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What's the Difference Between Religion and Spirituality? Thought-Provoking Conversation On-The-Street | It's A Question of Balance with Ruth Copland

One in three Americans define themselves as spiritual but not religious*. There are approximately 56 million religiously unaffiliated adults in the U.S yet "the share of U.S. adults who say they believe in God…[is] still remarkably high by comparison with other advanced industrial countries…at 89%"**. What is the difference between spirituality and religion? How do you define spirituality? Why is religious affiliation declining? A Pew survey found that about half of U.S. adults express reservations about the conduct of religious institutions, saying they are too concerned with money, power, and rules, and too involved with politics. Perhaps this could this be an explanation of the decline in religious affiliation even though most Americans agree that religious organisations perform positive functions in society. There are so many different religions and versions of each religion, might promoting spirituality over religion be helpful to break down barriers and connect people? What do you think?

For more info and to listen to past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

* BBC Point of View

** The Pew Research Religious Landscape Survey analysis in 2015

 

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Actors Edi Gathegi and Tayler Buck Special Guests It's A Question of Balance with Ruth Copland

Known for X-Men: First Class and The People vs OJ respectively, Edi and Tayler are the stars of 'Princess of the Row' also featuring Martin Sheen, Jacob Vargas and Ana Ortiz. Ruth Copland features an excerpt from the film and talks to Edi and Tayler about their lives and careers and what attracted them to play the father and daughter in this poignant yet life-affirming film about homelessness, mental health, war veterans, and family ties. 

To listen to the interview click here Edi Gathegi & Tayler Buck | It's A Question of Balance (broadcast 6 April)

'Princess of the Row', which had its world premiere at Cinequest is a poignant, dramatic and ultimately uplifting story. A creative 12-year-old foster girl bounces around the sometimes abusive foster care system for most of her life, and ditches school to visit her military veteran father who is homeless on the streets of LA’s Skid Row He’s mentally ill after suffering a battle-induced brain injury during his service in the Iraq war. The injury renders him unable to recognize his own daughter most of the time. But to Alicia, it doesn’t matter because she loves him and remembers the father he used to be: a caring man with a love of storytelling.
Alicia has inherited her father’s creativity and wants to be a writer when she grows up, spending her time writing fantasy tales about a Princess on a quest. Alicia’s social worker recognizes her gift and decides to place her in the perfect home with an award-winning author played by Martin Sheen and his wife played by Jenny Gago. As their lovely home is 10 hours from LA Alicia is fearful of never seeing her father again and decides to escape the city with him. On the run, Alicia must cope with her father’s severe PTSD breakdowns, outwit social service workers searching for her, and overcome the worst kind of thugs on the streets of LA, all to make her one dream a reality: to live with her father as a family.

For more info and to listen to past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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Nandita Das, Renowned Indian Actress and Director on It's A Question of Balance Saturday with Ruth Copland

Acting in over 40 feature films in 10 Indian languages Nandita has received widespread acclaim and numerous awards for her acting, and has been repeatedly recognized for both her art and her world community activism. Her directorial debut Firaaq premiered in 2008 at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival after being screened at Telluride. She has twice been on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival, among others, and was conferred the ‘Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters’ by the French Government. She is the first Indian to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Women’s Forum and was the Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society India, and a World Fellow at Yale in 2014. Nandita is a strong advocate of social issues, which is evident through her work. 

To listen to Ruth Copland's in-depth conversation with Nandita about her fascinating career, life, and her new film 'Manto'
click here Nandita Das | It's A Question of Balance (broadcast 30 March).

Nandita Das's biopic 'Manto' was the opening night featured film at the 2019 Cinequest Film Festival in Silicon Valley. Manto, which Nandita Das wrote and directed, is about Saadat Hasan Manto who is celebrated as one of the greatest short story writers from South Asia. The film is set during the four most tumultuous years of Manto’s life during the Independence of India from Britain. It focuses on both his family life and writing, interweaving five of his short stories into the tale of his life. It is a film about two emerging nations and one man trying to make sense of it all. You can see Manto now on Netflix, it’s a moving, atmospheric film that illuminates a difficult historical period through the experience of a dedicated artist. Ruth Copland interviewed Nandita at Cinequest and then later in the studio.

For more info and to listen to past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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Ruth Copland, ItsAQuestionOfBalance, Its A Question of Balance, San Jose-based Cinequest Film Festival , women in media, patch adams, wellbeing, clown, clownvets, ptsd, women in radio, doctor, healthcare, Cinequest

Patch Adams, Renowned Doctor, Activist and Clown! It's A Question of Balance with Ruth Copland

‘What is at the root of well-being?’ Patch Adams has devoted his life to furthering peace, well being and connection. He believes that laughter, joy and creativity are an integral part of the healing process. With the help of friends, he founded the Gesundheit Institute in 1971 in order to address all the problems of health care in one model. The Gesundheit Institute, a non-profit healthcare organization, is a project in holistic medical care based on the belief that one cannot separate the health of the individual from the health of the family, the community, the society, and the world. In addition for decades, through his Clownvets project, Patch and his team of extraordinary volunteers have traveled the world as humanitarian clowns, helping heal veteran participants suffering from PTSD who are constantly working to relieve invisible wounds, and also bringing joy to marginalised people around the world.

Ruth Copland spoke to Patch at Cinequest Film Festival where the documentary CLOWNVETS directed by Estaban Rojas, had its world premiere, also being honoured with the award for Most Life-Affirming Film. In her conversation with Patch they talk about connection, love, war, education, healthcare, active thinking, mental health, what it means to really care about things and thus explore through his life, work, beliefs and the film CLOWNVETS ‘what is at the root of well-being?’

To listen to the interview click here Patch Adams | It's A Question of Balance (Broadcast 23 March).

Photo: Patch Adams clowning around with Ruth Copland at Cinequest Film Festival before the premiere of the documentary CLOWNVETS about humanitarian clowning.

For more info and to listen to past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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Ruth Copland, Its A Question of Balance, Arts interview, princess of the row, max carlson, shawn austin, martin sheen, tayler buck, film, edi gathegi

How far will a 12-year-old go to be with her Homeless Veteran Dad? 'Princess of the Row' filmmakers Max Carlson, Shawn Austin It's A Question of Balance with Ruth Copland

An emotional, heart-wrenching tale about the powerful bond between father and daughter, embodying the message that family is always worth fighting for, 'Princess of the Row' is a heart-wrenching and life-affirming film from Max Carlson and Shawn Austin. Together they wrote and produced the award-winning film, with Max Carlson directing. The inspiring story tells the tale of a runaway foster child who will stop at nothing to live with the only family she knows: her father… a homeless mentally ill veteran who lives on the streets of LA’s skid row. Ruth Copland talks to the film-makers about what inspired them to tell this story, how you take a story from an idea to a fully realised film, and why they became film-makers in the first place.

To listen to interview click here Max and Shawn | It's A Question of Balance (broadcast 16 March)

Princess of the Row has a talented cast including iconic actor Martin Sheen; Edi Gathegi known for X-Men: First Class; Tayler Buck known for The People vs OJ; Ana Ortiz known for Ugly Betty; and Jacob Vargas known for Traffic. You can follow the film on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @PrincessoftheRowMovie

Photo L to R: Director and Co-writer Max Carlson; Film poster featuring Edi Gathegi, Tayler Buck; Producer and Co-writer Shawn Austin.

For more info and to listen to past shows click here www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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What is it like Living on the Largest Garbage Dump in Central America? Award-Winning Film-maker Michael Dominic on It's A Question of Balance with Ruth Copland

Four children living in a garbage dump get a chance in life. Young Manuel, Zulema, Chico and Edgar wait eagerly for the dump trucks, hoping to find left over food at La Chureca, a massive dump in Nicaragua. They work alongside their demanding mother, pulling out any usable discards in order to salvage an existence. Everything they know is this life of extreme poverty until an American philanthropist steps in and buys them a modest home with land to farm. With the kids in school for the first time, can they catch up to their peers, even with the new duties of farming? Can the family handle the demands of this new life, or will old habits pull them apart? Filmed over seven years, the movie CLEAN HANDS captures a family's struggles and growth, betrayals and complications, tears and celebrations.

Ruth Copland talks to award-winning film-maker Michael Dominic about his life and work as a photojournalist and film-maker, and why he devoted seven years of his life to making the feature documentary 'Clean Hands', which has its World Premiere at Cinequest Film and Creativity Festival in Silicon Valley.

 To listen to the interview click here Michael Dominic | It's A Question of Balance

 

Ruth Copland with film-maker Michael Dominic at Cinequest. Photo Credit: Daniel Garcia

Michael studied film at The School of Visual arts in New York City from 1990 to 1994 and at the same time worked for the legendary Annie Leibovitz as an intern and photo assistant. In the mid-1990s Michael was based in London where he directed music videos, including three for Norman Cook aka the wonderful Fatboy Slim. As a photojournalist Michael has travelled the world and his work has appeared in dozens of outlets in the US and abroad. For over 10 years Michael has dedicated his life to making work with social conscience. His feature-length documentary Sunshine Hotel - about the last "flophouse" on New York City's infamous skidrow, The Bowery, one of the few remaining affordable refuges for the destitute and out of luck - won three Best Documentary awards and ran on national US television for two years on the Sundance Channel.

For more info and to listen to past shows click here www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

 

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