Director Paola Di Florio in conversation with Sholeh Johnston
AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda charts the life of one of the 20th century’s most influential spiritual figures, Paramahansa Yogananda, a Hindu Swami who brought Yoga to America for the first time in the early 1920s.
Filmed over three years, in thirty countries around the world, AWAKE has been enthusiastically received by critics and audiences alike, scooping up the Audience Award at the Illuminate Film Festival 2014, Official Selection of the Seattle International Film Festival 2014, and Spirit in Cinema at the Maui Film Festival 2014.
In the film, Yogananda is portrayed as a human being with suffering and challenges in his own life. How important was that to you in telling his story?
That was something that was tough for a lot of devotees to deal with, but we were asked to make a film for the world. There are going to be people that want to know the story from an historical aspect, who really want to relate to the person. So we wanted to present Yogananda-ji in a way that would allow people to feel that he too was like us, and that what he was able to achieve is something we are able to achieve too. Buy the current issue to read the entire article.
photo Courtesy of Awake Filmmakers