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Ram Dass: Becoming Nobody ~ A Special Screening with filmmaker Jamie Catto and live performance by East Forest

Monday, September 9, 2019 7:00pm

VIFF Vancity Theatre (map)

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Use the promo code VIFFBECOMING to receive $10 off tickets for the Sept 9th event!

Featured in the final title sequence of Becoming Nobody is the collaboration between Ram Dass and musician East Forest, “I Am Loving Awareness”, a beautifully meditative track through which Ram Dass shares perhaps his single most powerful belief. Following the screening, VIFF is honoured to host filmmaker Jamie Catto and East Forest for an intimate discussion about one of the greatest Western Spiritual teachers of our time, followed by a live performance by East Forest from his 2018 collaboration with Ram Dass, “Chapters I, II and III.”

Becoming Nobody truly represents the core arc of Ram Dass’ teachings and life. His ability to entertain and his sense of humor are abundantly evident in a conversation that brings us around to address the vast question of ultimate freedom. Becoming Nobody is the quintessential portal to Ram Dass’ life and teachings.

Ram Dass has led a multifaceted life. Whether as Richard Alpert, the eminent Harvard psychologist, or as Ram Dass, who serves as a bridge between Eastern and Western philosophies, he has defined a generation of inner explorers and seekers of truth and wisdom. Through his turns as scion of an eminent Jewish family from Boston, rock star Harvard psychologist, counter-culture rascally adventurer, Eastern holy man, stroke survivor and compassionate caregiver, Ram Dass has worn many hats on his journey, the narrative of which is revealed in this film.

In Becoming Nobody, historic clips balance an engaging conversation with director Jamie Catto. We come to understand how our old roles and disguises become increasingly burdensome. The film captures a loving man full of joy, wit, honesty and wisdom, at ease in conversation while sharing his considerable pains and pleasures. The life experiences that have freed him from the attachments of his ‘Somebodyness’ have transformed him into the radiant soul who now inspires a new generation.


Since 2008 East Forest has been the leader of underground ‘sound meditation’ ceremonies around the world. While his ‘electro-acoustic orchestral ambient pop’ can be contextualized along with Aphex Twin, Philip Glass and Sigur Ros, the fundamental mission of his project is to create sonic architecture for others to explore their inner space. As a teacher, East Forest has blazed a path in the international wellness movement by embracing the intersection between technology, nature, music and the human experience. His creations span over twenty albums including collaborations with Ram Dass, retreats at the Esalen Institute, Google, John Hopkins neuroaesthetics project, Consciousness Hacking, and his own TEDTalk. His music appears on his label Aquilo Records, as well as 1631 Recordings, Tender Loving Empire and Universal/Decca.

Ram Dass' & East Forest's recording collaboration:
In June 2018 East Forest traveled to Ram Dass’ home on Maui, Hawaii for a series of recording sessions to capture fresh contemporary teachings with intentions of creating an immersive musical experience. The collaborative work features topics around technology, nature, soul, death, psilocybin, the idea of guru, circular thinking, witness consciousness, karma, the mind, as well as classic Ram Dass stories of miracles and his early journeys in India and more. East Forest composed music to accompany each teaching in a wide range of influences with featured guests round out the offering to build a diverse and connected listening experience, including  grammy nominated Krishna Das, Stic of Dead Prez, Laura Bird of The Mynabirds, Trevor Hall, as well as remixes by a range of artist like Hammock and Christopher Willits


Jamie Catto is the creator, producter/director of the multi-award winning 1 Giant Leap films and albums and founding member of Faithless. He leads uniquely transformative workshops and one-on-one sessions. The first 1 Giant Leap album was nominated for two Grammys and sold over 300 thousand albums.
“Jamie Catto’s exceptional work assemblies the best of Ram Dass. The title of the film says it all and is a cogent parting message from this beloved teacher whose life has been a practical spiritual example for his generation and beyond.” Rob Sidon, Common Ground magazine

Film screening: 81 mins
Q&A with Jamie Catto and East Forest: 30 mins
Live performance by East Forest: 45-60 mins