The Prama Institute, a new seminar and retreat center located near Marshall, plans to make a splashy debut. Grand-opening events include a poetry reading and workshop with lauded wordsmith Robert Bly film screenings with Palestinian director Hanna Elias.
Spokesperson Ramesh Bjonnes explains that the nonprofit institute will host a wide range of events. “We plan to organize concerts, readings, workshops and retreats in or around Asheville, as well as at our newly built geodesic domes near Marshall,” he says.
Bly’s program, “The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy: An Evening of Sacred Poetry,” is presented in conjunction with UNCA. He’ll read from his own works as well as the poetry of Rumi, Hafez and Mirabai at the university’s Humanities Lecture Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25. In addition, a writers’ workshop and luncheon with the poet will be held at the Prama Institute on Thursday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost of the Prama event is $45, and advance registration is required.
Elias’ award-winning film, The Olive Harvest, was made with an Israeli crew and a Palestinian cast. It integrates a tale of love, tradition and family loyalty into the larger landscape of political and economic unease in a Palestinian village; ultimately, it gives “a message of peace,” according to the film’s producer, Kamran Elahian. The film will be shown at Asheville’s Fine Arts Theatre at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, and at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 29. Each screening will be followed by a discussion with the director.
Elias will also conduct film workshops, including: “How To Be An Indie Filmmaker And Love It,” on Saturday, April 28, from 1 to 4 p.m.; and “One Man’s Journey: The Use of Film to Promote Peace in the Middle East,” on Sunday, April 29, from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission to each workshop is $35.
For registration or additional information about these events or the Prama Institute, visit www.pramainstitute.org or call 649-9408.