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Documentary Production and Distribution News

The Highest Pass - with Original Music by Jon Anderson of YES

posted Sep 4, 2012, 15:05

Documentary, The Highest PassAvailable Nationwide on DVD and Digital Platforms

SYNOPSIS: Adam Schomer meets a modern guru, Anand Mehrotra, and they plan a motorcycle expedition on some of the most dangerous roads in the world -- the highest passes of the Himalayas in Northern India. They convince a team of seven intrepid souls to join them and share in what will surely become a journey of a lifetime. These riders are guided by the inspired teachings of Anand, who himself bears the burden of a Vedic prophecy that predicts he will die in his late twenties in an accident. He is that age when he leads the group with fearlessness and wisdom reminding them that, "Only the ones who dies, truly lives." Over 21 days and up to an elevation of 18,000 feet along a winding road, they never let low oxygen, altitude sickness, river-flooded roads, icy edges, snow and loaded trucks dampen their spirits or, ultimately, their deeper selves.

(Los Angeles) Part heart-pounding adventure, part spiritual quest, THE HIGHEST PASS, a feature length documentary directed by Jon Fitzgerald, takes viewers on a spiritual adventure covering 2000 km and, 18,000 feet in 21 days, where the riders learn, "Only those who die, truly live." The award-winning film shares the journey of seven seekers who follow a yogi guru with a Vedic death prophecy on a motorcycle trip up to the highest pass of the Indian Himalayas. Jon Anderson, lead vocal for YES, wrote two original songs for the film including the title song, "The Highest Pass." On DVD and digital platforms with a blessing of DVD extras.

A young guru, Anand Mehrotra, asks his followers to join him in India on a motorcycle journey that will begin in Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga, and will end in the high mountain region of Ladakh. Adam Schomer accepts the challenge, even though he's never ridden a motorcycle and joins Mehrotra, who at twenty-seven bears a prophecy that he will die in an accident before the age of thirty. They are joined by five men including: Paul Greene (entrepreneur), Mike Owen (stuntman), Eric Braff (graphic designer), Brooks Hale (Broadway producer), Rich Parkerson (technology entrepreneur) and one woman, Ariana de Bonvoisin (author). Their expedition will take them 2000 km over some of the most dangerous roads in the world where they ultimately climb over the highest motorable mountain pass on Earth meet a Tibetan oracle. Each rider will face his or her own form of 'death.' Says Schomer, "I don't ride motorcycles, I think they are dangerous. So I just said 'yes.'"

Schomer, who has his worst fears exposed in the film, is also the writer and producer. He has been a student of Mehrotra's Sattva yoga for three years. Schomer was born and raised in the Detroit area and attended Bham Groves High School. After college, Schomer returned to Detroit where he attended The Second City Detroit and performed locally in plays, films, commercials and improv comedy. A semi-pro soccer player (Mid Michigan Bucks), he also coached young players and the FC Waza soccer club as well as running i2i Soccer which helped train recreational soccer players. This is his first feature documentary production with a second documentary, WHEN THE DUST SETTLES, which takes a deep look into the effects of nuclear testing on the children of Kazakhstan, currently in post-production.

This is the second documentary for Fitzgerald (THE BACK NINE/Magnolia), the former festival director of the American Film Institute, Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Abu Dhabi Film Festival. He is one of the original founders of the Slamdance Film Festival. Fitzgerald, who recently launched, a web platform that connects socially relevant films to related causes, says of the experience, "I recognized how many obstacles we would face, challenges on every level, particularly from a production standpoint. Yet, I also knew, selfishly, that I would grow as a person through the experience of being led by a modern yogi in the most spiritual places of India."

Anderson, leader singer of YES, wrote two songs for the film ("The Highest Pass" and "Waking Up") with composer Michael Mollura. Mollura's work has been heard in HBO's HOT COFFEE and CLIMATE REFUGEES.

The film won the Spotlight Award at Topanga and has also received the Audience Award at San Diego Film Festival and the Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Naples International Film Festival. After premiering in Los Angeles and Seattle, the film continues to play in theatres.

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