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First Inspiration Fest celebrating films that ...inspire us


The First Annual Inspiration Film Festival sponsored by Gaiam and launched in conjunction with the LOHAS 9 Forum (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) will take place Sunday, April 24 and Monday, April 25 at the Laemmle Monica 4-Plex in Santa Monica and the Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey.

An Inspiration Film is a movie that inspires us, lifts our spirit, or transforms our lives. We identify with an Inspiration Film's characters on a deep, emotional level, and are motivated by their stories to pursue positive change in our own lives. An Inspiration Film honors the belief that simple choices can change the world and inspires us to make a difference.

One of the highlights of the festival will be the Los Angeles premiere of "Illusion" directed by Michael A. Goorjian and starring Kirk Douglas and Michael A. Goorjian (SLC Punk, Party of Five). This is said to be "one of the best performances" of Kirk Douglas¹ career. "Illusion" won the Screenwriting Award at the 12th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 8th Annual Sonoma Valley Film Festival.

Another feature presentation is the Los Angeles premiere of "Loggerheads" directed by Tim Kirkman (The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me), starring Bonnie Hunt (Cheaper by the Dozen, Life with Bonnie) and Kip Pardue (This Girl¹s Life, Thirteen). "Loggerheads" was an official selection of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival in the Dramatic Competition.

The Inspiration Film Festival will also be screening the Los Angeles premiere of the Canadian film "Saint Ralph", directed by Michael McGowan (My Dog Vincent). The film stars Campbell Scott (Roger Dodger, Big Night), Adam Butcher (Pentagon Papers) and Jennifer Tilly (Home on the Range, The Cat¹s Meow). "St. Ralph" recently garnered the Arc of Gold Award at the Paris Film Festival.

The highly anticipated Los Angeles Premier "Ocean Odyssey" opens the festival. Film director and known composer, Paul Gilman assembles a team of film makers and ocean experts to document his unique experiment, using music to communicate with Dolphins in Hawaii, Orcas in Canada, Humpback whales in the Kingdom of Tonga. This feature length documentary won the Digiquest Jury Award at the 2005 Riverside International Film Festival and the Best of Fest at the 2005 Palm Spring International Film Festival.

Just added to the documentary selections is the Los Angeles Premiere of the award winning feature length documentary, "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" directed by Taggart Siegel. This documentary just won the Al Gore Reel Current Award at the Nashville Film Festival. The film has won numerous awards including, the Audience Award Best Feature Documentary at the Slamdance Film Festival, the Audience Award Best Feature Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival as well as the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award Best Feature Documentary at the Wisconsin Film Festival.

The Inspirational Film Festival will also feature a prestigious jury including, Director, Writer and Producer Johanna Demetrakas; Director Corey Blechman (Dominick & Eugene, Free Willy, Free Willy II, White Lions); Nina Utne, CEO of Utne Magazine; John Raatz, President of Visioneering Group/PR, responsible for the marketing of films, "What the Bleep Do We Know", "Mindwalk" and "Baraka", Barnet Bain, Producer of "What Dreams May Come" and "Celestine Prophecy" and Visual Effects Animator, Marlon West.

"For our first year, we received an overwhelming response to our call for submissions. As a result, all of our features and documentaries are L.A. Premieres", says Program Director, Colleen McNichols. "I¹m proud of every film in this competition."

The screenings of narrative features, full-length documentaries and narrative shorts have been scheduled for Sunday April 24 at the Laemmle Monica 4-Plex, 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica, CA 90401. There will be a Best of the Fest Award ceremony including a screening of the winning feature film and short, followed by a cocktail reception on Monday, April 25 at the Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey, 4375 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 starting at 6:30 PM.

Detailed information and tickets for the Inspiration Film Festival is available at:


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