First Stars I See Tonight

First Stars I See Tonight

First Stars I See Tonight is an inspirational animated/live-action short film, which narrates the story of a girl (Elle Fanning) with night blindness and how her father (James Patrick Stuart) helps her to finally see the stars.

The film is part of an upcoming variety show, HitRECord on TV by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which will debut at Sundance on January 18th.

First Stars I See Tonight

Hoping for Peace in Our Time: Wishes For a Wonderful New Year!

Dove of Peace: Pablo Picasso, Lithograph (1949)

There is so much to be grateful for! Best wishes to all for a Wonderful, Happy and Healthy New Year! God bless us everyone!

Playing For Change: Song Around the World – “Stand By Me”

Heroic Naki’o: Every Path Has Its Puddle….

Heroic Naki’o: Every Path Has Its Puddle….

Naki’o is a heart-warming documentary short film directed by Aaron Pendergast in association with New District Productions, which tells the heroic story of a courageous abandoned puppy. When Naki’o was a small puppy, he was deserted during a frigid Nebraska winter in the basement of a foreclosed home along with his mother. The drastically low winter temperatures and starvation took the mother’s life; but Naki’o, despite being frozen in a puddle of ice water, miraculously survived. His survival, however, came at a tragic cost: by the time he was rescued by Colorado’s All Aboard Animal Rescue, Naki’o had lost all four paws and the tip of his tail to frostbite.

As soon as Christie Pace, a veterinary technician who lives in Colorado Springs, saw Naki’o’s picture, she knew that she had fallen in love with him. “When I got him he was 8 weeks, 4 pounds, and he was missing patches of fur because he had mange. But, he was just such a happy guy,” Pace said. While she knew Naki’o was missing all four paws, as well as part of his tail and nose, she also believed that she would be able to find a solution down the road.

Thanks to Pace, the wounds healed into stumps. Although his lack of paws did not seem too much of a hurdle when Naki’o was just a small puppy, trouble began as he grew bigger and Naki’o found himself unable to support his own weight with his stumps. Pace raised money to pay for prosthetic devices for Naki’o by organizing fundraisers. She then contacted OrthoPets, a US company that specializes in customizing artificial limbs and orthotic braces for animals, to create prosthetics for Naki’o. When they saw Naki’o, however, the animal hospital decided to treat him for free.

Two prosthetic devices were attached to his hind legs. Some months later, prosthetic legs were similarly fitted to his front stumps. Although Naki’o’s life began in a state of heart-wrenching tragedy, he’s now a happy, high-spirited dog, who is able to run, jump, play games and even go swimming.

The World’s First Bionic Dog Steps Up to the Challenge

Heroic Naki’o: Every Path Has Its Puddle….

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As I Am: We Are Meant to Find Each Other

As I Am: We Are Meant to Find Each Other

The more I keep thinking about when I died, when I was a child, I got a job to do.
I wish I could remember what God told me to do.
I wish I could remember the cuts I’m supposed to take, what cuts I’m supposed to create.
What I know is, we are meant to connect, to find each other.
Eyes to see. Hands to feel. Hearts to love.

As I Am is a beautiful, sensitive documentary short film by Emmy-Award winning photojournalist/filmmaker Alan Spearman. The poetic and powerful imagery of the film follows the Memphis landscape of remarkable young Chris Dean, revealing the many lives that have shaped his world. Told in Dean’s own words, the film is a long spoken word poem describing his trenchant observations about life: his thoughts and feelings regarding the places and people that make up his home. As I Am portrays Dean’s hopes, fears and, more than anything, his sensitivity and grace. The film has recently been nominated for Best Live Action Short Film in the 2013 Short of the Week Awards, with winners to be announced beginning February 4, 2013.

Chris Dean’s heart stopped when he was two; he died but he came back. When Chris was five, his father was murdered, shot with more than 20 bullets in a gang shootout. In 2011, at age 18, Chris gained national attention when he introduced President Barack Obama at his high school graduation. Chris is an observer-philosopher who has always had a few things to say about life from his vantage point in South Memphis. As I Am is a wonderful work, which originally premiered on the website of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

As I Am: We Are Meant to Find Each Other

Booker T. Washington Senior Christopher Dean Introduces President Barack Obama

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Origami: An Inspirational Journey Between Generations

Origami: An Inspirational Journey Between Generations

Origami (2012) is a thoughtful, visually stunning animated short film that was created in the Japanese Noh tradition by five students, Joanne Smithies, Eric De Melo Bueno, Michael Moreno, Hugo Bailly Desmarchelier and Camille Turon, at L’Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistique (Montpellier, France). In the film, a young boy spends time alone with his grandfather, but the difference between the generations cannot be more marked. Combining artistic skill and imagination is something that cannot happen without inspiration, and eventually the boy has to embark upon a journey into his own mind’s eye to connect both to his art and to his grandfather.

Origami: An Inspirational Journey Between Generations

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A Heart-Melting Baby Elephant Rescue in Kenyan National Park

A Heart-Melting Baby Elephant Rescue in Kenyan National Park

When an eight-month-old baby elephant fell into a muddy watering hole at the Aboseli National Park in Kenya, a team of conservationists from Amboseli Trust for Elephants rushed to figure out a way to rescue the calf. Although she was just a baby and too small to climb out of the hole herself, the calf was too large for rescuers to lift out of the hole. Amboseli Trust for Elephants’ Vicki Fishlock used her Land Rover to force the calf’s mother away from the hole so that rescuers could reach the stranded elephant. After more than a half-hour, rescuers were able to finally get a rope around the calf and slowly pull her out of the hole.

They captured the rescue operation on video, which has a beautifully happy ending and rather hilarious off-camera commentary: “So this is Zombe’s calf, who we’re all delighted is so big and fat and healthy, until we have to pull her out of a hole!” After the rescue, Fishlock stated: “Relief! Rescues where family members are around are stressful, and I’m always happy when everyone is safely back in the cars. And I have to admit that the reunions always bring a tear to my eye. The intensity of their affection for each other is one of the things that makes elephants so special.”

Amboseli Trust for Elephants works to protect and study elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. They have a fantastic YouTube channel documenting their work, and you can watch more animal videos from their Fauna series here.

A Heart-Melting Baby Elephant Rescue in Kenyan National Park

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Golden Fall: Dreamlike Moments of Pleasure

Golden Fall: Dreamlike Moments of Pleasure

Golden Fall is a wonderful inspirational documentary short film by Miles Peterson, which captures spectacular fall colors in dreamlike moments of pleasure. Music is Flumina by Fennesz and Sakamoto.

Golden Fall: Dreamlike Moments of Pleasure

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