Vaisnavi Conference Oct. 1-3

On Saturday, October 2, Praladananda devi dasi, a new York-based film producer, will be presenting a seminar in New Vrindaban on film production for amateurs. Her presentation is entitled “How to Film: Making the Best Use of Your Time and Video Equipment.”

This seminar will cover a wide spectrum of topics such as how to frame or compose an image; looking at light and shadow; filming from different angles and perspectives; zooming in and out; and the art of interviewing. Praladananda will also discuss the use of sound. Students will be given time to practice what they are shown, and to bring their work back for review and discussion. Bring either a camcorder or zoom-and-shoot digital with video capacity.

Praladananda is currently producing a 60-minute documentary film on New Vrindaban’s Palace of Gold. “The Palace of Gold is an architectural wonder,” said Praladananda.

“The devotees who built the Palace of Gold had a dream. Very few people make their dreams into reality, but they did it,” explained Praladananda. “The devotees who built the Palace of Gold were young, and in general they had no previous training or experience. But they dedicated their lives to building the Palace, and they have left their mark on the world. The Palace will be here for many years to come.

“What is most amazing is that the Palace of Gold is in the beautiful countryside of New Vrindaban. The walking trails, rolling hills and abundant wildlife are the perfect setting for city people who need to de-stress,” said Praladananda with appreciation. “Even the deer and birds feel at peace here. It feels like a sanctuary.”

Praladananda, a native of the Carribean island of Trinidad, began her film career as an editor. Working on other people’s films as an editor inspired Praladananda to start producing her own films. “I mostly edited feature films, but my focus as a producer is documentaries. I like documentaries because I can make a difference in people’s lives,” confided Praladananda. “I produced a film on blindness in Nigeria in western Africa, where 4 million people are blind because they cannot afford a simple cataract operation that costs $80.”

Praladananda’s seminar on film production is part of New Vrindaban Community’s Ninth Annual Vaishnavi Retreat from October 1 – 3. This retreat is an opportunity for women to nourish their bodies, minds, and souls in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Last year, over seventy women from across North America visited Marshall County during the beautiful autumn season.

Other seminar topics this year include:

* Hatha yoga (yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) by Gopimata dd, a certified yoga instructor who teaches nationally

* “The Culture of Care Starts From Within” by Vraja Lila dd, a certified coach in Non-violent Communication who conducts seminars world-wide

* “The Freedom in Forgiveness” (exploring forgiveness as a spiritual practice) by Radha dd, who conducts seminars on conflict resolution and alternative dispute resolution across the US, and is also a certified peer counselor for victims of domestic violence

Healthy vegetarian meals will be provided for retreat participants, and lodging is also available. A small donation of $10 per seminar is requested from women do not wish to attend the entire retreat.

New Vrindaban Community is located south of Moundsville – Wheeling, off Route 250. For more information about the Vaishnavi Retreat, call (304) 845-9591 or visit www.

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