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The World’s Going to Awake

February 29, 2016

Thousands Inspired by Documentary Film

  Brother Viswananda gave an inspiring introdcution before the screening
 

Lord and Lady Popat giving a tour of the Houses of Parliament to SRF monks Brother Vishwananda (far right) and Brahmachari Shekhar (second from left). Brother Vishwananda gave an inspiring introduction before the screening.

The feature-length documentary film Awake: The Life of Yogananda, released by CounterPoint Films in October 2014, continues to draw new audiences of seekers around the globe as international theatrical showings sell out and expand to a growing number of cities.

In London, England, 80 years after Paramahansa Yogananda’s last visit in 1936, Awake—bringing the Guru’s presence and universal message to a new generation—was received with enthusiasm by a capacity audience at the SRF London Center on January 10, as well as at an exclusive screening at the House of Lords on Monday, January 11. Invitees at the British House of Lords event included parliamentarians and diplomats (including the deputy High Commissioner of India), prominent religious leaders of many faiths, representatives of the Armed Forces, and business and civic leaders—many of whom expressed high praise for the film after the screening.

Press coverage of the House of Lords screening included reviews in the following publications circulated in Great Britain:

  • Hindu Matters: “It is refreshing to see that the world of politics, media, and religion can come together for the greater good. Under the auspices of Lord and Lady Popat, one of the most outstanding documentary features of recent times was screened at the House of Lords….Lord Popat expressed his admiration for screening the film in Parliament: ‘It was an honour to host a private screening of Awake in the House of Lords. Paramahansa Yogananda is one of the most distinguished spiritual figures of modern times and is credited with introducing yoga to the West.’”

  • Asian Voice: “The documentary is enlightening, with ample wisdom to offer. A must watch….”

  • News article printed in Asian Voice  
    News article printed in Asian Voice, January 12, 2016

  • The Times of India: “Lord Dolar Popat, the MP who organized the event, said, ‘It was fascinating to see the film, which was based on real experience. Yoga and meditation are well known Indian cultural heritage techniques, which are also promoted by PM Modi in recent days, and are beneficial for humanity.’”
  Indian Ambasaddor to Italy
 

India’s Ambassador to Italy, His Excellency Sri Basant K. Gupta, opens the film’s premiere in Rome.

In Italy, the Awake release took place in February in Rome, followed by screenings in more than 50 theaters throughout the country. The initial indication from the distributor is that the film has been extremely successful thus far.

The Rome premiere was introduced by India’s Ambassador to Italy, His Excellency Sri Basant K. Gupta, who has authored several books on the scriptures of ancient India. In his introduction to the film (photo right), Ambassador Gupta said that for millennia India has been a land of saints, and that Paramahansa Yogananda was one of the greatest of those saints. He said, “When I think of Yoganandaji, I think of Kriya Yoga. It was his mission to spread Indian spirituality in the West.” Ambassador Gupta then went on to speak on the role of Kriya Yoga as expressed in the Bhagavad Gita.

In Germany, the film has already run in more than 75 theaters to date in all major cities, and screenings are scheduled to continue through June of 2016. According to one media report, “Yogananda’s vision has come true: millions of people around the world are practicing yoga today….If you want to know what Yoga really is you should look at this film.”

  Topics in the film In Mexico, viewers form a long queue in anticipation of watching Awake.
 

At the Federal University of São Paulo/Escola Paulista de Medicina, Brazil, a discussion about topics in the film at an event for health professionals and students.

In Mexico, viewers form a long queue in anticipation of watching Awake.

In Brazil, 32,000 people saw the film within the first 30 days of its screenings. A theater in Rio de Janeiro reported that they had never experienced a film with lines as long as those for Awake. An online Brazilian news source, Jornal BoqNews, reported: “This film creates an immersive experience in invisible fields. Awake: The Life of Yogananda is a film of humanity: the universal struggle of all beings to be free from suffering and find happiness.”

In Mexico, following a hugely successful run in November 2015, Awake has been re-released to 53 film houses in 35 cities by the largest theater chain in the country.

In India, the film opened in January to capacity audiences at many YSS centers throughout the country, and plans are underway for a wider distribution of the film there.

In Australia and New Zealand, the film played for more than 25 weeks in 24 cities, and continues to show in Sydney.

In France, Awake is to be released in March, where it will debut in Paris, followed by a nationwide run.

In Japan, Awake is to be released first in Tokyo in April, and then will be distributed to 30 major cities.

We look forward to sharing with you more news about Awake’s international run as the film is introduced to additional regions of the world.

 gold lotus rule

AWAKE is available through the SRF Online Bookstore in DVD and digital rental formats. Associated products include the companion book, soundtrack, and posters.

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