Anupam Kher narrated Award Winning biographical documentary on Paramahansa Yogananda ‘Awake’

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‘Awake : The Life of Yogananda’ to release in India on June 17, marking the ‘International Yoga Day’ on June 21

Mumbai, May 31, 2016: After wowing the audience across the world, the award-winning documentary, Awake: The Life of Yogananda, an unconventional biography on the life of an eminent Indian Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda is slated for a Pan India release on June 17. Narrated by veteran actor Anupam Kher, the docu-feature is releasing a week ahead of the International Yoga Day, which is celebrated on June 21.

Yogananda, widely regarded as the Father of Yoga in the West and author of the best-selling spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi” has also inspired many including the Founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, George Harrison, lead guitarist of The Beatles, the celebrated Indian musician, late Ravi Shankar and Indian superstar Amitach Bachchan.

Written and directed by Academy Award Nominated director Paola Di Florio (Home of the Brave) and Lisa Leeman (One Lucky Elephant) the film features interviews with George Harrison, lead guitarist of The Beatles, the world-renowned Indian musician, late Ravi Shankar, , Deepak Chopra, holistic health pioneer, Krishna Das, famous Kirtan musician and many others who have found inspiration in Paramhansa’s writings and teachings.

The film distributed by Muviwale Entertainment Pvt. Ltd in India will be releasing in major cities, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Noida, Gurgaon, Ranchi and Thane. Expressing her joy about the India release, the Academy award nominated director Lisa Leeman says, “I have great reverence for the ancient wisdom teachings of India, and I am absolutely thrilled that Awake will screen across Yogananda’s beloved homeland of India.  I’ve always been a seeker, and while making Awake, I enjoyed the filmic challenge of figuring out how a biography of a meditation master could convey Eastern teachings in a visceral, cinematic way that Western audiences could understand.  I’d like to think that Yogananda, who was born in India in 1893 and came to the United States in 1920, would get a kick out of seeing this film about his life and teachings come full circle, screening across his beloved India in the twenty first century.”

The co-director Paola di Florio adds, “India holds a very special place in my heart. I went there for the first time to film Awake: the Life of Yogananda. I was a bit of a skeptic at the time and could not have imagined that the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda would completely change my life.  Following the Guru’s footsteps through Kolkata, Ranchi, Varanasi and the high Himalayas left an indelible mark on my soul. I returned with a thirst for a deeper spiritual connection, which is when I became initiated into Kriya Yoga. This practice has continued for the past five years to be an ever-growing anchor for me in Satchitananda.  The opening of Awake in India marks a seminal moment. It feels like Paramahansaji’s teachings of India’s ancient wisdom have come full circle.”

The critically acclaimed film about the East Indian mystic who brought yoga to the west in the 1920s, is produced by Peter Rade, Paola Di Florio and Lisa Leeman. The film has won many awards and accolades at the festivals such as Audience Award at Illuminate Film Festival, Spirit in Cinema Award at Maui Film Festival, Conscious Life Award at Conscious Life Expo Film Festival and was screened at prestigious fests like Seattle International film Festival, Tel Aviv Spirit Film Festival, Heart International Women’s Film Festival, etc and has successfully released in countries like U.S, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Greece, Italy, France, and Japan.

A private screening of the film took place in New York hosted by the Indian Consulate the day before its world theatrical debut, and next month, in celebration of the second annual International Day of Yoga.  Also, a special screening of the film took place at the British House of Lords in January 2016 to an audience consisting of parliamentarians, diplomats, the deputy High Commissioner of India, prominent religious figures, and business and civic leaders. Interestingly, the Embassy of India in Washington D.C. will host a special screening of the film on International Yoga Day i.e June 21.

Synopsis of the film

AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda is an unconventional biography about an Indian Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. This feature documentary explores the life and teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, who authored the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today. It was the only book that Steve Jobs had on his iPad, and he arranged to give away 800 copies of it to the dignitaries who attended his memorial service. It was also a point of entry into Eastern mysticism for George Harrison, Russell Simmons and countless yogis. By personalizing his own quest for enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path, Yogananda made ancient teachings accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and ultimately helping millions of seekers today to turn their attention inwards, bucking the temptations of the material world in pursuit of self-realization

About Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952) is considered one of the preeminent spiritual figures of modern times. Author of the best-selling spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, this beloved world teacher came to America in 1920 from his native India, and was the first great master of yoga to live and teach in the West for an extended period (more than 30 years). Widely recognized as the Father of Yoga in the West, he founded Self-Realization Fellowship (1920) and Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (1917), which continues to carry on his spiritual legacy worldwide today under the leadership of Sri Mrinalini Mata, one of his closest disciples.

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The directors of the film, Paola Di Flori and Lisa Leeman are available for interviews. Kindly let us know if you would like to speak to them.

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