After two years of going virtual, the Windrider Bay Area Film Forum is making a return to in-person screenings with two films that seem a perfect fit for the festival's uplifting theme, "Lens of Hope."
Windrider Bay Area marks its 13th year with screenings and filmmaker conversations June 23 and 24 at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center.
The event kicks off on June 23 with "Come From Away," a film adaptation of a Broadway musical inspired by the true story of how the residents of Gander, a tiny town in Newfoundland, Canada, welcomed, fed and housed about 7,000 travelers who were stranded by the grounding of air travel in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Christopher Ashley, who directed both the film and stage musical.
The following night's film, "Mission: Joy: Finding Happiness in Troubled Times," explores the strong friendship that religious leaders the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu maintained until Tutu's death in December 2021. "Mission: Joy" was filmed over five days at the Dalai Lama's residence in Dharamsala, India, and features personal stories and memories from the two leaders, and looks at how they found ways to create joy amid turbulent times. The film also delves into the neuroscience behind the practice of trying to live with more joy, even in tough times.
A conversation and Q&A follows the screening with the film's co-director and producer Peggy Callahan, Doug Abrams, who is featured in the film, and Dr. Elissa Epel, vice chair of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.
The forum also offers a virtual screening of "Mission: Joy."
The Windrider Bay Area Film Forum takes place June 23-24, 7 p.m. at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton. In-person tickets are $16.79 and virtual tickets for "Mission: Joy" are $16.25. For more information, visit windriderbayarea.org.