An Awakened Heart

Directed by Vital Pictures
Visit Film Site: vitalpix.com

an-awakened-heart_still_01Of the hundreds of millions of faithful who identify as Christian, Jewish or Muslim, relatively few are aware of the deep influence of mystical practice at the core of their religious traditions. Most associate mysticism with Eastern religious practice. How mystical tradition is echoed in each of the great Abrahamic traditions- in history and today- remains largely unknown. Yet mysticism- the view that all of reality are unified in a single divine expression- is a living dimension of each of these religions. Even more stunning is that their mystical doctrines, meditations and beliefs exhibit stunning similarity. They are all saying essentially the same thing: that “God” is One, that we are all united in divinity and we should strive to wake up from the delusion that we’re all living separately in a world of competing egos.

This two-hour special will reveal these similarities– while still conveying the cultural differences. The songs, art, poetry and teachings in each these Abrahamic mystical traditions are beautiful and breathtaking in their inspirational quality and insight.  Our final project will include a website, a CD and a print volume of collected writings and poetry from the mystical traditions of the three faiths.

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Vital Pictures

Llewellyn M. Smith President of Vital Pictures, Inc, contributed as a writer/producer to such celebrated PBS series as Eyes On The Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years and the critically acclaimed PBS history series American Experience, where as Series Editor he played a key role in origination, development and acquisition of more than 70 programs on American history.  For the acclaimed 3-hour PBS series RACE: The Power Of An Illusion, Smith produced the program The House We Live In.  Smith was also co-executive producer for the duPont Columbia award winning PBS series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? Most recently, Smith was the director/producer for Herskovits At the Heart Of Blackness.

Christine Herbes-Sommers Vice President of Vital Pictures, Inc., has produced a wide range of PBS documentaries and dramas, earning her an Emmy nomination, a duPont Columbia Award for her ground breaking documentary Joan Robinson-One Woman’s Story, several Cine Golden Eagles and many other awards. She is Executive producer of Herskovits At the Heart of Blackness; was Senior Series Producer for Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, the duPont Columbia award winning four hour PBS series and major outreach campaign on health and social injustice broadcast in 2008.

Kelly Thomson Co-Producer was the Series Associate Producer for the four part series, Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick and was recently Associate Producer for the one-hour, Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness.  She has worked on a number of independent films and shorts over the past ten years including: Untamed, Hotels 4, All Falls Down, Milk, A Vote for Choice, and Funeral of the Last Gypsy King. Kelly Thomson received her BA from New York University in Religious Studies.
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Funding for An Awakened Heart: The National Endowment for the Humanities and the Henry Luce Foundation.

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