On Nov. 16, the CSUSB Palm Desert campus hosted a free talk for students with Adam Schomer, award-winning producer of the documentary HEAL, which premiered at the Indian Wells Theater a day later.
HEAL is a film directed by Kelly Noonan that focuses on by changing one’s thoughts, emotions, and perceptions, the human body can heal itself from any disease. Featuring the insight of scientists and teachers like Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Anita Moorjani, and Bruce Lipton, the documentary also follows real people on their healing journeys through the methods described.
Moderated by communication professor Bob Leo, the campus hosted a conversation with Adam Schomer, CEO of I2I Productions and producer of documentary films that focus on wellness and persevering in the face of incredible challenges.
“It is great to have significant leaders in different professions on our campus because it gives our students a great idea about all that is available to them after college,” stated Shawn Shepherd, Director of Development at the Palm Desert campus and coordinator of the HEAL showing.
Schomer was in the Coachella Valley to attend the premiere of his latest documentary, which challenges assumptions about what it takes to heal from disease and illness. The producer also discussed his life and career, in addition to other insightful concepts to inspire the 50 students who attended the event.
“We were especially thrilled to have a discussion with Adam Schomer, a film producer who has traveled the world making movies about overcoming challenges. As he talked about his own experiences, all of us were thinking about what we’ve overcome and how much possibility there really is in the world,” said Shepherd.
Schomer’s lecture was part of what is known as University Hour at the Palm Desert campus. This is a two-hour block period each Tuesday and Thursday where classes are not scheduled and students are able to participate in clubs and campus activities. This also gives them additional time to work on group projects for classes, or receive academic support at the Student Success Studio.
The satellite campus creates enrichment activities like the HEAL screening and lecture during open times on the calendar year. In addition to speakers, enrichment activities in University Hour include film showings by the Rancho Mirage Student Center, musical performances, and even a ukulele holiday sing-along coming in December.
The documentary screened on Friday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. and included a Q & A and reception with the filmmakers. An additional screening was shown Saturday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. with tickets costing five dollars for students and 15 dollars for the general public.
HEAL was the winner of the Soul in Cinema Award at the 2017 Maui Film Fest, and has garnered other accolades in the festival circuit since its distribution. The documentary is also relevant to students who may be experiencing conditions of mental stress brought about by demanding school schedules.
According to its official website, the film strives to empower viewers with “a new understanding of the miraculous nature of the human body and the extraordinary healer within us all.”