“If the whole world is a home, India has always been the prayer room – for reflection and inner transformation,” said Houstonian Mandar Apte in his film From India with Love (www.FromIndiaWithLove.org). Apte quit his job as the head of the GameChanger social innovation program at Shell to devote all his time to creating projects to combat the rampant violence in our world with India’s wisdom about love, peace and nonviolence. Mandar co-founded the nonprofit Media Rise (www.MediaRise.org), which encourages the consumption and creation of meaningful media that promotes universal human values such as compassion, empathy and respect.
From India with Love is his latest project; it’s exactly the kind of media endorsed by his nonprofit. Mandar served as producer/director on the film and gathered a team of experts to bring it to life. The short documentary follows Mandar leading six people to India who have experienced intense violence firsthand: a single mother whose son was brutally murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting and her best friend; a former Los Angeles gang member; a Newark, New Jersey educator; and a couple who were Black Lives Matter activists from Oakland, California. The inspiration for this trip was the transformational journey taken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he visited India in 1959 to deepen his understanding of the teachings of nonviolence as used by Mahatma Gandhi. The film serves as a visual postcard for future leadership delegations Apte is taking to India on a regular basis (the next one is September 24–October 3, 2017). It will soon be on iTunes® for the public to see.
The travelers were taken on an amazing journey – from sharing time with over three million people at the “World Cultures Festival” in New Delhi to visiting the Taj Mahal, staying in an ashram and plunging into the holy waters of the renowned Ganges River. Along the way, they learned meditation and yoga practices in the tradition of the Art of Living Foundation, whose founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, met with the group privately. It’s an inspiring film – one that encourages the viewer to stop, breathe and look closely for ways they can transform their own communities.
WANT TO SEE MORE ART FILMS?
Check out these venues
14 Pews (www.14pews.org)
Alamo Drafthouse (www.drafthouse.com)
Asia Society (www.asiasociety.org/texas)
Aurora Picture Show (www.aurorapictureshow.org)
Blaffer Art Museum (www.blafferartmuseum.org)
Café Brasil (www.cafe-brasil.net)
Contemporary Arts Museum (www.camh.org)
Discovery Green (www.discoverygreen.com)
Holocaust Museum (www.hmh.org)
Jewish Community Center (www.erjcchouston.org)
Landmark River Oaks Theatre (www.landmarktheatres.com)
Menil Collection (www.menil.org)
Miller Outdoor Theatre (www.milleroutdoortheatre.com)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (www.mfah.org/films)
Orange Show (www.orangeshow.org)
Rice Cinema (www.ricecinema.rice.edu)
Sundance Cinemas (www.sundancecinemas.com)