FILM SYNOPSIS Divine Sparks offers a new story for a new era of health and harmony. Dancing to the beginning of time, it lifts you up and takes youon a journey of wonder. This enchanting “21st century myth of creativity” celebrates the sparks of creativity in the universe—and in you! Like The Little Prince, Divine Sparks speaks to viewers of all ages. Divine Sparks innovative 30-minute multi-media explores a kinetic collage style mixing disparate media and film-making approaches. Conjuring a world of imagination, it mingles live action and animation with diverse accents, original art, music, poetry and dance. The film’s intentional handmade texture—like the freshness of a child’s painting—gives it a look of innocent individuality. A metaphorical reverie about the transformative possibilities in each of us, Divine Sparks connects us to life’s intricate web. Five voices from a “family of the world” playfully intertwine as one. Members of the Limón Dance Company stretch and sway, eyeball puppets cavort, and Native American dancers in full regalia celebrate! Award-winning musician/composer David Rothenberg plays music with birds and whales! Full of wonder and whimsy, Divine Sparks dreams of possibilities. ORIGINS I created Divine Sparks as an illustrated manuscript many moons ago. During a year’s sojourn, I lived in a tiny mountaintop village in the wilds of western Crete with no computer, radio, TV, newspaper, telephone, stores, hot water or English! Spring arrived, and as the mountainside began to bud and bloom anew, I wrote a tale about the world’s beginning, and cut pieces of paper into colorful abstract shapes. My celebratory story about the transformative processes of creativity and the cosmos affirms the origin, diversity, and regeneration of life. It speaks to the inner urges in each of us to grow and evolve. HISTORY Clearly, the Divine Sparks story resonates with people. Over the years, it has been transformed into 12 different projects in 8 different media—usually in local or regional venues. People often urged me to make Divine Sparks more accessible to a larger audience. One day, a friend suggested I learn computer graphics and make an art video for children—as if that would be easy! Nine amazing years later, Divine Sparks is now a film. Divine Sparks is proud of have recieved a significant grant from IFP (Independent Feature Project), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers. The grant helped launch the making of this film. Further funds were raised through IFP’s Fiscal Sponsorship program. RECOGNITION AND AWARDS Divine Sparks film won the Legacy Outstanding Merit Award—at its premiere at the 2012 MIX International Short Film Festival! Divine Sparks has subsequently screened at other film festivals in the US and India. The NAEA (National Art Educators Association) chose Divine Sparks film+guide transmedia project for presentation at their 2013 National Convention. Judge’s Comments “Divine Sparks is a highly original film with an uplifting message. It creatively weaves an ambitious story. While its abstract nature and unconventionality may not appeal to all, children and those open to experiencing the ride will appreciate how this undeniably self-aware film bravely tells the story it set out to tell. Like the sparks themselves, the filmmaker has “erected a divine symphony” in a colorful, thought-provoking short.” - A Judge of The 2012 MIX International Short Film Festival (Richmond, VA) STYLE Technically, Divine Sparks explores a kinetic collage style mixing live action with myriad animation, art and accents. Neither a documentary nor a traditional plot-driven story, this “myth of creativity” is truly a multi-media art film. It was daunting and exciting to interweave several disparate approaches to film-making. One challenge was writing, and keeping to a detailed storyboard and tight film-shoot schedules. A second challenge was being open to—and filming—unscripted and unexpected events as a vital part of the film’s creative process. A third challenge was using found, old, archival images (including stills from the 40’s and film footage from the ‘50’s) to enhance the story. The fourth challenge was interweaving these different methods so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Some key imagery evolved spontaneously. For example, while on-location in the West Indies, a mother hummingbird built a nest, brooded and hatched a baby! Another time, at the end of the last day of filming in the West Indies, a woman farmer showed me a bird’s nest she had found. Together, she and I held the brown nest—with a white seed in it. In the film, this image is layered with an image of the star-filled cosmos—with a starry white nebula at its center. This unplanned shot turned out to be one of my favorite images! In the film, these images appear seamlessly. I believe this unusual multi-process approach adds to the film’s vibrancy, uniqueness and charm. CLIPS To see Divine Sparks trailer, click on the clip at the bottom of the page. For pictures of filming on-location, see the TRAVEL-BLOG page.