It’s been a fruitful spring/summer for me. I spent most of the summer working on my beer documentary, and I got the chance to help speak about and host discussions for two documentary film screening/discussion organizations: Reel Spirituality and Aspiration Entertainment. As always, I find that these discussions prove to be interesting, healing, sometimes provocative, but always flourishing. There’s really nothing like the feel of a packed movie theater having a thoughtful discussion following a screening about important social, spiritual psychological and cultural issues. These discussions always fill me with hope for our great civil society, in spite of the challenges we face today.
It looks as though my book will be used in several film and/or spirituality college classes this fall, and the book is now available on the shelf at the great and historic Pasadena landmark bookstore, Vromans! If you are in the Los Angeles area, please stop by the film section of the bookstore there on Colorado Blvd, pick up a great cup of Jones Coffee (a local roaster) and say hello to my book on the shelf. Afterwards you can see an independent film at the Laemmle Theater. If you are a college professor and would like to add a section on documentary film into your class, I am always open to help you build that into your lesson plan. Just go ahead and shoot me a DM on twitter, @onejwells.
I’ve been having a great time here in South Pasadena co-producing The Otter Story Hour Podcast, South Pasadena’s own live story hour hosted and curated by the great Rex McDaniels. I have to say it’s just a lovely way to spend the first Monday evening of the month, listening to great short stories told in front of a live audience in the basement of our local Irish Pub. You can listen to the podcast here.
Speaking of podcasts, I was recently a guest on the Kutter Callaway Podast: “Today in Heresy” . Kutter is a professor of film and theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, was the series editor for my book and has been having substantive discussions in and around film, faith, spirituality, art and culture ever since we were classmates together nearly ten years ago. He went on to get his PhD, and I went on to get my MFA, and I’m always happy to sit down and catch up with him, or have a conversation that you can listen in on.
I was also recently on a podcast called Stories in the Key of Light with Monica Romig Green, a podcast about film and spiritual discipline. Check back in a week or so to hear the conversation. I find it fascinating to discuss the work of artists in the nonfiction film community with practitioners of the spiritual disciplines. We talked for about an hour but we could have easily gone on for another two!
I’ll be in Atlanta until December working on a Netflix movie, so if you are in the area, please contact me.