'Awake: The Life of Yogananda' to release pan-India on June 17

Mumbai: The award-winning documentary “Awake: The Life of Yogananda”, an unconventional biography on the life of an eminent Indian Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda, is slated for a pan-India release on June 17. It is narrated by veteran actor Anupam Kher. The docu-feature is releasing a week ahead of the International Yoga Day, which is celebrated on June 21.  Written and directed by Paola Di Florio and Lisa Leeman, the film features interviews with George Harrison, lead guitarist of The Beatles; the world-renowned Indian musician, late Ravi Shanka; holistic health pioneer Deepak Chopra; famous Kirtan musician Krishna Das; and many others who have found inspiration in Paramhansa's writings and teachings. The film, distributed by Muviwale Entertainment Pvt Ltd in India, will be releasing in major cities including Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Noida, Gurgaon, Ranchi and Thane, said a statement. Expressing her joy about the India release, Leeman said: “I have great reverence for the ancient wisdom teachings of India, and I am absolutely thrilled that Awake will screen across Yogananda’s beloved homeland of India.  “I’ve always been a seeker, and while making 'Awake...', I enjoyed the filmic challenge of figuring out how a biography of a meditation master could convey Eastern teachings in a visceral, cinematic way that Western audiences could understand. "I’d like to think that Yogananda, who was born in India in 1893 and came to the US in 1920, would get a kick out of seeing this film about his life and teachings come full circle, screening across his beloved India in the twenty first century.” Florio said “India holds a very special place in my heart". “The opening of 'Awake...' in India marks a seminal moment. It feels like Paramahansaji's teachings of India's ancient wisdom have come full circle,” Florio added. The film has won many awards and accolades at the festivals such as Audience Award at Illuminate Film Festival, Spirit in Cinema Award at Maui Film Festival, Conscious Life Award at Conscious Life Expo Film Festival and was screened at prestigious fests like Seattle International film Festival, Tel Aviv Spirit Film Festival, Heart International Women's Film Festival. It has been successfully released in countries like US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Greece, Italy, France, and Japan. Interestingly, the Embassy of India in Washington DC will host a special screening of the film on International Yoga Day.