From Head to Heart

Los Angeles, California | Film Short


Sej Saraiya

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $26,475 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

83 supporters | followers

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When a group of California baby boomers meet a young Pandit from India, what results is a movement that takes the world by storm.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

We are a female director duo exploring a character-driven story of a small group of trailblazing Americans who followed the footsteps of an Indian teacher in the eighties to lay the foundation of what was to become one of the most significant meditation movements in the world.

The Story

The film chronicles  the early beginnings and extraordinary rise of the Art of Living Foundation that, in a short span of 40 years, has touched the lives of millions of people around the globe. This incredible story of one man’s vision to uplift humanity is told through the eyes of a motley crew of Americans who followed him and unknowingly laid the foundation stones of the movement. 



“Art of Living has worked on programs that have been at the core of my public life; promoting peace, combating violence and drug addiction, empowering our youth. It has an incredible following that cuts through all religions, cultures and backgrounds, a very difficult thing to do in today’s world.” 

- Mr. Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States of America






Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a global humanitarian and peacemaker honored and celebrated by heads of state and universities and greeted by hundreds of thousands wherever he goes. But what was it like in the very beginning? How did one man with no money, structural support, or resources galvanize a movement of this scale? Perhaps the only people who can tell us are the ones who were with him initially. What did they see in Panditji as he was called in those days? What drew them to him? What possibility did they see in his vision? And could they have imagined a day, within their lifetime, that would draw thousands of people to the steps of the National Mall–the most iconic place in the United States?

A character-driven journey, FROM HEAD TO HEART explores this precarious moment in history through the eyes of those few who were present when, unbeknownst to them, a movement was being born.



In the Fall of 2023, the world will gather on the iconic grounds of Washington DC, where Martin Luther King gave the "I have a Dream" speech in 1963. A vision of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the World Culture Festival has brought together over 5 million people from all over the world at the last three gatherings. 

This larger-than-life gathering was the vision of a young pandit from India who set out to spread the Gandhian principle of non-violence worldwide. His organization, "Art of Living Foundation," would change the lives of millions around the world through breathwork and meditation.

Few know that this organization started in a home in California with a motley bunch of baby boomers seeking a deeper meaning in life. As the organization attains international acclaim of astounding scale, we retrace the story of its humble beginnings.

“A meeting no politician on earth could even dream of.” -Ms. Édith Cresson Former Prime Minister of France


A massive event with thousands of artists/performers and tens of thousands of attendees will gather at the iconic National Mall this September to celebrate 40 years of the Art of Living Foundation. The mind boggling scale of the event gives the impression of an organization of immense wealth and resources. When in fact it is a volunteer run organization with a global impact almost impossible to achieve in the short span of 40 years.  This remarkable feat can only be fully appreciated when one has the context of how it began. This is that story.




FROM HEAD TO HEART is a timely take on the origins of Art of Living with urgency for completion with the IV World Culture Festival around the corner. This is what the money will be going toward:

Production Expenses: Over half of our budget will pay the crew for the twelve-day shoot. This includes our experienced camera team, gaffer, sound department, food for the crew, etc. 

Post-Production: 40% will cover our post-production expenses, including the color studio, sound design, music score, transciption services, closed-captioning etc. 

Stretch Goal: If we hit our stretch goal of $30,000, just under ten percent of the budget will help cover the additional costs incurred during pre-production plus purchase of external hard drives and other necessary devices and electronics. 

Stretch stretch Goal: If we succeed in raising over $35,000, we will also be able to pay for higher quality sound design, cover other costs such as legal fees, festival submissions, poster design, website maintenance, and other unexpected expenses incurred during production. 


We will be filming where the story began in Halifax and California, primarily in the homes and locations in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Santa Monica, and the Pacific Palisades, where early courses, workshops and gatherings took place.  

We visualize this script as a classic 80s-90s film with the look and feel of that time. 

The primary strength of the film is the characters and their journey that started this global movement. The tone will reflect the period; the language is more stylized and poetic. The visual style is influenced by ethereal landscapes, emphasis on character and relationships, and a sense of silence.




We'd love your support! Your contribution is 100% Tax-Deductible!

How you can help: 

Click the blue "Make a Pledge" button to kindly gift us a monetary contribution—every dollar helps! We have listed some cool incentives, so please check them out. 

Help us spread the word about our film by sharing our Campaign Page with your online communities. Have a friend who was a part of the counterculture movement, loves Gurudev, or interested in learning more about the meditation movement in the West? Pass our info along.

Follow like our Campaign Page. Did you know we unlock some extra cool features if we get 250 likes on Seed&Spark? 

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Help support female filmmakers @priya.narayanan.1947 + @sejvsaraiya by pledging or following their film @fromheadtoheartfilm

We hope you’ll join us on our trip down the memory lane, whether it’s a pledge, following our socials or sharing our posts, every bit helps, and for that we are grateful. Thanks for being part of our community and for supporting us. Stay tuned, and thank you for supporting our film!


COVID MEASURES: The shoot will take place in a safe and COVID compliant environment. A big portion of the filming will either take place outdoors or with a small group of people and a small crew. 


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

On Location Sound Mixer

Costs $1,500

To record sound

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Primary Camera Unit

Costs $4,500

DP + Lens + Equipent Rental

Second Camera Unit

Costs $3,000

Second Camera Operator + Equipment Rental

Other Production Crew

Costs $2,500

Light Rental + Gaffer


Costs $3,000

Make this film happen!


Costs $5,000

Our editor will work his magic, put the pieces of the puzzle together to create a beautiful picture

Color Grading

Costs $2,000

The film will be color graded at a top studio in Burbank.

Sound Design

Costs $3,500

Our sound designer in Burbank will bring an evenness to all sounds (interviews, B-Roll, and other).

Original Score

Costs $2,000

Our original score composer will help us evoke audience emotions through their score.

About This Team

PRIYA NARAYANAN Director, Executive Producer, Producer

Priya is a psychiatrist and senior faculty member with the Art of Living Foundation and travels around the country to teach meditation and self-development workshops. She is a strong advocate for the role of alternative modalities of healing and promotes the role of yoga, meditation, and healthy living as adjuncts to conventional psychiatric treatment. Priya has a Masters in Screenwriting from the London Film School and her short film THE BREADFRUIT TREE won awards at numerous film festivals around the world. She worked as 4th Assistant Director on LAGAAN and 2nd Unit Director on TALAASH. Inspired by Robert Whitaker’s book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” which exposes the corruption in the psychopharmaceutical industry, she is currently working on a feature film that tells the true story of a lawyer and his mentally ill client who take on a big pharmaceutical company.


SEJ SARAIYA Director, Producer

Sej Saraiya is a writer, filmmaker and meditator, who has traveled to the interiors of Asia and South America on photographic journeys to document remote cultures and Indigenous peoples. A cultural-conservationist and proponent of ancient wisdom, Sej's passion lies in stories rooted in ancient traditions of Indigenous peoples. She has lectured at universities, museums, and film festivals, bringing awareness to Indigenous cultures and their wisdom. She has mentored in storytelling for the "Empowered Indigenous Filmmaker Masterclass" programs in Canada. Her short films, THE LANGUAGE THEY SPOKE and THE CURIOUS WOODS won over 25 awards including Best Director, Best Environmental Film, and Best Viewer Impact. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. Her documentary, THE DANCE OF FREEDOM, a social impact documentary about a tribe of untouchable people in India, whose women ended female infanticide through dance is currently in post-production.


PASHA SAFONOV Editor, Director of Photography

Pasha Teplo is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, director and editor. His deep respect for the natural world and the lessons that can be learned through silence are reflected in his cinematography, which is often described as meditative and poetic. His creative skills have been tapped by artists of diverse backgrounds as Grammy-winning bassist Stanley Clarke, Big Sean, and Travis Scott; Keera Kushnirova, Mustafa Shakir, and award-winning poets such as Adam Roa. His short films have won several awards for Best Editing and Best Cinematography in film festivals worldwide. His most recent work as a director of photography and editor, OUT THERE SOMEWHERE, with American actors Devon Werkheiser and Maiarah Walsh, is currently in post-production. He continues to evolve his craft with an intention of making a positive impact on human existence.




Mohana & Prabu are the archivists for the Art of Living Organization. Apart from maintaining decades of archives, they are involved in media production for peace building endeavors such as Cities4Peace. Over the last 12 years Prabu has documented innumerable events with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar through his Photography & Videography. As a scientist-couple, Mohana & Prabu are impact makers in sustainability and circular economy, notably in animal-free leather alternative.


Current Team