Ananda Village featured in Nevada Theatre film | TheUnion.com

Ananda Village featured in Nevada Theatre film

Submitted to The Union

Illuminating a joyful life that seems a distant dream to most people, the new film "Finding Happiness" gives a glimpse into the lives of hundreds of fulfilled people living in an enlightened community called Ananda Village on the San Juan Ridge, one of nine such communities worldwide.

The movie will play at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City.

A fictional storyline serves as the framework for the community to share experiences, including virtually all aspects of their lives.

The community's founder and spiritual leader, Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Indian yoga master Paramhansa Yogananda for 65 years, is interviewed by the skeptical New York-based journalist, Juliet, assigned to write a magazine article about this "unique" community.

Portrayed by Elisabeth Rohm ("Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Dangerous," "Law & Order"), Juliet interviews Kriyananda and learns of his life-long dedication to developing a spiritual, nonreligious environment where people genuinely care about each other.

He guides her to speak with various residents to learn of their experiences.

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The community lives together in separate housing, brought together with two underlying principles — first, that people are more important than things, and second, that acting justly, and for the highest good of ourselves and others, brings inner fulfillment and success in all endeavors.

As "Finding Happiness" aims to make clear, these principles are supported by a sustainable economic infrastructure of Ananda-owned and private businesses such as the Expanding Light Meditation Retreat — where people visit from all over the world to learn yoga and meditation — as well as schools for children, the Ananda College, agricultural endeavors and a publishing company, among others.

In the film, Juliet's initial cynicism recedes as she is exposed to more people who radiate positive energy, inner strength and strong sense of well-being.

Juliet interviews a diverse mix of residents, including families, teachers, medical and environmental experts, the younger generation and many others, according to publicity from the film.

Kriyananda (born J. Donald Walters) traces the origins of Ananda to his childhood dreams of Utopian communities, which came alive when he became a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda (in the film, Yogananda is portrayed by his grand-nephew, Sujon Datta). Kriyananda has become recognized through his life of service to humanity as one of the foremost spiritual teachers and has written more than 150 books and 400 songs.

"Finding Happiness" is produced by Hansa Productions; directed by Ted Nicolaou; produced by Roberto Bessi; executive produced by Shivani Lucki and Santoshi Nancy Kendall.

Tickets for the 2 p.m. show go on sale at the Nevada Theatre box office at 1:15 p.m.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. showing go on sale at the Nevada Theatre box office at 2:30 p.m. and will be available for purchase all afternoon until show time.

The theater will be ready for seating at 6:45 p.m. Adult tickets are $8, and seniors and children under 12 are $7.

More information about Finding Happiness or the Ananda organization can be found on this website: http://findinghappiness movie.com