In honor of ISKCON’s 50thanniversary, two award-winning film were produced. While Yadubara Das’ film the Hare Krishna! presents Prabhupada’s extraordinary life, an ISKCON Communications Ministry documentary The Joy of Devotion directed by Krisztina Danka (Krishna Lila Dasi) of Karuna Productions picks up where the other film leaves off and captures Prabhupada’s worldwide impact, and gives an overview about what ISKCON is today, featuring dramatic, personal and very inspiring stories of devotees around the world and the difference they are making in society.
How does a young woman in South Africa adjust her newfound passion for Indian spirituality with her Zulu tribal background? What convinced the Soviet regime to stop persecuting Krishna-devotees? How to find joy in helping Mumbai slum kids getting fed and educated? What is a Florida elementary school teacher devotee’s greatest fear in life? What was the key for Prabhupada’s success according to Harvard scholars? How did devotees in Hungary turn a barren, tic-infested sheep run into Europe’s largest eco-village? How does a British rock star use his talents in spreading the Holy Names around? What do Brazilian devotees do with rainforest birds confiscated from smugglers?
A scene from the film. A tucan and a devotee in the Brazilian rainforest.
The film also features exclusive interviews with some of the best-known scholars to ever study ISKCON and Vaishnavism, including Frank Clooney from Harvard University, Thomas Hopkins, Larry Shinn, and others.
The film’s 86-minute feature length version was released in December of 2016, and there have been screenings in more than a dozen countries, including the Camden Centre in London, a Washington, DC, theater, and a town hall in Melbourne. By popular demand, and to make the film more suitable for educational purposes and special events, the filmmakers have produced a shorter, hour-long version of the film, which was released and premiered at the Heartwood Soundstage Theater in Gainesville, Florida, USA, on May 31stwith great success.
A scene from the film: Zulu warriors dancing.
Here are some reviews the film has received:
“…The diversity depicted in the film is eye-opening…. devotees around the world, in various stations of life, educating, making music, healing the environment, and all around making a difference – the movie is inspirational and extremely well done. A must see…” — Satyaraja dasa– Journal of Vaishnava Studies, Founding Editor
“At the conclusion of the Joy of Devotion film, the interviewee says “I don’t want his [Srila Prabhupada’ s] mission to go in vain.” This sentence summarized for me…the mission of life: Srila Prabhupada’s gift of pure devotion must be delivered to the suffering souls of this world…” — Sivarama Swami– ISKCON Governing Body Commissioner
“In an exciting, relatable, and fun way, the Joy of Devotion puts us in touch with ISKCON’ s presence and diverse activities throughout the world…the film’s many scholars firmly establish the authenticity and depth of Srila Prabhupada’ s teachings and movement. The Joy of Devotion is a valuable contribution!” — Visakha dasi – Author, photographer
A scene from the film. The serene beauty of Krishna-valley, Hungary.
“Absolutely wonderful […] It epitomises its title perfectly, The Joy of Devotion.” — Jai Nitai dasa – Temple President of ISKCON London
“We strongly encourage other centers and Temples across the UK and globally to purchase a license to screen the film in their locality…The film empowers and inspires each one of us to play our part in pioneering and assisting with further achievements by ISKCON in the upcoming decades.” — Devaki devi dasi – ISKCON 50 UK Coordinator
“I watched the movie and loved it. It is so good to see a professionally made film about devotees, which anyone can understand…It explains who Srila Prabhupada is, what the philosophy is and how it is applied to the daily life of devotees.” — Olessia Podtserob – ISKCON Communications, Moscow
“‘Joy of Devotion’…is extremely well done. I do not even know where to start praising it… the stories, the interviews and the excellent camera work. It was very human, strong, emotional and impactful… The crowd at the Camden Centre went crazy, there was a joyous ovation at the end…” — Caitya Guru dasa – Videographer, London
Last year the film also won a Best of Class award from the USA Religion Communicators Council. The panel of judges for the awards, which included journalism professors and newspaper editors from both religious and secular organizations, said the film “was an excellent production that invokes emotional and spiritual connections and increases understanding.” It won the highest honors in the audio-visual/broadcast category of the competition.
The film’s executive producer Anuttama Dasa with the Religion Communications Council award, among the winners of the other categories.
Apart from English, the 60-minute version of the film will soon be available in Spanish, Russian, Italian, Hungarian, Dutch, French and other languages.
‘The Joy of Devotion’ is available for public screening; temples, communities, clubs, educational institutions or even a group of friends can apply for a screening license and get a copy of the film. To gain lifetime rights to show the film, there is a one-time fee of $125, for which the communities will receive both the full-length 85-minute film as well as the shorter, newly-released 67-minute version. Once acquired, both films can be shown unlimited times to the congregation, the public, and at youth programs, outreach events, festivals, and more.
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To purchase the film, go to http://www.joyofdevotionfilm.com/hold-a-screening
For more details and to view the trailer, see information here. http://www.joyofdevotionfilm.com
If you have questions about broadcast opportunities please contact the film’s director Krishna-lila Dasi at email@example.com
To read more about “The Joy of Devotion” and its impact thus far visit ISKCON News:
Aug 06, 2022
Brahmatirtha das Director, Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies