Saturday, August 29, 2009

Award-Winning Documentary "To Touch the Soul" Screening at Southern Winds Film Festival

"To Touch the Soul" makes its Oklahoma debut at the Southern Winds Film Festival in Shawnee, Okla.

Shawnee, OK, August 28, 2009 --( “To Touch the Soul,” a 70-minute, award-winning documentary about the experiences of artist educator and social activist, Carlos Silveira, and his California State University, Long Beach students who traveled to Cambodia to create art projects with impoverished children impacted by HIV/AIDS, will screen during the Southern Winds Film Festival on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2 p.m., at the Kilpatrick Building, 10 East Main, Shawnee, Okla.

Directed by Ryan Goble, with cinematography by Erin Henning and narration by Cassandra Hepburn, the film captures the emotional context as Carlos and the students bond with the children and discover the true meaning of kindness, selflessness and courage.

“My team and I are thrilled that the Southern Winds Film Festival is giving us this opportunity to share our story with the film festival audience and the surrounding community,” said Teresa Hagen, producer and owner of Cut Loose Productions, located in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. “I truly believe that Dr. Silveira’s and his students’ work with Cambodian youth who are either infected with HIV/AIDS or have become orphans due to their parents dying from the disease (a population expected to grow to 108,700 over the next five years) captures the spirit of the growing worldwide movement to find common ground, renew mutual compassion and engage in social activism.”

“I focused on capturing both the beauty that surrounds Cambodia and the tragedy that hides within,” commented Goble, who is making his feature film directorial debut. “Our goal was to make the viewer feel like they were in Phnom Penh working with these kids. We chose to use the point of view of the Cal State Long Beach students because they had no idea what to expect when they arrived. They were na├»ve. That’s easy to relate to because the majority of the viewers have probably never worked with Cambodian children infected with H.I.V.”

Featuring original music composed by Martin Herman, “To Touch the Soul,” has so far won eight awards, including Best Documentary honors from the San Joaquin Film Festival in Stockton, Calif., and the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival in Des Moines, Iowa; and honorable mentions at the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) International and Byron Bay (Australia) Film Festivals. The documentary has also won a prestigious Best of Show Award as well as an Honorable Mention (motivational/inspirational category) from the Accolade Competition, which recognizes film, television and video professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change.

For information on purchasing tickets for the screening, visit Contact Teresa Hagen at 310-346-3650 or via e-mail at; or visit to learn more about “To Touch the Soul.”

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