Rajesh became a filmmaker driven by his passion to preserve Sanatana Dharma's (Hinduism's) core philosophy of Vedanta and Vedic traditions. He has completed film, photography and multi-media projects to preserve the teachings of India's renowned philosopher-saint, Sri Adi Shankaracharya (Sringeri lineage). He has volunteered his time for film and photography projects for the United Nations Foundation for Women and other non-profit organizations. Rajesh is also a technology entrepreneur. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Anne is an independent art curator and a first-time filmmaker. She has anchored her life around service, kindness circles, and teaching meditation and yoga. For the last decade, she has been passionately working with artists and creators who are making a positive impact on our world. She is an active member of ServiceSpace and conducts kindness circles in Bay Area schools. She is also a contributing editor for Conversations.org. She lives with her husband and two children in Mill Valley, California.
// Hear the filmmakers speak about the film and its journey in this global Awakin Call, When Animals are Our Healers
rajesh krishnan & anne veh
Son of the legendary Sarode Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, Alam has been touching the hearts of audiences worldwide for over 15 years. Since his initial training into the Maihar Seni Gharana at the age of seven, Alam was blessed to learn and live in the traditional style of Guru and student. Ali Akbar Khan's careful crafting and guidance shows in each note as well as in Alam's imaginative way of expressing the ancient ragas passed down from the courts of Emperor Akbar by Mian Tansen in the 16th century. Alam's performance career was introduced to the world when he began accompanying his father onstage, internationally, from 1996 to 2006. They played in such prestigious venues as the Royal Jodhpur Palace, the Dover Lane Music Festival in Calcutta, and New York's Lincoln Center Jazz festival, as well as highly acclaimed concerts all over the United States, Canada, Europe and India. http://www.alamkhan.com/ http://grandtapestry.com/
// Listen to the film's music featured in Alam Khan's album "Vignettes." (Becoming, Open & Through the Dark)
SOUND DESIGN, ENGINEERING, ADDITIONAL MUSIC
Todd Boston is a composer, guitarist/multi instrumentalist and producer that defies what is possible for one musician. Live he produces an organic and mesmerizing sound marrying together his love of music, nature and technology. Todd fuses advanced finger style guitar techniques, wood flute, percussion and instruments of the world together with live looping and computer technology. He has toured internationally reaching audiences in the United States, Europe, Russia, India, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. As a performer for concert audiences, festivals, yoga classes or at the bedside of hospital patients, Todd invokes the feelings of nature in his melodic, and rhythmic playing to inspire and soothe his listeners. www.toddboston.com
Steve is the Founder and ex-Executive Director of Wildlife Associates, the organization that is featured in the film. Steve is a former National Park Service ranger, renowned environmental educator and award-winning environmental reporter who has appeared on local and national news, PBS, CNN, Larry King Live, Discovery, Disney, Animal Planet, National Geographic Explorer and on his own nationally syndicated environmental news segment, Earth Journal. Learn more about Steve: Wildlife Associates, Conversations.org, Awakin.org, Parabola
John is an intervention-specialist with the Santa Clara County Unified School District. He began his life of service at the young age of 21 years, when he led group therapy sessions for the county probation department. For over half a century, John has been serving some of the most vulnerable populations in the San Francisco Bay Area. In one of his many life-roles, John established the “The Foundry School” for justice-involved youth. For the last 40 years, without a break, he has led free intergenerational community support groups focusing on grief and trauma. Since 1980, John is the Director of the 500 Mile American Indian Spiritual Marathon. Learn more about John at Conversations.org
Michelle is the Assistant Director of Wildlife Associates. She is a highly experienced animal-caregiver and educator. For over two decades she has worked closely with Steve Karlin to manage both the caregiving and educational aspects of Wildlife Associates. Despite her many responsibilities, Michelle is hands-on with animal care and is passionate about working with justice-involved youth. She has also mentored and trained many animal care-givers and is frequently sought after for advice on taking care of injured wild animals.
Jen began her work at Wildlife Associates as an educator/animal care-giver and later became their Science curriculum coordinator. She played a key role in developing the programs focused on healing At-Risk-Teens and Foster Children. She developed animal-based science curriculums aligned to school Science standards. She created and taught teacher workshops to Science teachers (school and university) incorporating storytelling and "mystery" animal-teachers. As a care-giver she was responsible for over 50 injured wild animals. For the last two decades she has worked with animals in various capacities from Director of Animal Care for a nature center in Connecticut to care-giving roles for the Bronx Zoo and Los Angeles Zoo. She has worked with canines, felines, birds of prey, reptiles, rainforest animals and urban wildlife. Jen has a BS in Psychology. She is now the owner of a private pet care company in Half Moon Bay, CA. www.jenkotkinpetcare.com
Susan is the Principal at Peterson Middle School in Santa Clara County, CA. The school caters to a diverse population of students in one of the most populated counties in the Bay Area.
Brett was a middle school teacher at Peterson Middle School in Santa Clara County, CA. He now teaches high school in Florida.
(Information about the children, young-adults, justice-involved-youth and parents have been withheld due to privacy reasons)
Please visit here — Wild-Teachers — for a list of the animal-teachers and their stories.
Wildlife Associates is the Half Moon Bay, CA, USA, based non-profit organization that is featured in this film. Founded in 1980 by renowned environmental educator Steve Karlin, Wildlife Associates was the product of two things—his long study of the evolution of human learning, and a strong belief that humans need to better perceive their relationship with the living world. He knew that these educational experiences needed to be transformative—and they needed to bridge the chasm between the human and wild worlds.
Since 1980, Wildlife Associates has provided nationally acclaimed educational programs for children, families, and adults throughout the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. At their 120-acre wildlife sanctuary in Half Moon Bay, they care for more than 50 non-releasable animals that could not survive in the wild. These amazing animals take on the role of “Wild Teachers” in their educational programs.
Designed to help students of all ages be scientifically literate citizens and good stewards of the earth, Wildlife Associates provides over 800 educational presentations each year. In addition to the school-assembly programs, they offer adult and family wildlife experiences and lectures to professional groups and community organizations. The sanctuary also offers foster and at-risk youth a place to heal and re-imagine their lives with programs that meet their important needs. Find out more here: http://wildlifeassociates.org
ServiceSpace is an organization run entirely by volunteers. They leverage technology to encourage everyday people around the world to do small acts of service. Their aim is to ignite the fundamental generosity in ourselves and others, creating both inner and outer transformation.
ServiceSpace was conceived by volunteers, was built by volunteers, and is run by volunteers — all for the benefit of volunteers. Their projects range from a daily positive news service, to an acts-of-kindness portal, to a gift-economy restaurant. Regardless of the endeavor, they act in concert to create service opportunities for each other and to support each other's service journeys. www.servicespace.org
(The filmmakers were introduced to Wildlife Associates through a ServiceSpace event. The filmmakers are grateful for their inspiration and support of the film).