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Inaugural World Culture Film Festival to Celebrate Uplifting and Unifying Global Cinema in Los Angeles

Inaugural World Culture Film Festival to Celebrate Uplifting and Unifying Global Cinema in Los Angeles

  • Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the four-day program includes films by Oscar nominated filmmakers Wim Wenders and Pawo Choyning Dorji.

The inaugural World Culture Film Festival (WCFF), which celebrates uplifting and unifying global cinema, will be held  in Los Angeles later this month. Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and hosted by the Art of Living Foundation, the four-day event  promises entertainment that uplifts, bringing stories from every part of the world that elevate human consciousness through the art of cinema, organizers said in a press release.

The festival will open with the feature film presentation of “The Monk and The Gun” by Bhutan-born writer and director Pawo Choyning Dorji, who rose to prominence with his 2019 Oscar-nominated feature film (best international feature), “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom.”

More than 60 films from over 60 countries including, Australia, Belgium, Mexico, Tibet, Japan, Germany, and Brazil will be screened from July 25-28.The films will be showcased in person at USC’s Ray Stark Theater and the newly-reopened former-Downtown Independent Theater, and on the online streaming platform, EOFlix, available on July 20. 

Some of the prominent films that will screen include Justin Grant and Laurens Goud’s “Our Voice, Our Heart” (2024 Golden Doc Winner, Asia & Australia), Radha Mehta’s “Dosh” (2024 Slamdance George Starks Spirit Award Winner), Julio Palacio’s “Makayla’s Voice: A Letter to the World” (2024 Tribeca Best Short Documentary), Dash Kolos’ “Crown, Harry Holland’s Last Call” starring Tom Holland, and Oscar Nominee Wim Wenders’ “Perfect Days,” the closing night film of the festival.

Leading the film festival team are executive directors, Anabelle D. Munro and Sej Saraiya. This dynamic duo brings years of experience in film production and film festival leadership. Munro is the CEO and founder of the ETHOS Film Awards and Institute, currently in its sixth season. She is an award-winning director, writer and producer at Blue Boots Entertainment. Saraiya is an award-winning, transdisciplinary visual artist with a focus on indigenous narratives. Her films boast over 30 international awards and her photographs grace galleries, universities, and museums. She serves on the board of the Garifuna Indigenous Film Festival, contributes to the Topanga Film Festival, and holds a Master of Fine Arts from USC.

Jatin Chaurasia, the driving force behind WCFF, is an accomplished executive producer with a rich 20-year background in entrepreneurship. As CEO of Sumeru Inc. and Sumeru Studios, his expertise in leading international teams and pioneering technological innovation has significantly benefited legacy organizations worldwide.

In a joint statement, Saraiya and Munro, who also programmed the films, said, “We are thrilled to be launching the inaugural World Culture Film Festival, hosted by the Art of Living Foundation and in partnership with USC. The overwhelming response we have received from filmmakers across the globe has been nothing short of inspiring.” The co-executive directors further added, “We are particularly grateful to be entrusted with the vision of a remarkable and kind spirit who stands as one of the most influential humanitarians of our time. WCFF warmly welcomes everyone from around the world to join us in this celebration of film as a powerful medium for envisioning a better tomorrow.”

Some of the big event highlights outside of the screenings include a live table read of the script, “Logic of Love” with renowned director and producer Barnet Bain (“What Dreams May Come,” “The Celestine Prophecy”), industry panels such as the Film Festival Director’s Panel,  an Environmental Panel, and a Storytelling Panel with Vernon Foster, Gil Junger (“10 Things I Hate About You”), and Sebastien Siegel (“Grace and Grit”). Capping the events schedule is a binaural beats music experience with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and music composer and recording producer, Stephen Hilton (“Kung Fu Panda,” “Quantum of Solace”). 

In its maiden year itself, WCFF has attracted partners such as USC School of Cinematic Arts, screening a total of 11 USC student films,  Filmmakers Alliance, EOFlix, Sumeru Studios, and Ethos Film Awards.

WCFF has a diverse and international jury team that includes Brazlian-American social impact producer Sandra de Castro Buffington; former Miss India and actress Manasvi Mamgai; writer/director and president of the Filmmakers Alliance (Los Angeles), Jacques Thelemaque; filmmaker and brand strategist Dr. Anusha Srinivasan; and executive producer and founder of ‘The Flow Project’ Alex Moreno, among others. 

See Also

WCFF is dedicated to showcasing films that inspire, educate, and celebrate diverse cultures, and through compelling narratives and artistic expression, the festival aims to foster unity and understanding among global communities. These unique experiences aim to immerse attendees in the beauty of storytelling and the power of cultural exchange.

Program Schedule: 

Events Schedule:

Passes and Tickets: 

Online festival passes:  – virtual screenings available from July 20-27, 2024.

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