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    Devolver Digital Films to Release
    AYA: Awakenings
    A Feature-Length Documentary Film 
That Delves into the World of Ayahuasca
    Directed By Rak Razam & Timothy Paris
    • Digital VOD Release: July 29, 2014
    • Cable VOD Release: September 9, 2014

    In the heart of the Amazon, a great mystery awaits.

    LOS ANGELES, CA – July 21, 2014  – Devolver Digital Films is proud to announce the digital VOD release of the spiritual adventure, AYA: Awakenings. The new feature-length documentary follows a Western journalist who travels to the jungles of Peru to drink the visionary medicine ayahuasca, on a journey that slowly unravels his cultured mind and reveals the magical landscape of the spirit world. This visually stunning film pulls from Rak Razam’s book, Aya: A Shamanic Odyssey, a travel memoir of Razam’s time with shamans in the Amazon. Razam and Timothy Paris co-directed the new film. The digital VOD (Video on Demand) release is scheduled for July 29, 2014 through Devolver. The film will be available via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, PlayStation, Xbox, VUDU, Vimeo on Demand, VHX, Google Play, and others. A cable VOD release date is set for September 9, 2014 (check your local listings). For additional information, please see www.aya-awakenings.com.

    AYA: Awakenings (Documentary, 2014, 91 min.) –
    AYA: Awakenings is a documentary journey into the world and visions of Amazonian shamanism, adapted from the cult book, Aya: A Shamanic Odyssey, by Rak Razam. As Razam sets out to document the booming business of Amazonian shamanism in the 21st century, he quickly finds himself caught up in a culture clash between the old world and the new. Braving a gringo trail of the soul, he uncovers a movement of ‘spiritual tourists,’ coming from the West for a direct experience of the multi-dimensional reality shamanism connects one to.

    Central to this is ayahuasca – the “vine of souls” – a legal South American entheogenic plant medicine that has been used by Amazonian people for millennia to heal physical ailments and to cleanse and purify the spirit. In researching the mystery of ayahuasca, Razam undergoes his own shamanic initiation, undergoing numerous tests and trials in the jungle and the psychic landscapes that the vine reveals.

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    On the way, he encounters a motley crew of characters, from rogue scientists that conduct DMT-brain scans on jungle psychonauts to indigenous and Western shamans that slowly unravel his cultured mind and reveal the magical landscape of the spirit world. And the more he drinks this potent medicine, the deeper it leads him: from the wet jungle, where the ayahuasca vine grows, into the raging heart of consciousness itself.

    By blending narration, directly from the book, with video footage, interviews with practicing curanderos, samples of traditional icaros or magic songs, photographs, and cutting edge special effects, AYA: Awakenings reproduces the inner landscape of the visionary state, in unprecedented detail, invoking an awakening in the viewer. This documentary charts the Global Shamanic Resurgence, born in the jungles of Peru, reaching out to embrace the world. The film stars Guillermo Aravelo, Percy Garcia Lozano, Ron Wheelock, Kevin Furnas, Terence McKenna, and Rak Razam.

    “The vine has spread her tendrils across the world and a genuine archaic revival was underway,” says Razam, “My bags were packed, South America beckoned, and the ancient mysteries of the rainforest awaited. I wanted in on it…”

    Credits –
    Co-Directors: Timothy Parish & Rak Razam
    Producers: Rak Razam & Mitch Schultz
    Executive Producer: Timothy Parish
    Screenwriter: Rak Razam
    Cinematographer: Timothy Parish

    Rak

    Rak Razam; Courtesy of Rak Razam

    Rak Razam, Co-Director, Screenwriter, Producer –
    Rak Razam is the author of two books: AYA, A Shamanic Odyssey, a travel memoir of his time with shamans in the Peruvian Amazon, and a companion volume of interviews, The Ayahuasca Sessions, published by North Atlantic Books. He is also the editor of The Journeybook, a collected anthology of psychedelic writing from Undergrowth publishing. His popular global podcast, In a Perfect World, charts the meetings, musings, and collective dreamings of the Ultraculture of the 21st century. In 2006, he visited Peru on a feature magazine assignment to see what the almost mythical archetype of the shaman was really like in the 21st century. Excerpts from AYA: A Shamanic Odyssey have been published in Australian Penthouse, High Times, and Filmmaker magazine online. Razam was also interviewed and appears in the CBC’s 2007 audio documentary, In Search of the Divine Vegetal, talking about his ayahuasca experiences, which has been broadcast twice due to special demand to millions of people throughout North America. A founding editor of Undergrowth, Australia’s leading counterculture arts and literature magazine, Razam is an “experiential journalist” that participates in the experiences he writes about, giving his global audience an intimate familiarity with his subjects. This has made for some rollicking adventures on the fringes of the counterculture, which have been published globally and recounted in his writings.

    Timothy Parish, Co-Director, Cinematographer, Executive Producer –
    Timothy Parish is a cross media artist, working in video art, painting, illustration, writing, and graphic design. He is the producer and director at Verb Studios, a video production company, based in Melbourne and Darwin, Australia, which specializes in documentary, music video, and video art. His VJ sets of experimental organic shamanspaces have been shown across festivals in Australia and the US, including VJing at Burning Man, Earth Frequency, Wide Open Spaces, and Solar Eclipse 2012. Parish is the Artistic Director of Undergrowth, which he founded with Rak Razam in 2004. He regularly exhibits his paintings and prints his writing through Undergrowth books and magazines. He is also currently the National Director of the Transitions Film Festival, a visionary documentary festival dedicated to showcasing groundbreaking documentaries focusing on solutions to global environmental issues.

    Devolver Digital –
    Based in Austin, Texas, Devolver Digital distributes independent video games and guides indie filmmakers through digital distribution and film promotion. Devolver Digital’s outspoken passion for independent games, developers, and fans has earned the company no minor measure of game industry notoriety. With its expansion into film, which was announced at South by Southwest 2013, the company applies that same fiercely creative devotion and digital content expertise to support and celebrate indie filmmakers and projects. Co-Founder and Partner Mike Wilson says his own experience as a filmmaker seeking distribution led him and his partners to expand Devolver Digital into film. That experience has guided the company’s focus on “hand-crafted” strategic partnership and personal attention in distributing the titles on the label to a full range of digital and cable VOD platforms.

    Links –
    • Film’s Devolver Page – www.devolverdigital.com/films/view/aya-awakenings
    • Official Site – www.aya-awakenings.com
    • Trailer – vimeo.com/92547353
    • IMDb – www.imdb.com/title/tt2951706
    • Facebook – www.facebook.com/AyaAwakenings
    • Twitter – https://twitter.com/AyaAwakenings
    • preorder – iTunes & Amazon

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    For more information, photos, a screener, or to schedule an interview, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201, lynn@greengalactic.com.

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    QUOTES

    “Aya: Awakenings goes inside the world of ayahuasca, exploring the shamanic resurgence and ayahuasca movement in Peru, and around the world. With trippy visuals, jungle sounds, and more, the movie attempts to capture the experience of taking the hallucinogenic substance.”

    – Katie Bain, LA Weekly

    “Razam’s uncanny experiences in the Amazon are chronicled in his stunning documentary movie, Aya: Awakenings, a companion piece to the book of the same name. Hailed by many viewers as the definitive film on the subject of ayahuasca, Aya employs an impressive array of visual and audio effects to convey the essence of the trans-dimensional experience. The footage of Razam’s unmistakably authentic epiphany at La Rosacita is presented in all its mind-scorching intensity, offering an unprecedented fly-on-the-wall view of a shamanic initiate going all the way with God.”

    – Damon Orion, Santa Cruz Good Times

    “Razam’s shockingly intimate and spiritually rejuvenating shamanic artifact remains the most stimulating multimedia account of the sacred medicine to date. It is simultaneously critical of the inevitable globalization of ayahuasca and the imperialistic tourism of Peruvian shamanic culture – while also embracing its positive medicinal and non-addictive spiritual application in the potential future of Western-based plant medicine healing.”

    – Benton Rooks, Reality Sandwich

    Posted on July 21st, 2014 lynn-hasty No comments

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