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Behind the Scenes of What I Love About This City: New York: A Feeln Original

This week, we are proud to present the second installment of the Feeln Original Series, What I Love About This City, available exclusively at feeln.com. In each episode, locals share the joys and challenges of living in their city. For our second episode, Film and Animation Editor Mariana Flores (“What I Love About This City: Los Angeles“, “Baby Owl“)  and Film Editor Shane Patterson explore the Big Apple: New York City.

“I lived in New York when I was 5 or 6, but I lived in Long Island,” Mariana said. “Ice skating in Rockefeller Center is my only memory.”

What I Love About This City: New York

Mariana and her fiancé Shane set out to capture the spirit of New York, from Broadway and Times Square to the Bronx Zoo, from the rebuilt Coney Island boardwalk to the Statue of Liberty on Staten Island and the forests of Central Park.

Their guide on this trip was Brandon, an actor who has lived in New York for 10 years. “Brandon helped us plan our trip so we could see most of the boroughs in 4 days,” Mariana said. “As an actor, he was also really good at getting people to talk in front of the camera. I was nervous about that, but people were honest and open and had great things to say. They had a different attitude than people in LA, but not a negative one.”

What I Love About This City: New York

“Central Park was my favorite place in New York,” Mariana said. “I had no idea how big it was. It felt like I was in a forest, a place I could get lost in. Coney Island was another highlight. The beach was gorgeous, completely rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy. And it’s just a 20-minute train ride from Manhattan. Who knew you could live in the city and have such easy access to the beach?”

“The next cities I’d like to visit are Miami, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, and Portland,” Mariana said. “People often focus on the negative aspects of living in a big city, so I want people to see cities through the eyes of the people who live there, the people who know them best. I want to motivate people to explore their own city or others.”

What I Love About This City: New York

What I Love About This City: New York” is available to watch for free for two weeks on Feeln. Want to suggest a city or invite us to explore your city? Email Mariana at lovethiscity@feeln.com to tell us where we should go next!

Behind the Scenes of Las Memorias: A Feeln Original

This week, we are proud to present the world premiere of the Feeln Original documentary “Las Memorias,” available exclusively at feeln.com. For 10 years, Antonio was a prison inmate. As a drug addict, he had lost his freedom and his family. But a kindly and supportive nun helped him realize he still had value as a person. Today, he is the director of Las Memorias, a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico that cares for drug addicts and HIV patients. For the people he has dedicated his life to helping, Antonio is a living example of how everyone has the capacity to turn their lives around.

Las Memorias” marks the directorial debut of Peter King, writer of “The Saint of Auschwitz.” Peter met Antonio in Tijuana, Mexico, while researching for a Feeln Original about a Catholic nun and activist named Mother Antonia who cared for inmates at the notorious maximum-security La Mesa Prison. “Mother Antonia was beloved by all the prisoners,” Peter said. “Antonio met her in prison, and she inspired him to become the man he is today.”

Las Memorias

“Antonio’s memories provide the structure for the film,” Peter said. “It’s really fitting that the clinic he runs is called Las Memorias. For me, the heart of the film was about going into Antonio’s past and following him on the journey that led him from drugs and prison to serving others.”

According to Peter, the most emotional and difficult place to film was at the clinic. “The people at Las Memorias are amazing,” Peter said. “Many of them are living with sickness, and they help each other. There are parties and dancing, and the people who live there do different jobs to earn their keep. It’s so vibrant and alive. On the other hand, the clinic is also a very grave world. People pass away on a regular basis, and it’s heartbreaking.”

Las Memorias

“Antonio is such a personality, and he’s willing to be honest about who he is. He hasn’t been a saint his whole life. But Mother Antonia saw the good in him, saw that he had more to offer. She told him, ‘You have an amazing heart, and you can inspire and take care of people.’ Antonio proves that people can do what seems impossible. He was given hope, and he’s redeemed himself through service. That’s what the clinic does, too. It sees the positive in people, the goodness, and mines that.”

Las Memorias Crew

Las Memorias Crew with Antonio

Follow Antonio on his journey towards redemption in “Las Memorias,” free for two weeks on Feeln.

Behind the Scenes of InspireWire 2.0, Episode 04 – Relationships: A Feeln Original

This week, we are proud to launch a new episode of InspireWire 2.0, our exclusive original series. InspireWire is back and better than ever. Iris Ichishita and Jeffrey Allen are your hosts for this human interest show featuring uplifting “Inspiral Videos” from all corners of the internet, in-depth original features, and a variety of unique voices reporting from across the country.

InspireWire Episode 4

Iris and Jeff make deposits into the pun jar.

Relationships make the world go round. In this episode, legendary gameshow host Wink Martindale gives regular people our quiz to find out which types of relationships are truly the closest. A pair of aspiring hip-hop stars use music and dance to help kids realize their potential and donate to others in need. An artist named NODU paints to relieve his social anxiety. And Jeff shares a clever trick to make sure your shoelaces never come untied again.

Do you have a special relationship you’d like to share with Iris and Jeff? Tweet your videos and inspiring moments to @inspirewire with the hashtag #inspiralvideos.

You can watch all previous episodes of InspireWire on Feeln. A new episode of InspireWire airs every month.

Behind the Scenes of Second Chance: A Feeln Original

Second Chance

This week, we are proud to present the world premiere of the Feeln Original “Second Chance,” available exclusively at feeln.com. As a plane falls from the sky, a husband and father has visions of the future he might never get to experience. The story is inspired by testimonials from passengers aboard US Airways Flight 1549, which took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York on January 15, 2009, and, within minutes, struck a flock of birds and lost power in both engines. “We were really drawn to what people were thinking about in what they believed were their final moments,” said writer and director John Dion (“Superhero,” “Collision“). “Your brain goes into overdrive: people thought about their kids, their futures going on without them. Their what-ifs led us to incorporate surreal sequences that were still very grounded and true to the characters.”

Second Chance

The plane scenes were shot in a warehouse in Burbank, on a plane cabin set on rollers. “We had a bunch of guys shaking the set, and it worked out great,” John said. “We shot the surreal scenes in slow motion, which was challenging because in slow motion you can focus on every detail of the shot, so all the camera movements had to be timed and perfect. Both the surreal scenes and the plane scenes contained little or no dialogue, so our actors had to communicate their emotions with just their looks.”

Second Chance

“The characters in the film are all drawn from the wisdom of real people,” John said. “For example, there really was a person who started singing on the flight. For the film, I asked a singer/songwriter to write a song not about the plane crash, but about our protagonist’s regret about missing all these events in his family’s future. We then used an animatic to time the song so that it begins in the surreal scenes and then transitions seamlessly to the plane scene.”

Second Chance

“It’s really rare for circumstances like these to have a happy ending,” John said. “I hope that people come away from this film feeling appreciative for what they have. Many of the passengers on the flight said the one and only thing they wanted to do was to tell their loved ones that they loved them. I think it’s important not to wait for a big moment. Don’t wait to be prompted. You never know what can happen.”

On the sixth anniversary of US Airways Flight 1549, we invite you to watch “Second Chance,” free for two weeks on Feeln.

6 Movies That Will Make You Thankful at Thanksgiving

In my family, Thanksgiving historically involves gathering around the dinner table with family and friends, passing the turkey and stuffing, lowering our heads to say grace. This tradition is usually followed by another. After dinner, we gather on the couch with plates of pie balanced on our full tummies to watch an inspiring movie. This year, I’ve put together a list of the six best Thanksgiving movies on Feeln. Though not all of these Thanksgiving movies take place at Thanksgiving, they will inspire feelings of thankfulness & gratefulness.

1. Sally

Nancy Travis plays a waitress who serves a very special customer. Generosity when we have much to give is difficult, but generosity when we have little is righteous. This Feeln original short film is a Thanksgiving classic.

Sally on Feeln

 

2. Life Is Beautiful (subtitled or dubbed)

The winner of three Academy Awards, Life is Beautiful has earned its place among profoundly moving Holocaust films like The Pianist and Schindler’s List. Guido’s attempt to transform the terrors of the concentration camp into a game to protect his son demonstrates the endurance of the human spirit and the power of the imagination.

Life is Beautiful

 

3. The Mighty

A mismatched pair of teenage boys discover how they can lean on each other to accomplish more than anyone thought possible. One of life’s greatest gifts is the gift of friendship.

The Mighty

 

4. Good Will Hunting

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Robin Williams all received Academy Awards for this heartrending drama about the challenge of forgiving yourself. Sometimes all we need is one person to believe in us.

Good Will Hunting

 

5. The Other Side of the Mountain

The true story of a teenage skiing champ who lost the ability to walk but never let go of her capacity to love or desire to achieve. Faced with great loss, we learn what is really important to us.The Other Side of the Mountain

 

6. Rain Man

Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman are a wonderfully mismatched pair in this moving family drama that won four Academy Awards. You can never appreciate your family enough.Rain Man

10 Things You Can Do to Make Yourself Happier

Happy on Feeln

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we are proud to share Academy Award-nominated director Roko Belic’s documentary Happy with you. From the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata, this documentary aims to answer the age-old question: What really makes people happy? Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, the secrets behind our most valued emotion are explored.

After watching HappyI’ve compiled 10 recommendations for easy things you can do to make yourself feel happier.

1. Invest in yourself. Actively pursue your dreams.

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2. Do what you excel at, and do it as often as you can.

3. Give. Helping others who need help benefits the giver as well as the receiver.

Giving

4. Sleep and exercise more. Sleep helps our bodies recover and makes us less sensitive to negative emotions. Exercise releases endorphins. People who exercise feel better about their bodies, even if they see no physical change.

Sleep

5. Develop strong bonds with others. Make time for family and friends. Make good friends.

6. Smile! Smiling can improve our intention, help us perform better on cognitive tasks, and even alleviate pain.

Smile

7. Go outside. Spending as little as 20 minutes outside in good weather can boost positive mood, broaden thinking, and improve working memory.

Outdoors

8. Meditate. Meditation clears your mind and calms you down, improving focus, clarity, and attention span.

Meditation

9. Surround yourself with good feeln. Watching uplifting movies can lift your spirits and put you in a better state of mind. We have hundreds of uplifting films right here.

10. Express gratitude. Thinking actively about the everyday things you are grateful for increases both happiness and life satisfaction.

Behind the Scenes of American Dream: A Feeln Original

American Dream Feeln original short film

This week, we are proud to present the world premiere of the Feeln Original “American Dream,” available exclusively at feeln.com. “American Dream” is a documentary about Lupita Portillo, a 101-year-old, Mexican-born immigrant who hopes to fulfill her lifelong goal of becoming a citizen of the United States. Lupita was born in Mexico in 1912. She developed a strong love and appreciation for the United States after immigrating here in the 1960s. She deeply wanted to become an U.S. citizen like her children and grandchildren, but government regulations made it seem unlikely that she would ever be naturalized. But with the help of her family and church, her American dream finally came true.

“We’ve wanted to film a nationalization story for a long time, but we’ve been waiting to find a truly unique and inspiring tale,” said Director Cristina Malavenda (“Charlie,” “Flight of Honor“). “Why does a person who’s over 100 want to become an American citizen? Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are all citizens. Her family has laid its roots here, and she’s grateful for all the opportunities America has given her family.”

Cristina Malavenda with Lupita

Director Cristina Malavenda (left) with Lupita on her 102nd birthday.

 

Lupita celebrated her 102nd birthday this October, and Cristina screened the film for her and her family. “I think it’s easy for those of us who were born in the States to take our citizenship rights for granted,” Cristina said. “But Lupita and her family worked really hard to make this happen. We were all so happy for her, that she accomplished her dream.”

Join Lupita on her journey to become a nationalized citizen in “American Dream,” free for two weeks on Feeln.

 

Cast and Crew

Directed by Cristina Malavenda

Producer Rob Fried

Producer Iris Ichishita

Executive Producer Peter King

Line Producer Rebecca Stone

Associate Producer Naré Mkrtchyan

Director of Photography Sean-Michael Smith

Original Score Aram Mandossian

Editor Alejandro Heiber

Editor Juan Felipe Orozco

Additional Editor Mariana Flores

Assistant Editor Dustin Elkin

Production Sound Mixer Leonardo Nasca

Production Coordinator Iliana Guevara

Camera Operator Cristina Malavenda

Camera Operator Rob Connolly

Camera Operator Adam Bricker

Camera Operator Iris Ichishita

Camera Operator Iliana Guevara

Sound Designer Brian Bibbo

Color Correction Juan Felipe Orozco

Special Thanks:

Lupita Portillo

Alicia Portillo

Portillo family

Silvia Lopez

Alfonso Lopez

Julian Lopez

Jessica Lopez

Sophia Lopez

Special Thanks:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Claire Nicholson, USCIS Public Affairs Officer

Divine Saviour Catholic Church

Father Marco Ortiz

5 Kid’s TV Shows that Parents Will Also Enjoy

As parents, we spend a lot of time watching shows with our kids. But just because a show is made for kids doesn’t mean that we adults can’t enjoy it, too. Here at Feeln, we have a number of quality, Family Friendly TV Shows that your kids will love and that will also make you chuckle or even teach you a thing or two! You may also remember some of these Kids TV Shows, like our reboot of the iconic 80s show Rainbow Brite, from your childhood. These characters are like old friends, and there’s nothing better than sharing them with your kids.

 

1. Rainbow Brite

Rainbow Brite

Rainbow Brite is back! The most colorful hero ever returns to protect Rainbowland from the forces of darkness. We’re restoring the iconic 80s animated series, and–“oh my bows!”–Rainbow Brite rides only on Feeln, starting November 6. Actress and singer-songwriter Emily Osment voices Rainbow Brite, and Molly Ringwald (The Breakfast ClubPretty in Pink), voices The Dark Princess, her main antagonist. Need to recharge your rainbows with a blast of cute and a sparkle of humor? Watch the all-new, limited series event on Feeln.

 

2. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids is an animated series created, produced, and hosted by Bill Cosby, who also lends his voice to a number of characters, including Fat Albert. The show has an educational emphasis and during each episode, Fat Albert and his friends deal with a social issue or problem commonly faced by older children and young adults.

 

3. The New Adventures of Madeline

The New Adventures of Madeline

Take your family on an adventure to Paris with our favorite little French red-head, Madeline, the hero from Ludwig Bemelman’s classic children’s books. She and her charming classmates will teach your little ones about friendship, manners and fun in this award-winning animated series narrated by Christopher Plummer, as their teacher, Miss Clavel, helps keep the girls safe and happy.

 

4. The Adventures of Paddington Bear

The Adventures of Paddington Bear

Join the beloved Paddington Bear on his adventures through London! Windsor Garden’s favorite son, Paddington is eager to help, gets in sticky messes, solves mysteries, and shares his unique point of view with his friends and neighbors.

 

5. Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures

Jack Hannas Animal Adventures

In this charming and educational series, Emmy Award-winning Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and best pal of the animals, Jack Hanna takes us on adventures around the globe to meet furry, feathered and finned friends. Children of all ages get close up looks as animals prove how smart and talented they are, while Jungle Jack shows us the importance of caring for our bio-diverse planet.

Behind the Scenes of Phantom: A Feeln Original

This week, in the spirit of Halloween, we are proud to present the world premiere of the Feeln Original “Phantom,” available exclusively at feeln.com. Fear: it makes your heart beat faster, your muscles tense, and your face contort. It becomes physically impossible to keep your cool. To see what real people look like when they’re given a fright, we hid a super-high-speed camera inside a haunted maze to capture the hilarious slow-motion reactions of unsuspecting guests as masked monsters jumped out at them. This laugh-out-loud film gives new meaning to the phrase “scared silly.”

“My parents love Halloween and haunted houses, so every year, we’d find the scariest haunted house and go as a family,” said Phantom’s writer, director, and editor James Lee Hernandez (“Stick Together,” “Four Chaplains“). “When I was in high school, my parents took my friends and me to a haunted house. We were all on the basketball team, 6’5″, 6’6″, and we thought we were pretty tough. But at the very end of the maze, a guy came out of nowhere with a real chainsaw. You could smell the gas and feel the vibrations as he revved it up. We didn’t realize that there was no chain on it at the time. We ran out of that place hugging and screaming!”

Phantom slo-motion screams

Every Halloween, Feeln director Ken Carlson (“Big Gus,” “Dating Avi“) turns his home into a haunted house. The maze is free, and people from all over Los Angeles come to Santa Monica to get scared out of their wits. “We didn’t know what a big deal it would be until we arrived,” James said. “There were thousands of people. They closed the street in front of Ken’s house.” When shooting with such a high-speed camera, you need a ton of light. James and director of photography Sean-Michael Smith used a strobe light and a hand-cranked floodlight to capture their victims’ terrified faces.

“For me, it was really important to show people laughing and smiling after being scared,” James said. “Why do we enjoy being scared as entertainment? It’s such an adrenaline rush. It awakens something primal, and afterwards you just start laughing out of relief. Halloween is all about fun and excitement, and when you and your friends are scared silly, it can be a bonding experience. When I watched our footage, I could totally relate. After I’ve been scared, I often wonder, what did my face just do? And now I know!”

Phantom smiles

You can watch others lose their cool and die laughing in “Phantom,” free for two weeks on Feeln.

 

Cast and Crew

Director James Lee Hernandez

Written by James Lee Hernandez & Iris Ichishita

Producer Rob Fried

Producer Iris Ichishita

Executive Producer Naré Mkrtchyan

Line Producer Rebecca Stone

 

Director of Photography Sean-Michael Smith

Editor James Lee Hernandez

Phantom Operator Sean Zaccheo

Assistant Camera Gabriel Diniz

Additional Camera by Dustin Elkin

Chris Commons

Iliana Guevara

Peter King

Cristina Malavenda

 

Special Thanks:

The Carlson Family

Competitive Sheet Metal

Darshan Kembhavi

And all the wonderful people whom we scared!