Encouraging peace

Producer/writer Cynthia Lukas presents “Gandhi’s Gift”

By Elizabeth Casella
Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Oct. 13 previews of the new film, “Gandhi’s Gift,” will be presented at the Citizens for Peace meeting at Unity of Livonia at 7 p.m. Producer and writer Cynthia Lukas will be at the event to answer questions and discuss the film. “Gandi’s Gift” follows a four-year filmmaking journey of Lukas and her co-producer and director Kell Kearns. The production follows the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi in India, South Africa and London. All of the important sites in his life are included.

gandhi“It is going to be a very exciting night. Citizens for Peace represent exactly what this movie’s message is. Cynthia travels the world lecturing about her multiple documentaries and finding new story ideas. I met her in 2004 at a conference and I am excited to see her again because she is an amazing person as well as a fantastic speaker. This is also a great opportunity for any students studying to be filmmakers to get the chance to talk with Cynthia up close and personal about her career and experience in her field,” said Colleen Mills, Citizens for Peace organizer.

Lukas is a film producer, writer, author, lecturer on topics of spiritual growth and global transformation. She was born in North Little Rock, Arkansas and holds a masters degree in communication from Fairfield University. She has been a journalist, a councilwoman and college educator. Not to mention, Lukas is also an award winning of memoirs, mystical poetry and young-adult novels.

In 2004, she co-founded a non-profit organization, Heaven on Earth Creations, with her partner Kell Kearns. Since then they have co-produced six acclaimed documentaries that have been shown on PBS. “Gandhi’s Gift” is their latest film and is the first major documentary about Gandhi made in the U.S. Lukas has traveled the world creating her works as well as presenting them at a variety of venues such as colleges and peace conferences.

“It is cool that she is coming to Livonia and offering citizens this chance to view a preview to a film like this. We learn about Gandhi in history classes in school and he truly was an amazing advocate for peace. I am intrigued to the film when it is released,” said Schoolcraft freshmen Claire Rish.

The premise of the movie explores Gandhi’s life message of nonviolence, equality, interfaith harmony and sustainability relates to modern day. It also suggests that these qualities are more important now than when he walked the earth. Interviews from people who were close to Gandhi and archival material are included.

“Many documentaries about Gandhi just describe his life and his movement. Filming a documentary by talking to the people he worked closely with and following his path is a creative take to capture Gandhi’s life,” said Schoolcraft student Austin Ferguson.

Citizens for Peace is a non-profit organization that works towards creating a culture of peace in Michigan, the U.S. and around the world. Meetings are held each month on the second Tuesday at 7 p.m. and other events such as this are held throughout the year. Unity of Livonia is located at 28660 Five Mile Road, Livonia, MI. Everyone is welcomed for the Oct. 13 preview and discussion of “Gandhi’s Gift” from 7 to 9 p.m.

For more information, visit gandhisgift.org and citizens4peace.com.