Sunday, January 5, 2014

Finding Happiness

 Finding Happiness

The film’s backstory involves a familiar native son who achieved world renown in the 1920s–1950s.  Known as India’s “spiritual ambassador to the West,” Paramhansa Yogananda was one of the most significant spiritual figures of our times, the founding spirit, and continuing guide, of the now global yoga and meditation movement. His Autobiography of a Yogi is the most-read autobiography of all times.

The film’s lead actress is Elisabeth Rohm (see attached biography) who has featured in leading popular US TV series like Law & Order, The Client List and Heroes.  Elisabeth’s most recent film, American Hustle has just been nominated for the 2014 Academy Awards/Oscars in March this year.

Finding Happiness, a film that is both entertaining and enlightening, is produced by Hansa Productions; directed by Ted Nicolaou; produced by Roberto Bessi; executive produced by Shivani Lucki and Nancy Santoshi Kendall. The film was released in the US in November 2013. Its release in India is scheduled for mid-April 2014, preceded by premieres at which the actress, director and producer will be present, together with luminaries from Indian film and other fields. Finding Happiness has received the Award of Excellence at the International Film Festival for Peace, Inspiration and Equality; was a Finalist at the Moondance Film Festival, and is debuting in South America at the Festival International de Cinema e Transcendencia in Brasilia. 

 T h e S to r y
“When you change, your whole world changes.”
The World in Crisis
Economic collapse, government gridlock, climate disasters, senseless
violence, pervasive corruption. Protests, anger, disillusionment, despair.
Against this background, fictional journalist Juliet Palmer, an investigative reporter specializing in stories
that expose corruption, receives an unusual (and unwanted) assignment from her boss at Profiles magazine:
she’ll visit a spiritual community in northern California that has developed alternative solutions to the
world’s problems for nearly half a century. While at Ananda World Brotherhood Village, she’ll interview its
visionary founder.
With a fair portion of skepticism and a dash of curiosity, Juliet embarks on
a professional and personal journey that will open her eyes and change her life.
Filmed on location at the Ananda communities in California, Italy, and
India, Finding Happiness follows Juliet as she talks with the real residents of
Ananda, who answer her questions and welcome her to a reality she had never
imagined possible.
The Background
The story has its origins in the 1920s when yoga arrived on America’s shores in the person of Paramhansa
Yogananda, whose book Autobiography of a Yogi is the best-read autobiography of all time.
Yogananda’s mission included two key points that powerfully influenced his young disciple, J. Donald
Walters, later renowned as Swami Kriyananda. First – personal change starts within. Second – our environment
greatly influences our search for happiness. Yogananda envisioned places where people could put high
principles into action – “world brotherhood colonies,” he called them. In 1968, Swami Kriyananda founded
the first community near Nevada City, California, in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
A Practical Alternative
As Juliet researches Ananda, an inspiring self-portrait of the community
emerges. We meet a group of people who have made the personal journey
from idealism to inner transformation, and who have developed practical
solutions for a sustainable, harmonious, inwardly fulfilling way of life.
In her interviews, especially those with Kriyananda, she finds answers for
her personal quest. His gentle wisdom helps her discover eternal truths with the power to transform her life.

Begin the journey…
Creative Team
Producer Roberto Bessi
Born into a film-making family, Roberto’s career as a producer spans nearly four decades. He is a driving force behind the State Film School of Rome (Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia), which prepares young filmmakers. Roberto is widely respected for his filmmaking innovations, his creativity in resolving filming challenges, and his organizational and leadership skills.
He is the CEO of Empire Studios in Rome and teaches the business aspects of filmmaking at Tor Vegata University in Rome and the European School of Economics in London.
Roberto produced Modigliani (directed by Mile Davis, starring Andy Garcia), and A Good Woman (directed by Mike Baker, with Helen Hunt, Scarlet Johansson and Tom Wilkinson), and was line producer for Ladyhawk (directed by Richard Donner, starring Michelle Pfeiffer).
Recent Films: Terzo Tempo (release in October 2013, awarded at Venice Film Festival), Amori Elementari (post-production, release in February 2014), Mozzarella Stories, Ten Winters (Dieci Inverni, 2009-2010; received 28 awards),
Finding Happiness is Roberto’s first venture into the spiritual documentary genre. He was pleased to bring his vast experience to a film with an uplifting message for humanity, and to establish a relationship with Swami Kriyananda and further his personal quest as a truth seeker.
Writer-Director Ted Nicolaou
Ted came to Finding Happiness through his long association with Roberto Bessi, with whom he made many films. He started with Finding Happiness at the beginning of the development process, three years ago, collaborating on the script and conducting extensive interviews with Swami Kriyananda and members of the Ananda communities in the U.S. and Italy. He created the teaser trailer, attended many of Kriyananda’s public events, did background filming at Ananda Village in 2012, and travelled that year to Italy to direct filming there.
Ted’s first film was the Student Academy Award nominated apocalyptic short Southern hospitality. After moving from Texas to Los Angeles, he honed his craft as a film editor on a dozen low-budget features. (continued) findinghappinessmovie

Begin the journey…
Ted Nicolaou (continued)
Ted wrote and directed the cult science fiction comedy Terrorvision. He created the atmospheric gothic
thriller Subspecies (Paramount Home Video), the first American/Romanian co-production, shot on location
in Transylvania.
For Moonbeam Entertainment and Paramount Home Video he co-wrote and directed the home video
family hits Remote and Dragonworld (Best International Children’s Film 1994, Ruhr International Film
Festival, and Cinemagic Audience Best Feature Film Award 1994, Northern Ireland International Film
Festival), and the enchanted comedies Leapin’ Leprechauns and Magic in the Mirror.
More recently, he has written and directed innovative DVD and Blu-Ray documentary bonus features for
Walt Disney Home Entertainment, including Behind Walt’s Story Meetings for the recently released Diamond
Edition of Bambi – and the feature-length documentary Dali & Disney: A Date with Destino for Fantasia,
about the little-known friendship and collaboration between Walt Disney and surrealist painter Salvador
Dali which led to Destino, the world’s first surrealist cartoon.
Producer Frank Hildebrand
Frank Hildebrand’s production credits over the last five years include films such
as The Tree of Life directed by Terrence Malick and winner of the 2011 Palme d’Or
at the Cannes Film Festival, Fair Game starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts, The
Runaways with Kristen Steward and Dakota Fanning, as well as the documentary
Food Inc. which emerged as one of the most successful documentaries ever distributed
in the U.S. Previously he served as executive producer on Into The Wild, directed
by Sean Penn, which started his relationship with River Road Entertainment.
Hildebrand’s strong international expertise led him to produce films in Europe,
Asia, Africa, New Zealand, and Canada, including Into the Sun, Out of Reach, Sleeping
Dictionary, Beowulf, and Freeway. In addition to working as a freelance producer, he served as a production
executive on feature projects for Sony, Fox, Miramax, New Line and other studios.
Hildebrand also was executive VP of production at Kushner-Locke, overseeing Picking up the Pieces, The
Last Producer and Susan’s Plan, and others. While head of production at Epic/Transworld, he oversaw production
ofTriumph of the Spirit, Firebirds, Bad Influence, and Night Games, among others.
A native of Switzerland, where he received a degree in business administration, he began his career in
London as founder of Jade Film Marketing Ltd., representing major international distributors and producers.

E l i s a b e t h R o h m
Elisabeth Rohm, who plays the lead role of Profiles magazine journalist
Juliet Palmer in Finding Happiness, is known in Hollywood and around the
world for her role as Serena Southerlyn, the assistant district attorney on
NBC’s Law & Order TV series.
Most recently Elisabeth is playing in the Academy awards-nominated film,
American Hustle, directed by David O’Russell (Silver Linings Playbook),
which has just won the 2013 Best Film award by the New York Film Critics,
where she stars alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Christian Bale,
Bradly Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Roberto De Niro.
In addition to acting, Elisabeth is an author, whose third book, Baby Steps, recounts her journey from infertility
to having a child, a daughter to whom she is intensely devoted. Her weekly celebrity blog on People.
com is followed by 1 million-plus readers. An ardent yoga practitioner, Elisabeth was featured on the cover
of LA Yoga with a 6-page article on “Finding Happiness.”
In 2012, in addition to filming Finding Happiness, she starred in the Warner Brothers thriller Transit opposite
James Caviezel, and played with Kyra Sedgwick and Vincent Donofrio in Chlorine. She also filmed the
Lionsgate feature Officer Down directed by Brian A. Miller, and Darkroom, an independent feature directed
by Britt Napier, produced by Michael A. Liberty and Ron Stein (The Kids Are Alright). At the same time,
Elisabeth continues her regular appearance on Lifetime TV’s The Client List as Taylor Berkhalter.
Born in Germany and raised in New York City, Elisabeth’s childhood obsession was horsemanship, for
which she trained extensively. By the time she entered the prestigious Sarah Lawrence college, she’d begun
writing fiction and history, and it was in her college years that she fell in love with acting. After achieving her
degree, she quickly found work in TV and had a recurring role in highly popular shows, Angel, as Detective
Kate Lockley, and in Heroes.
Elisabeth is a spokesperson for the Red Cross, and supports such charities as the Go Red Foundation, and
Healthy Child Healthy World. She’s also actively engaged in helping children and women in need globally.
Begin the journey…
Dolly Polito in
American Hustle
Serena Southerlyn
in Law and Order
Lauren Gilmore
in Heroes
Detective Kate
Lockley in Angel
Robyn in

Finding Happiness is filmed on location at the Ananda communities in the United States, India and Italy. 


No comments:

Post a Comment