"Enlighten Up!", a Documentary for Yoga Lovers and Skeptics, to Premier at The Maui International Film Festival

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Enlighten Up!, a documentary film about a skeptic's journey into the world of yoga, is slated for its world premiere 6:00 p.m. Thursday, June 12, 2008 at the Maui International Film Festival in Wailea, Hawaii. Featuring beautifully shot scenes in Hawaii, India and the United States and first-hand interviews with yoga luminaries including Norman Allen, Pattabhi Jois and B.K.S. Iyengar, the film takes a fresh look at yoga through the irreverent eyes of a New York City journalist Nick Rosen as documented by Kate Churchill, a Boston-based filmaker who believes yoga can transform Nick.

Yoga skeptic Nick Rosen strikes a pose

"Enlighten Up!", a documentary film about a skeptic's journey into the world of yoga, is slated for its world premiere 6:00 p.m. Thursday, June 12, 2008 at the Maui International Film Festival in Wailea, Hawaii.

The feature-length film is distinguished by its view of mystical yoga through the eyes of a curious-but-skeptical hedonist. The film follows Nick Rosen, a 29-year-old New York City journalist, through mainland United States, Hawaii and India as Boston-based filmmaker and yoga enthusiast Kate Churchill documents Nick's increasing immersion in the world of yoga. Her goal is to prove that yoga can transform anyone, even Nick.

Before he can say "om", Nick finds himself twisted like a pretzel surrounded by celebrity yogis, true believers, kooks, entrepreneurs and some dedicated teachers. The more Nick investigates yoga, the more contradictions he discovers and the more he foils Kate's original plan to document his transformation. As the two circle the globe they don't find the answers to their questions, they find much more.

Nick and Kate visit many of yoga's most renowned teachers in order to answer Nick's questions, including Norman Allen on Hawaii's Big Island. Norman is the first American to study with Pattabhi Jois, the Indian yoga teacher who developed the current practice of Ashtanga Yoga. Norman helped introduce the athletic practice to the United States, where it spawned into a sweaty, aerobic "power yoga" boom. He is legendary among yoga practitioners for forsaking commercialism, moving to Hawaii and staying true to the spiritual elements of yoga; yoga practice has grown into a $20 billion industry in the U.S., but Norman only charges his students if they don't' show up for class. In "EnlightenUp!", Norman's down-to-earth words of wisdom for Nick contrast sharply with some of the celebrity yoga teachers Nick and Kate interview in the United States.

Nick and Kate also visit and interview Pattabhi Jois himself and B.K.S. Iyengar, the founder of Iyengar Yoga (who was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine).

Additional yoga teachers who share their insights are Sharon Gannon and David Life of Jivamukt Yoga, Dharma Mitra of Dharma Mitra Yoga, Diamond Dallas Page former pro wrestler turned yoga teacher, Sharath Rangaswamy (grandson of Pattabhi Jois), Dr. Madan Kataria of Laughing Yoga, Rodney Yee star yogi in Living Arts videos, Cyndi Lee of OM Yoga, Gurmukh of Golden Bridge Yoga, Alan Finger of Yogaworks, Baron Baptiste of Baptiste Power Yoga, Beryl Bender Birch of Hard and Soft Yoga and Natasha Rizopoulos of Yogaworks.

The beautifully shot scenes in Hawaii, India and the United States, the first-hand interviews with yoga luminaries and the fresh look at yoga through somewhat irreverent eyes give this film a wide scope to explore the meaning of transformation.

Ticket Information:
"Enlighten Up!"
Thursday, June 12th 6:00pm
Castle Theater-Maui Arts & Cultural Center
Order tickets online:
http://www.mauifilmfestival.com/mffw_tickets.php
Phone: 808-572-3456 (FILM)
Open daily 10 am - 6 pm (Hawaii Standard Time)
Tickets $10

For more on "EnlightenUp!", visit the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKQw0-IlJiY or the film's website at http://www.enlightenupthefilm.com.

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Lynda Radosevich
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917-922-7020
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Kate Churchill