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APRIL 20, 2010 • ISSUE 77

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Professor Stuart Tanner with Father Gabriel Mejia

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Father Gabriel visits one of his centers

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Filming on the streets of Medellin

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A girl practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique

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Mayor Ed Malloy reading the proclamation honoring Father Gabriel Photo by Ken West

Professor Tannerís Documentary Premiers in Fairfield

The David Lynch Foundation presented its newest documentary about Father Gabriel Mejia on April 8. Directed by MUM faculty member Stuart Tanner, “Saving the Disposable Ones” shows Father Gabriel’s work in Colombia transforming the lives of thousands of children by providing shelter, love, and the Transcendental Meditation® technique.

Father Gabriel opened his first shelter in the mid 1980s in the city of Medellin and now his Fundación Hogares Claret runs 54 centers in 8 cities serving 8,500 children across Colombia.

"The basic therapy is love,” said Father Mejia. “Love is the imperial medicine for any illness or disorder. When a child feels they are welcome, when a child feels an educator is concerned about them, the child who came from violence and hostility of the streets, from being mistreated and who became aggressive, they change. The child changes."

The film is part of the David Lynch Foundation Television documentary series and it documents the extraordinary transformation the children go through over time.

“I have a strong interest in telling stories that are based on solutions to the toughest of our current challenges in the world,” said director Stuart Tanner. “Transcendental Meditation is taught to the children as part of a therapeutic process. The children recognize the benefits they get from the TM technique. They once felt hopeless and lost, now they express positivity about their futures and have ambitions. This is such a great achievement when one considers the very tough circumstances they have been through.”

Stuart Tanner is Co-Director of MUM’s Communications and Media department and Executive Producer-Director for David Lynch Foundation Television. Over the past 30 years he has worked for major UK and international broadcasters and his documentaries have won awards from the BBC and Channel Four.

During the premiere, Ed Malloy, Fairfield’s Mayor, presented Father Gabriel with a proclamation and declared April 8, 2010 Father Gabriel Mejia day in honor of Father Gabriel’s selfless work for children.

The documentary was co-produced by Joanna Plafsky, a long-time supporter of the David Lynch Foundation. Assistant Producers of the film were Cullen Thomas and Amine Koudier of DLF.TV who both graduated from MUM. The David Lynch Foundation will be submitting the documentary to film festivals and TV networks. It will subsequently be available on DVD.

The David Lynch Foundation has provided over 120,000 scholarships around the world, including tens of thousands in Latin America, for the teaching of the Transcendental Meditation technique to at-risk populations.

Watch the trailer for the documentary at savingthedisposableones.com sponsered by David Lynch TV

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