RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked The World, the documentary that examines the often-under-appreciated role of Native American tradition in the evolution of American popular music, received the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the 2017 Illuminate Film Festival, in Sedona. Directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana, the film features Link Wray, Robbie Robertson, Jesse Ed Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Randy Castillo, Martin Scorsese, Quincy Jones, Steven Tyler, Iggy Pop, Tony Bennett and George Clinton. Second place went to Hare Krishna! The Mantra, The Movement and the Swami Who Started It All, directed by John Griesser and co-directed by Jean Griesser and Lauren Ross.
In the feature competition section, Hare Krishna! took home the coveted 2017 Feature Competition Jury Prize. The documentary follows the true story of an unexpected, prolific, and controversial revolutionary, 70-year-old Indian Swami Srila Prabhupada, whose unflinching determination and faith ignited the worldwide Hare Krishna movement.
The Georgia Wyss-directed documentary, Mantra – Sounds Into Silence, captured the Director’s Choice Award. The film offers viewers a transformative journey of the human experience through which music is used to reach, unify and liberate even those on the outskirts of humanity. An Honorable Mention went to the Opening Night film HEAL, by director Kelly Noonan, which attracted the festival’s largest audience of the year.
The Audience Award for Best Short Film went to The Invisible World, directed by Jen Fineran. This short documentary tells the story of artist Mark Weiss as he embarks on a mystical transformation through the 10,000 scrapes and strokes needed to manifest a single work of art. The runner up in the Short Film category was environmental doc Straws, directed by Illuminate alum Linda Booker (Bringing It Home, 2015).
The Illuminate Film Festival Impact Award went to City of Joy by Madeleine Gavin, which highlights the tremendous resilience of abused women in the Republic of Congo who transform their suffering into inspired forms of leadership with the help of playwright Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues). The screening sparked a cathartic post-screening discussion where filmgoers courageously shared powerful personal stories. All The Rage, a film about healing chronic pain through the mind-body connection, took home an Honorable Mention.
Organizers announced its first satellite festival, the Illuminate Film Festival Retreat on October 6-9, 2017 in Santa Cruz, California.