Speaker: Anne Veh & Rajesh Krishnan

When Animals Are Our Healers

Anne Veh and Rajesh Krishnan are filmmakers and co-producers of Teach Me to Be WILD, a documentary film that explores the work of a wildlife sanctuary in Northern California where a team of injured, non-releasable wild animals become wild teachers helping to heal generations of hurt children (at-risk teens, justice-involved youth, foster kids and others). The traumatic histories of the creatures, who range from an Andean condor to a two-toed sloth, often parallel those of the at-risk children who visit. Unexpected and empathic connections are forged that ripple into stories of transformation.

The sanctuary that is the subject of the film, Wildlife Associates, aims to recall us to our true place in Nature’s web. The sanctuary was founded by Steve Karlin, a former park ranger and television personality whose greatest mentors were a 330-pound American black bear and a pair of robins.

Teach Me to Be WILD was filmed over a period of three years with intimate access to the animals, their caregivers, remarkable workshop facilitators and their spirited students.  The film captures the magic that transpires where wounded children and their wild teachers meet.  The film has been screened at numerous school and community settings.  Its thematic content and pace inspire reflections, allowing the film to serve as an anchor for community screenings followed by a circle of sharing, discussion and journaling.

Rajesh is a technology entrepreneur in the San Francisco Bay Area who was led to filmmaking by his passion to preserve Sanatana Dharma's (Hinduism's) core philosophy of Vedanta and Vedic traditions. He has completed film, photography and multi-media projects to preserve the teachings of India's renowned philosopher-saint, Sri Adi Shankaracharya (Sringeri lineage). He has volunteered his time for film and photography projects for the United Nations Foundation for Women and other non-profit organizations.

Anne is an independent art curator and a first-time filmmaker. She has anchored her life around service, kindness circles, and teaching meditation and yoga. For the last decade, she has been passionately working with artists and creators who are making a positive impact on our world. She is an active member of ServiceSpace and conducts kindness circles in Bay Area schools. She is also a contributing editor for Conversations.org.  She lives with her husband and two children in Mill Valley, California.

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