


The Seventh Annual Esalen Inspirational Film Festival (EIFF) comes to life May 3–8 at Esalen, attracting acclaimed filmmakers and film enthusiasts to explore thought-provoking cinema in an interactive environment.

This year the festival also welcomes a new artistic director, Trina Wyatt, who was founding director of Tribeca Film Festival and currently serves as founder and CEO of Conscious Good, a community-driven media platform dedicated to raising consciousness.

“The Esalen Inspirational Film Festival is unique in that Esalen was founded on the human potential movement and the visual stories that will be featured celebrate that human potential,” Trina says. “People are craving more meaning in their lives and therefore they crave it in the stories they experience.”

A film festival specifically curated with inspiring films is vital now, Trina adds, noting that while technology today has allowed immediate access to more information for everyone from Baby Boomers and Millennials to Gen Z, it has also created many “distractions, false images and dreams.”

“In addition to these advanced technologies, we also have a large populace that has either turned away from, or not growing up with, organized religion,” Trina shares. “More than a quarter of Americans say they are spiritual but not religious. That's up from 19 percent in 2012.

“People are waking up to the fact that their happiness is not dependent on something or someone outside of themselves. The nature and spirit of Esalen are integral to the festival experience because it brings together people in new ways. We hope the films presented help people discover something new within themselves.”

An inventive mix of panel discussions, presentations, master classes and stimulating conversation are on the creative roster during the five-day span of EIFF. The festival welcomes everyone and will be of particular interest to content creators and anyone with a passion for the environment, spirituality, social justice and personal growth. This is also a rare, collaborative opportunity to interact with filmmakers.

“It’s exciting to have Trina on board,” says Corinne Bourdeau, festival co-director. “It’s been an injection of great energy, new ideas and everyone is taking things to the next level. To have somebody who has been involved with Tribeca has allowed for amazing new ideas, brainstorming and we’ve been able to incorporate all of that into the festival.”

Cinema By The Sea

This year’s festival features a combination of award-winning films, special sneak previews, intimate discussions and question-and-answer sessions with directors. Several presentations explore the themes of storytelling, myths, the hero’s journey and female filmmakers. Feature films that originated at Esalen will also be screened.

One big coup: Chris Vogler, the author of The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, considered a classic work for screenwriters, writers and novelists, will attend the festival for a 25th anniversary celebration of his book.

“One truly unique thing about this festival is that it’s a destination festival,” Trina says. “We will have small groups interacting with each other constantly throughout the duration instead of popping in and out for a screening, and then going home. I think attendees can make lifelong friendships here and creative collaborations can be ignited.”

Originally from California, Trina grew up in Honolulu. She says her interest in film began at an early age: “Ever since I saw Bugsy Malone in grade school I have loved visual stories.” When Trina first began programming at Tribeca, she oversaw its independent film series, First Look. “A little-known fact is that the week I got the job at Tribeca, I was also accepted to Columbia University Film School,” she says. “I decided to defer film school for a year to work at Tribeca and, well, I stayed and skipped the school part.”

At Tribeca, she honed in on what audiences responded to and why, and established a lifeline to creators who appreciated finding a home for their work. “I love supporting visual artists in birthing their work and having it seen by an appreciative audience,” she says.

“My greatest challenge in launching the Tribeca Film Festival was managing organizational politics and large personalities—we all came together to help rebuild Lower Manhattan and heal ourselves and each other after 9/11—but from that experience, and in the years that followed, I have learned the importance of balancing a healthy ego with humility.”

That kind of discernment eventually led Trina to become Head of Content at Gaiam TV, part of a “conscious media” platform that streams thousands of inspiring videos. The rewarding experience helped her recognize how conscious media was evolving and she eventually went on to galvanize creators and audiences in new, courageous ways with the launch of Conscious Good, which “elevates entertainment” through online videos, podcasts and an innovative creators’ network.

“This work exposes me to new worlds, new information, new inspiration and new tools that nurture my growth and help me live more consciously,” Trina says. “I love how visual stories can change how you see the world. I’m highly sensitive and an avid dreamer so I love being so deeply impacted by what I watch that I think about the story and the characters for days. I think about how I can apply that inspiration to my own life.”


“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

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