"THE ARTIST AND THE SHAMAN"
A Paul Davids Film
Running Time: 75 Minutes
"THE ARTIST AND THE SHAMAN" is the true story of a vision quest by an artist in Sedona, Arizona. After the death of his father, who was a famous scholar of American history who assisted JFK in the writing of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, PROFILES IN COURAGE, the artist seeks guidance from a native American shaman to restore his spirit, vision and artistic productivity.
The shaman, Rahelio, noted for his mystic nature tours of the spectacular Sedona region of Arizona, guides the artist to selected power points along the trails and cliffs. There, the artist undertakes the Sedona Summer Series - 16 paintings created while the shaman conducts ceremonies with prayers, chants and traditional native American songs using flute, drums, rattles and chants.
The two men, from different worlds yet spiritual brothers as they travel Sedona's red rock trails, have a unique connection which they explore. The shaman and his wife were living in the artist's second home where the artist's father had spent some of his final days. Soon after the artist's father's death, they conceived a baby and the artist prayed for the rebirth of his father as the child of the shaman - hoping that reincarnation would be a means to keep his father's spirit in this world near him.
When the artist comes for the vision quest as Rahelio and family are preparing to move out of his house, the little boy, Tonatiuh, is three years old. To the artist's astonishment, the small child already has a mastery of the knowledge of the 50 U.S. states, their names, shapes and locations. It's the first step a child would have to take to blossom in the direction of the expertise of the artist's father. Other connections are discovered as well. Is belief in reincarnation merely a psychological mechanism for coping with the loss of a loved one, or is there some real, tangible substance to it?
Together, the artist and the shaman explore the wheel of life, the cycle of birth and death, artistic creativity, and powerful Native American traditions in an Arizona region long held to be sacred. Completion of the Sedona Summer Series leads to two art shows, one in Park City, Utah and another in Sedona, where the artist receives validation of the creative results of the vision quest.
The artist in this story is Paul Davids, director of STARRY NIGHT, released by Universal Pictures (2001), as well as executive producer / co-writer of ROSWELL, the Golden Globe nominated Showtime film (for Best TV Motion Picture 1994) and the director of the controversial feature documentary TIMOTHY LEARY'S DEAD, which had a North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in 1997. His father was Professor Jules Davids of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, where he taught for 40 years with students who included Bill Clinton and Jackie Kennedy. Dr. Jules Davids is still regarded as one of the foremost authorities in his field, was a beloved teacher and author and editor of over 40 books.
"THE ARTIST AND THE SHAMAN" is a production of Slide Rock Films (2001).
APPEARING AS THEMSELVES:
Rahelio, Paul Davids, Tonatiuh Alexander, Joanna Malanos
PRODUCED BY Paul Davids and Hollace Davids
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Paul Davids
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY David W. Smith
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS Robert Rotstan, Jr., Patricia Steward
EDITED BY Paul Davids
ADDITIONAL EDITING BY Jordan Livingston (who is also Assistant to the Director)
ORIGINAL MUSIC BY Janine Cooper
NATIVE AMERICAN CHANTS AND FOLKSONGS performed by Joanna Malanos
FEATURING THE SONG "I SEE VISIONS" by Timothy Guy
Filmed in Sedona, Arizona and Park City, Utah. Memorial Service for Dr. Jules Davids filmed at Georgetown University, Washington DC. Includes family archival footage of the Davids family filmed by Paul Davids in childhood
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:
Paul Davids' feature directorial debut ("TIMOTHY LEARY'S DEAD")(1997) had its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. His career includes: book author of six STAR WARS novels for Lucasfilm (written with his wife, Hollace Davids), production coordinator and writer of Hasbro's "THE TRANSFORMERS" TV series (animated) with involvement in about 90 half-hour episodes (1986-1987), segment producer of F. Lee Bailey's TV show "LIE DETECTOR." Other feature film credits: writer of "SHE DANCES ALONE" (1981) starring Bud Cort and Max von Sydow. Producer (with Hollace Davids) and writer/director of "STARRY NIGHT," released on video and DVD by Universal after winning audience award for Best Feature Film at the Newport Beach Film Festival (2000). Paul Davids is also an accomplished artist, having created about 100 oil paintings and hundreds of pen and ink drawings, many of which can be seen at the Paul Davids Online Art Gallery at this website. He earned a B.A. from Princeton University in Psychology and then studied under full scholarship at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film Studies.
ABOUT THE PRODUCERS:
Paul Davids' producing partner is Hollace Davids, who is Senior Vice-President of Special Projects of Universal Pictures, handling all major studio premieres, special projects and events. Hollace was an associate producer of "TIMOTHY LEARY'S DEAD" and a producer (with Paul) of "STARRY NIGHT." In 2000, she was selected California Mother of the Year by American Mothers, Inc. (Paul and Hollace have two children: Jordan, who is currently Art Director for The Ant Farm in Hollywood, and Scott Davids, a student at University of Colorado, Boulder). Hollace also is currently serving her second year as President of Women in Film, a prestigious Hollywood organization promoting the role of women in film and television. Women in Film sponsors the noted annual Crystal and Lucy Awards. She has worked in the motion picture business for over two decades, beginning at Los Angeles' film festival, FILMEX, and later becoming a publicist and Vice-President of first Columbia Pictures, then TriStar Pictures and now a senior VP at Universal, where she has worked for five years. Hollace has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Goucher College (Maryland) and a master's degree in counseling from Boston University. She is the co-author of seven books with Paul Davids, including six STAR WARS books for young readers that have sold millions of copies worldwide.
Robert J. Rotstan worked with Paul Davids on "STARRY NIGHT" as Production Designer. He has also co-written a feature screenplay with Paul, entitled "THE SANTA SYNDICATE," as well as having authored the novel, THE BENGHAZI ARRANGEMENT. Rotstan is an accomplished financial fund manager.
Patricia Steward, who is a writer and serves as Chairman of the Board a major auto rental corporation, has founded a non-profit organization promoting legalization of medical marijuana in the U.S., including sponsoring numerous ballot initiatives She is a mother, a contributor to many causes and a patron of the arts who formerly owned her own gallery in Bisby, Arizona. Her generous contribution of post-production facilities was instrumental to the making of "THE ARTIST AND THE SHAMAN."
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
David W. Smith has worked closely with Paul Davids on numerous projects. The two were roommates while students at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film Studies, and David shot Paul's 16mm student film, "EXAMINATION." They re-teamed for the making of "STARRY NIGHT," on which David was both Director of Photography and Co-Producer. Subsequently, David became Director of Photography for "THE ARTIST AND THE SHAMAN." An expert in digital cinematography, David W. Smith has a background as a social worker in Scotland, and he has filmed many socially-conscious documentaries around the world-especially in the Third World. He founded Digital Facilities, the first digital post-production company in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was a founder of Hammerhead, a British camera company. He is currently planning cinematography for another Paul Davids feature, a thriller involving NASA, which they hope to begin shooting later in 2001, with Producer Thom Mount, former President of the Producers Guild of America.
THE PERFORMERS, APPEARING AS THEMSELVES:
Rahelio is central to "THE ARTIST AND THE SHAMAN," in which he not only provides philosophy and guidance to the artist, from a Native American perspective, but he also performs spiritual chants and ceremonies involving music with flute, drums and rattles. His Indian Ancestry is from Mexico, and he has been influenced by many Native American mystical traditions. After pursuing college studies in San Francisco, he moved to Maui, Hawaii, where he pursued metaphysical studies and became a professional astrologer. He first came to Sedona, Arizona, at the time of the Harmonic Convergence, and he continues his work there as a spiritual guide, offering nature tours that are in fact mystic tours designed to provide healing, spiritual experiences. He is an expert in medicine wheels and composed the song "WE ARE ONE (IN THE CIRCLE)" inspired by the power of the medicine wheel.
Joanna, Rahelio's wife and mother of their boy, Tonatiuh Alexander, is of Greek origins. She and Rahelio are soul-mates who share not only parenting and the business of Sedona Nature Excursions, but also music. Joanna enhances "THE ARTIST AND THE SHAMAN" with her wonderful performance of native American chants, as well as appearing in the film.
Two years old when filming began in July of 2000, Tonatiuh has proven himself an outgoing and highly gifted child. Some of his extraordinary abilities, which surpass those of many adults, are evidenced in the film, as is his magnetic personality.
Paul appears in the film as himself as an artist. The paintings of the Sedona Summer Series actually took months to complete. The film shows only the first day (or several days) of work on each one, as well as the completed works. In the film, Paul also makes a heartfelt tribute to his father, Dr. Jules Davids, the late outstanding professor of Georgetown University who is noted for his extensive work with the late John F. Kennedy on writing PROFILES IN COURAGE, a Pulitzer Prize winning book that helped propel JFK to the Presidency.
ORIGINAL MUSIC BY JANINE COOPER
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Janine Cooper moved to California in 1976 with her parents and began playing bass guitar, classical guitar and keyboards when she was seventeen. During her musical career she has played bass/keyboards with LET'S ACTIVE (IRS Records), opening 24 concert dates for R.E.M. and bass/keyboards for Downy Mildew (Windham Hill) among many other bands. She has since put out five CD's on her own label, KLINA Music. She writes her own material, plays all of the instrumentation and self-produces all of the songs on her CD's using 8-track digital recording equipment.
Janine is also a composer. She played classical guitar on A&E's "BIOGRAPHY OF PANCHO VILLA" and contributed five songs and an even larger number of piano performances to "THE ARTIST AND THE SHAMAN." Three of the songs were written for the film (with lyrics by Janine Cooper and Paul Davids): The title song, "THE ARTIST AND THE SHAMAN," "UNDER SEDONA SKIES" and "MILES AWAY (FROM L.A.)"
Additionally Janine is an accomplished artist who has conveyed her impressions of dozens of hypothetical extraterrestrial races and species in her artwork, as well as exploring many other themes. Many of her paintings are now on greeting cards and refrigerator magnets (which can be seen on the NBC TV show, "FRIENDS.")
TIMOTHY GUY: "I SEE VISIONS"
One of the very special moments in "THE ARTIST IN THE SHAMAN" utilizes the memorable Timothy Guy song, "I SEE VISIONS." Timothy Guy is a musician and book author who holds degrees in Journalism and Sociology from CSUN. He is an award-winning songwriter whose song "LAZY" placed first in a BMI-sponsored contest. One of his books is entitled ALIENS OVER AMERICA: 12 FANTASTIC BOOKS REVIEWED INCLUDING INTERVIEWS WITH AUTHORS, from AOA Publishing in Southern California. He is currently completing a feature screenplay with actor Peter Breck entitled "CHARLIE GOODNIGHT."