Baha’is believe in the power of prayer and you’ll find Baha’is and their friends, throughout the world, getting together to pray. This is often referred to as a ‘devotional gathering’ or ‘devotional meeting’, and they happen in diverse settings, whether in cities or villages. These gatherings are open to all and are intended to embrace that attitude of prayer and practice of devotion that is universal to all religions.
In This Day – A Short Film About Prayer and Overcoming Tests and Difficulties
In This Day is a poignant and visually stunning short film put together by a team of young adults in New York City (USA). It was made in honour of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab but its subject and its themes of serving others, the importance of prayer, and of facing tests and difficulties are applicable anytime.
Nava Kavelin is one of the film’s team members and she shared a little with us about the film and what she learned in the process of making it:
Baha’i Blog: Could you please tell us a little about the team behind ‘In This Day’?
The team consisted of a group of friends in Brooklyn who were all connected to media and film in some capacity: some taking their first steps in the industry and others established and successful. Another group of friends in North Carolina also helped in the post-production process. What connected us all was our desire to make an offering for the Bicentenary of the Bab, out of our love for the Twin Manifestations.
Baha’i Blog: What inspired you to create this short film?
We wanted to learn how, as a group of friends taking individual steps in film, we could come together with unity of vision and purpose to offer something modest but from the heart on this very Sacred occasion. Our initial vision was a little more elaborate and directly connected to the Bicentenary anniversary than what time and resources allowed us to produce, but what we retained all throughout was a devotional tone, which was very important to us. We wanted the film to reflect an arc of moving from darkness into light, made possible through reliance on God.
Baha’i Blog: What did you learn during the process?
We learned you need more than 4 weeks to pull off a film! (Laughter) We learned that consultation at every stage of the process is critical, as is trusting the capacity of people who are in their given roles and giving them space and latitude to execute. We also learned that generosity can make so much possible — we had no budget for the project and relied completely on the voluntary service and donation of the team members themselves.
Baha’i Blog: What do you hope others will take away from this film?
I hope it will offer a moment of reflection and contemplation — especially for those in a moment of test and difficulties— to consider what will help them move closer towards the light. Whatever that may look like, and for each person that will naturally vary, a key component must surely be trust in and reliance upon God.
Baha’i Blog: What advice might you have for anyone thinking of taking on a similar project?
Plan ahead; over plan! Everything takes longer and is more expensive than you anticipate, so… try to anticipate it anyway! Consult, act from a place of love and… rely upon God!
Baha’i Blog: What are you working on now?
I’m working on a few projects with the film’s director, Penn Badgley. The projects are all distinct and meant for different audiences but they all reflect our desire to create content that is meaningful and realistic. Often when people say realistic I think what they mean is cynical and dark. But human nature has a dark side and a bright side, and the bright side is lamentably underrepresented in popular media. So we want to create content that reflects, realistically, the bright side of our individual and collective nature.
Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much, Nava! We are grateful to you for taking the time to share with with us!
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.