‘Finding Happiness’ to show at Nevada Theatre | TheUnion.com

‘Finding Happiness’ to show at Nevada Theatre

Submitted to The Union

If you enjoyed the tulips in Nevada County's own Gorgeous Garden of the West at the Crystal Hermitage, Finding Happiness offers another feel-good moment at 7 p.m. Monday at the Nevada Theatre.

A Hollywood-produced docudrama, Finding Happiness, tells the story of a skeptical New York reporter, Juliet, assigned to find out if a cooperative, spiritual community in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California could be a solution for these troubling times. A fictional story, the reporter investigates a real place in Nevada County: Ananda Village.

Leading actress Elisabeth Rohm (of The Oath, Flaked, NCIS, American Hustle, Law & Order, and five movies in post-production), plays the role authentically. Prior to arriving on set, she had not visited Ananda Village.

"When I was approached for the role, it came as an answer to a prayer," Rohm said in an interview. The actress had recently lost her mother, and "felt adrift."

While Juliet and Profiles Magazine for which she writes are fictional, her unscripted interviews are with real people — IT professionals, an ex-deputy sheriff who now tends a goat dairy, doctors, teachers and children — sharing their work, passion and experience living in spiritual community.

The assignment inspires Juliet to embark on her own journey of inner transformation. There is a moment when Rohm herself and the character merged.

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"I took the leap at the end of the film when I asked Swami Kriyananda for a blessing," Rohm said. "I was asking that as much for myself, because that was what I had been searching for.

"I was humbled in his presence, yet he felt like a friend. I am changed completely. I am sure that moment is transmitted on screen to anyone who watches the film."

Like Findhorn in Scotland and Damanhur in Italy, Ananda Village was started by a visionary leader, and continues today as a robust cooperative spiritual community. Founded in 1969 by Swami Kriyananda (1926-2013), Ananda members practice yoga and meditation in daily life.

With a recently approved Master Plan, Ananda will celebrate its 50th birthday and dedicate a new "temple of blessings for all the world" in 2019.

Over its five-decade life, Ananda has become a worldwide spiritual movement with eight communities in North America, Europe and India, organic farms and Living Wisdom Schools.

"Ananda is built on the spiritual teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi," said Peter Goering, Ananda Village Manager. "He said 'The happiness of one's own heart alone cannot satisfy the soul; one must try to include … the happiness of others.'"

Goering and Ananda residents who appear in the film will invite questions and discussion after the showing.

Advance tickets are $10 online and in town at Inner Path (200 Commercial Street, Nevada City) or $12 at the door. For more information: http://findinghappinessmovie.com/.