30 years ago Ria left her job as a hairdresser in Germany to live an insecure and compelling life in the jungle of Goa, together with the Indian sadhu Hari. Long dreadlocks, marihuana, water and chapati made way for an unusual family life with two adoptive children who came breezing in.
At age 18, Marieke (21, Dutch-Australian) lost her mother, whom she only saw once a year after her parents' divorce, due to brain cancer. Since then, she walks in het mother's footsteps on Indian soil.
Robert, a sensitive man, left the Netherlands when his physical and mental problems reached a peak. Out of sheer desperation he fled to India, away from the Western society that -in his opinion- is only focused on consuming and working, searching for the meaning of life.
Elio, artist and esthetic refugee, is looking for poverty to quench his thirst for beauty. He is taking a stand against the -according to him- common notion that 'it is better to have more, that with little means life is not worth living and the goal of life is to get more'.
20 years ago, Geshe Kelsang Wangmo (Germany) converted to Tibetan buddhism and became a nun. She is the first woman to receive a 'geshe' degree, a doctor's degree in buddhist philosophy that until then only was reserved for men.
After getting her college degree in philosophy, Amberjade (23, USA) felt a strong pressure to go to grad school, but she didn't get in. She couldn't handle the social and mental pressure, the feelings of failure and depression coming from the rejection and left for India.
Leo Bormans travels the world as “Ambassador of Happiness & Quality of Life”. He is writer and inspirator. He has a Master degree in Languages & Philosophy and is the author of the international bestseller “The World Book of Happiness”.
Bernard Coops (1976) – Direction, Film, Photography & Editing
Bernard is Photographer, Filmmaker and Designer / Art Director. He graduated in Illustration at the Art Academy CABK in Kampen, the Netherlands (now ArtEZ Zwolle), where he teaches new media since a couple of years. His photography and film can be found in the Rubin Museum in New York (Bodies in Balance - The Art of Tibetan Medicine: Men-Tsee-Khang, location Dharamsala) and Galery Laguanacazul in Buenos Aires (Vectores invertidos: Artistas Internacionales). Together with his wife Nellie he engages in documentary film projects, under which “The Art of Tibetan Medicine in the World Today: Men-Tsee-Khang, location Dharamsala”, about Tibetan medicine in Exile, part of the exposition "Bodies in Balance" at the Rubin Museum in New York, “No Reply”, about the Tibetan self-immolations, despair, protest and deaf ears, selected for the Online Competition of the Dutch Film Festival (NFF) and the current project “Is this it?”, a search for happiness. As a Designer / Art Director he made among others a videowall at the Vermeer Center Delft, worked at the station identities of the Dutch broadcast channels rtl4, rtl 7, rtl 8 and Nederland 1, and made mood films for Bugaboo, Hema and de Bijenkorf.
Nellie Stiny (1983) – Concept, Research, Direction & Text
Nellie is Psychologist, Filmmaker and Cultural Anthropologist to be. She graduated cum laude in Clinical Psychology at the University of Amsterdam and started working as a psychologist afterwards. Together with her husband Bernard Coops she made the documentary film projects ““The Art of Tibetan Medicine in the World Today: Men-Tsee-Khang, location Dharamsala”, about Tibetan Medicine in Exile, part of the exposition 'Bodies in Balance' at the Rubin Museum in New York, “No Reply”, about the Tibetan self-immolations, despair, protest and deaf ears, selected for the Online Competition of the Dutch Film Festival (NFF), and the current project “Is this it?”, a search for happiness. At the moment she is following a pre-master program Cultural Anthropology at the Radboud University Nijmegen.
JONS is a company specialised in music composition, audio post-production and sound design. JONS produces for commercial projects, such as broadcasting channels and commercials including Discovery, TLC, Disney, Virgin, Film1, Volkskrant, Adidas and EA games. JONS also worked on more cultural projects, such as the short films Emma&Eva (special mentioning at the Los Angeles Movie Awards) and Daniel (official selection Dutch Film Festival NFF) and the documentary Transformoney 2.0 from artist Dadara.