January 25, 2010

a wonderful weekend!

This was an exciting weekend! On Friday the Finding Kind teaser/trailer premiered at the ReelStories Film Festival! The whole event turned out amazing- Thanks to Katie, Tanner, Harry, Bri, Alec and Omid. There were about 1,000 people who showed up! So rad.

We set up a Kind Campaign booth at the event and sold a bunch of shirts and passed out wristbands, info cards and such. There were some really interesting people at the festival so it was great exposure for KC.

The festival played a series of Pepperdine student films, two trailers
and a two features. I was really impressed with the creativity and heart within the student films. Overall, the selected student films made a strong impression. Pepperdine has some flippin awesome, creative and insanely talented people. I miss it. tear.

Finding Kind was one of the two trailers that played before the feature. It was so amazing to watch on a huge screen. I have seen some of the shorts I have made on a screen like that before, but this was a totally different feeling. Seeing something that I have thought about for 1o years come alive on screen--man. I guess all I can say is that I felt extremely humbled and blessed and excited and many other things all at the same time. Then Molly tapped my shoulder and brought to my attention that Ron Howard and his wife were sitting two seats away from us watching the whole thing. THAT was insane!!!!!

The two features that played are called Red Gold and The Human Experience. I have seen Red Gold probably 5 times- its one of my favorite docs. I met Ben and Travis when I went to MountainFilm for the first time two years ago. They were screening their film for the first time and I remember leaving the theater thinking- I want to do that...I NEED to do that. It was that week that I realized I wanted to make a doc about girl-against-girl "crime", so, in a way, I can thank Ben and Travis
for that inspiration. Ben and Travis are insanely talented. Red Gold portrays the crucial importance of sustaining one of the most abundant Salmon runs in the world, but more importantly sustaining the simplistic yet naturally abundant lifestyle that the Bristol Bay fisherman and community have come to know so well. Its a BEAUTIFUL film with a very important message. You should check out the site and the film here: www.redgoldfilm.com

To the right is one of the still photos from the film.

The festival had two theaters running the two different features. We saw The Human Experience. Molly and I were totally blown away. Its a story about a group of guys who travel the world in search of life's biggest questions- What is the meaning of life? Why do we wake up in the
morning? Who am I? What they found is that the answer is quite simple: life is about faith, love, community and relationships. They guys travel to remote areas of the world, stricken with disease, hunger and devastation, only to find that the people within those communities know more about joy, love and compassion than most of us overpriviledged Americans. Their story shows how connected humans are, no matter where you are or who you are. It was an inspirational and beautiful film. Check out their site here: http://www.grassrootsfilms.com/thehumanexperience/
I had a chance to talk with two of the lead actors and filmmakers, Michael Campo and Jeffrey Azize. They are such awesome guys with so much ahead of them.

The next night, Tom Shadyac had a get together for all of the filmmakers and people who put on
the festival. It was such an amazing night filled with interesting and deep conversation. I LOVE Tom and all the "freaks". The bond we all made at MountainFilm is something so special and unique. That night we were celebrating life, film and another very special happening- Jedidiah and Kenny from Invisible Children were there with some very exiting news. Invisible Children was the 1 Million Dollar winner in the Chase Community Giving competition!!!! It was so awesome to be with them to celebrate such a pivotal moment for their organization. They are such rad guys doing AMAZING work. If you dont know about Invisible Children, you SHOULD. I have seen the documentary before but decided to watch it again last night. I was just as blown away and moved as I was the first time I saw it. I was laying in bed as I watched the film. There is an amazing shot that travels through a "safe house" where the hiding children sleep at night- hundreds of children crammed on a floor, hoping that they will wake up safe and alive in the morning. I couldnt help but lay in my soft, down bed feeling incredibly uncomfortable. Who am I to have my own bed, with my own apartment, with a lock on its door, knowing full well that I will wake up safe in the morning? I just cried. It felt wrong to be sleeping in my cozy bed while watching these innocent children cold, wet and afraid on the floor. I had a thought- that could be me. Its such a simple thought but its so true. I really believe in the work Invisible Children is doing. They deserve every penny of that million dollars. Their organization is the most progressive movement ending the genocide in Uganda and the abduction of child soilders in our world today. Go check out the movement and film here: http://www.invisiblechildren.com/home.php
Watch the film and get involved.

Well, thats enough for now. The weekend was filled with inspiration, amazing people and good times. It gave me fuel and motivation for this week with KC and the doc. Vegard is coming over in a little to watch some docs and continue chipping away at this film.

"The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can."
Robert Cushing

Love WINS.

January 9, 2010


Its 3:00am and I cant sleep for two reasons:

1. I am leaving for the conference in Texas in the morning and haven't packed and its secretly freaking me out.

2. Vegard and I have been working on the documentary trailer for the film festival and today I saw it complete and cut together for the first time. It's hard to express how I felt when I was watching it. I will tell you that within 5 seconds I was in tears and by the end of it I was balling with excitement. I looked at Vee and informed him that that may be the first time in my life I have been full on in tears from being so happy. The trailer is amazing and to sit there and watch all of the work that went into this cut into something was such a surreal experience. It reminded me that this is actually happening. wow. Vee is so talented and our brains are on the same wave length. its good. Cant wait for you all to see the teaser/trailer! It will be on the findingkind site soon!!!

Lauren Parsekian

January 7, 2010

Where to begin...

WOW. I haven't posted in a while and its been three months since we returned home from the road trip! So much has been happening with the non profit and the film!!! Ill just give you a quick update on some things going on...

We landed an AMAAAAAZING editor named Vegard. You can check out his reel here: http://www.vegard-sorby.com/reel.html. He is brilliant and he is awesome to work with! Him and I have been meeting almost everyday for the last two months. We have a lot of fun together and our ideas mesh really well. I think we are going to create a really amazing documentary together :) To the left is a picture of Vegard during one of our editing sessions.

When I first returned home, I had this semi-crazy deadline for myself... thinking we would be able to finish the film within a couple months. After sitting down and sifting through the footage, I quickly realized that my February deadline was a bit nuts... Editing a documentary take A LONG time and Im finding that my vision for the film has changed since we started editing. Its good though because the goal now is to have the film done by July and Vegard and I are feeling better about not rushing the process.

hmm...so much has happened I dont even know where to go next....

Molly made a temporary move to New York to nanny for a family so I haven't been able to see her which is super lame :( BUT...she comes back to Cali this week and I am so excited to have her back in my life! Speaking of Molly, she got engaged!!!!!! I am so happy for her and Chris. They make such a beautiful couple. I want them to have babes so I can be an Aunt :) To the right is Molly being proposed to in Paris!

I am flying out to Texas Saturday morning because Molly and I are speaking at a huge National Charity League conference in Dallas! There are going to be around 1,000 girls there! It will be such a wonderful experience for both Molly and I and the girls. I cant wait to speak! I have been missing the assembly/group discussions that I had become so accustomed to while on the doc road trip. Being with girls and talking about this issue is where the heart of this project lies. Molly and I both get so excited when we know we are going to meet new girls and share Kind Campaign with them.

On Jan 22nd, we are going to be a part of our first film festival! yay! An amazing group of people (shout out Katie Stjernholm!) are putting on a big festival in Malibu. Since Vegard and I dont have a film finished yet, they are letting us show a preview of the doc. They will be playing it before all the films. Vee (my name for Vegard) and I have been working super hard getting it together. Here is a link to the festival website: http://reelstoriesfilmfest.com/
Once its finished we are going to send it to Andrew (our composer) and he is going to set a score to it. It should be pretty rad. We are going to put the trailer on the Doc website so once its finished you can all see it!

Speaking of music...we are stoked to have Nicole Vaughn as our official Finding Kind musical artist! Her amazing tunes are going to be running throughout the film. She is awesome and you should for sure check out her stuff: http://www.myspace.com/nicolevaughnmusic

Since returning, we have a new Producer on board who is helping us with distribution and funding. He is really experienced and a good friend of mine so I am really excited to have him on board. He just finished Producing a film about his father and I was lucky enough to watch one of their final cuts. Its SO phenomenal...it had every element a doc should have- reality, emotion, struggle, comedy. Its really perfect in my opinion. I think its going to win awards and do really well on the festival circuit. Jack did such a wonderful job with the film so I know he will be such an asset to Finding Kind. Here is the link to the doc so you can check it out! http://wreckageofmypast.com/

I met with the Capistrano Unified School District about a month ago and we are set up to go into all of their school this coming September to begin the Kind Campaign school program! That is the goal of this whole operation...to bring the film to schools and tour with an assembly program, so we are so thankful to already have something in the works!

The constant emails that we get from women and girls around the country are so encouraging, so thank YOU. So many of you are so willing to share your stories and open up about really traumatic experiences. Those stories affirm why we are doing this so thank you for the constant reminders.

Well, that's all for now. There are so many other exciting things going on but I wouldnt even know where to start. I am just so excited for 2010! I think big things are going to happen and CHANGE is actually going to occur in the school systems and with females all over the world. THANK YOU for being so supportive and being a part of this!

Lauren Parsekian

PS. Check out this article- It will remind you why this is such an important issue to tackle and confirms the sometimes deadly affects to the way we treat one another.