Hi, my name is Jimmy and I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder on my 30th birthday not long after fighting a continual urge to suicide. From Christmas until Jan 9th, 2013, I spent every day crying. The turning point was when I saw a film called Silver Linings Playbook and finally decided to see a doctor.
The year previous to being diagnosed, I struggled to make friends. Everyone but me noticed there was something “off” about me. Yet no one ever once pulled me aside and mentioned the possibility of a mental illness. The prevailing isolation and detachment from society often discussed in the press, aggravated my bipolar tendencies and ultimately drove me insane. Becoming unable to control myself violently yelling at roommates or breaking down into tears at the slightest criticism.
A series of fortunate coincidences lead me to my first music festival called Lucidity. Once there, I didn’t even notice I was where I belonged. I was knee deep in a world of ultra-acceptance, love, unity, and peace, yet I remain completely unaware. Wandering through the various groups, I slowly started to wake up and become more and more conscious of what I was doing. These festivals alleviated my pain and I started to feel human; more importantly I started to feel like Jimmy again.
Although, transformational festivals have not medically cured me yet, they have provided me with something equally important: community. As Do As One breathing consciousness founder Rabia Hayek says community stands for two things “Come,” and “Unity.” This community kept me alive long enough to get help. They hugged me, they loved, they cared for me, they feed me, they danced with me, they cried with me, they gave to me, they taught me things and in return I started to do the same. On a whole different level I really started to connect with individuals, rather than humans as representative of a group. I began to work my way toward being a productive, contributing member of society.
Now, that’s where you come in. I feel the need to make films which change social attitudes toward individuals with mental illnesses by using the camera to help people make their dreams come true. Ultimately, I want to help in the co-creation of world peace but a good start would be making a movie which contributes to changing how people expect to relate to each other.
One of the most powerful tools festivals use is co-creation within its community. This process stands apart from societies in which authority figures get to create and the community presumably decides by voting yes or no. Inside the festival world you are no longer isolated from the creation process. In fact you are the creator of your own universe. Simply by existing inside the space of a transformational festival you are helping to co-create with others an experience that only you can have. Every single person’s experience is uniquely tailored by themselves. With that radical change in how things occur it's easy to see that the transformational festival scene is not for everyone.
Those that are genetically wired to enjoy staying home, the disabled, or people who do not like electronic music should not have to miss out on the human experiences hidden inside our festivals. Workshops such as Rabia Hayek’s breathing consciousness can easily be done from one’s own living room, cellphone, television, or computer and share in the experience together as one. At the same time I want to find my brothers and sisters who like me, who crave those face to face interactions, but do not know that transformational festivals exist.
What We Need & What You Get
What we need is money! The good news is we only need a little bit from a lot of people. Rather than letting one person give us all the money and one person can taking all the money, we want Project Art to be an interdependent operation creating a circular distribution of funds supporting the artists not the executives. As one of the original creators of Project Art from day one, I have said this project is not about me. This is about us.
What you guys get are the perks listed. This is a lot more fun and instantly gratifying rather than having to wait for the film to be completely finished before getting anything for your money. This also allows we artists of all types to work together in unity. Plus we want you, the investors, to get a piece of art NOW! You shouldn't have to wait to be rewarded for your generosity. Film is a very lengthy and time consuming art form that requires a lot of time and energy. While waiting for the official documentary to be released we will have lots and lots and lots of YouTube/Vimeo/IndieGoGo mini-documentaries for you about the artists who made the art you just traded money for.
According to Thomas Insel there are 38,000 suicides each year in the United States. That is one every 15 minutes which means we cannot afford to wait. Individuals with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anorexia, borderline personality account for 90 percent of suicides. In addition 1 in every 5 people will suffer from one of these disorders. Take count of your Facebook friends, divide that by 5 and that's the number of people you know right now, who at one point in their life will suffer from a mental illness. Furthermore, Richard Wilkinson, durring a TED talk, explains how mental illness is more common with societies that have high income inequality. We in America, more than any other country in the world, have the highest income to inequality.
We like to be number one here in the United States. Well, we have the highest rate of lifetime bipolar disorder. India, on the other hand, has the lowest in the world. With so much of the festival experience being rooted with eastern philosophy practices maybe there is something there. Let's find out if transformational festivals can transform us for the better and the societies we return to. This is something we can find out together as a community. We're not trying to sell you on this in the sense of converting people; we are just putting out there a new possibility. As much as I love technology maybe this time it is not the answer to our problems when it comes to the human experience.
Other Ways You Can Help
Share this page with everyone you know. Feel free to use this page as a safe place to post your comments, questions, or concerns about your loved ones who you believe may be suffering and in pain. Especially if you think someone you know might have a mental illness help them discover it on their own through this page. This is an extremely sensitive subject and the festival community is a great place to shed light on oneself, break down walls, and become conscious. For any questions, concerns or feedback please send an e-mail to Jimmy.Childers@gmail.com.
"The more we continue to go into the matrix the more we will continue to crave for human experiences." ~James R. Childers
University of Dayton Graduate: Bachelors of Arts – Theatre and Film
Entertainment* Education * Enlightenment
Elise uses innovative movement techniques to create a unique performance that draws inspiration from the flow and healing arts. Elise’s Performance comes to life through the use of flow (fire/LED) Props, shapes, dance, choreography, costume and character. Her intention is to provide a performance focused on elements of entertainment, education and enlightenment. The art is in the dance, the flow created by incorporating sacred geometry and healing arts into a mesmerizing performance. The result is educational and inspirational entertainment that provokes the inner workings of the mind and soul to grow and evolve.
When I was applying to NYU film school, I had to answer a question: what film changed your life. I went to the obvious ones first, Citizen Kane, Schindler’s List, Star Wars… until I realized that none of those held a candle to the one (or rather two) films that truly changed my life:The Endless Summer I & II. Never before or since have works of film so inspired me. To me, these were so much more than films, this was a promise of a new way of life, of joy and brightness and communion with the ocean, and through watching them, and believing that if I got in the water and started surfing, everything could change for me. And it did.
Since becoming a filmmaker I’ve longed for the opportunity to make a film with the promise of inspiring others the way The Endless Summer films so inspired me. With James’ project, and the way he wants to tell this story, I feel like this has all the promise to be an amazing, transcendent piece with lasting value and a chance to make a real difference at the core of those who watch.
Mitch Nuyens is a film student out of Santa Monica College. His dream to become a camera operator started in middle school where he first started shooting in the skateboard/bmx scene. His skills as a camera guy exponentially improve with every festival learning from top directors and other photographers insice the festival scene.
Tawni Sands is currently a Conscious Health Facilitator, working to provide her clients with the tools and practice necessary for taking full ownership of their own response system and creativity. Working on the Mental, Emotional, Spiritual and Physical levels of the body, she is currently an M.A. student at the University of Santa Monica, receiving her degree in August 2013, as a Master in the study and practice of Spiritual Psychology. Sands is originally from Anaheim, California, raised in Lutheran Schooling from pre-k through high school. At a young age Sands was motivated to discover the truth about life, which has shaped her own discoveries and experiences of Human Nature and Spirituality. As Sands would say, “Intentions are a very powerful thing, we all have them, the question is whether we are aware of them or not.” Sands received her B.A. in Psychology at Azusa Pacific University back in 2010, which inspired her to look beyond the practice of Modern Psychology as she felt limited in facilitating healing with others. As well as receiving her M.A., Sands is concurrently working towards a certification in Kalos, an Optimal Health Facilitating practice. She will be fully certified within the next year. Sands said, “I knew this time in my life would be special, but I had no idea how wonderful it actually would be.” Sands is currently in the Los Angeles area and can be contacted at Tawni.Sands@Yahoo.com.