International Film Maker Shooting in Rishikesh
New York based director Leigh Fitzjames is shooting a feature length documentary in Rishikesh, comparing yoga practices in the region to New York, Auckland (New Zealand) and London. Teaming up with Indian production company Trisna Films, lead by Avinash Kumar, Fitzjames has been working with local Indian units in order to carry out production. Shooting has already taken place in old Varanasi in early January, the film maker’s first introduction to India.
Investigating how Rishikesh has become known as ‘the yoga capital of the world’, Fitzjames will immerse herself in the holy city for the month of January and February and interview both local and foreign yoga teachers and their students, discussing themes such as spiritual commodification – how spirituality is bought and sold through yoga. She is deeply interested in understanding the historical roots of yoga and its contemporary relevance; hoping this challenging international documentary will educate Western yoga practitioners about how yoga is perhaps more than just asana practice and a tool for weight loss, a common perception of yoga in cities like Auckland, New York and London. The film includes a basic description of Patanjali’s eight limbed yoga system.
Those interested in being interview subjects for her documentary can contact her through the Human Storyteller Facebook page, or www.humanstoryteller.comAbout the director:
Leigh Fitzjames is a New Zealand born theatre and film practitioner residing in New York City. She is the director of transmedia production company Human Storyteller. Best known as an actress and writer, Fitzjames recently toured the USA with a one woman theatre show called ‘Love and Light’ and is the lead actress in a new comedy series ‘Con Artistes’ starring actors Ari Miller and Caitlin Benya. She has practiced Ashtanga and Hatha yoga for 8 years. www.leighfitzjames.comAbout the film:
Today, an estimated 20 million people around the world practice various forms of ‘yoga’ and 72% are female. In major cities like London and New York, 60 minute asana classes cost on average 1100 INR per class. Eight Limbs Yoga follows a young Eurasian woman travelling the world to compare the culture of competitive yoga asana in the West to the more traditional approach of a full yoga system which is geared towards a spiritual, ego free practice. Meet sadhus in India, musicians in New York, food providers in New Zealand... this documentary offers a glimpse in to the search for a meaningful yoga system, when gym yoga doesn’t bring peace.