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Saturday, March 02, 2024

This Saturday, the Hippodrome State Theatre is holding a test screening of an independent documentary from local film production company Inner Voice Productions. And what better place to showcase a local independent film than a theater at the cultural heart of Gainesville recognized for its art house releases?

The film, called “Acharya,” is about the 70-year-old Indian swami who started the Hare Krishna movement while spreading the practice of Bhakti yoga in 1960s New York City. The documentary is Inner Voice Production’s first feature-length film. The company, which is based out of Alachua, Florida, involved professional filmmakers from Los Angeles, Australia and India.

Producer Jessica Heinrich finds the subject of the documentary to stand out from the many counterculture movements of the ’60s. While some sought escapism in resistance to social norms, Bhakti yoga taught self-realization. Heinrich hopes to uncover universal truths and leave people feeling uplifted with this film.

The Hippodrome offers films of all sizes to locals, from cult classics like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” to world cinema, like last year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner, “Son of Saul.” But this documentary demonstrates the next step for what the theater has to offer.

Because Inner Voice is in the final stages of post-production on its film, “an important part of the filmmaking process is to gain audience feedback” before entering the “fine-cutting stage of the film,” Heinrich said.

This is a test screening in which locals, including UF students, are encouraged to attend and participate by getting a chance to provide their comments and critiques after the film. The film is scheduled for an international theatrical release later in 2017 and should give people more incentive to be a part of something that will grow and develop.

Heinrich said Inner Voice also plans on submitting its documentary to the Sundance and Tribeca film festivals.

For those who are followers of Bhakti yoga, lovers of documentaries or frequenters of Krishna lunch, the film may be of particular interest, but it is also for those who simply want to learn about a heavily influential spiritual practice.

Admission is free, and each participant will be given a free movie ticket to any Regal Cinemas theater for participation.

Registration is required to participate in the screening and can be done by calling 352-278-8424 or emailing The event will from from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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