My dear friend and colleague, Neal Rogin, was recently the recipient of the Sedona Film Festival’s Green Filmmaker Award.

Congratulations to Neal for his lifetime of creativity and contribution to our planet, through his work in media, film, and cultural transformation.

I had the honor and pleasure of working closely with Neal in 2003-2004, as part of the core team developing The Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, a project of the Pachamama Alliance. Together Neal and I created "The Awakening Universe," a 15-minute documentary film based on the cosmological vision of Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. Writing and colaborating with Neal was a blast! Neal is brilliant, insightful, hilarious, wise and visionary. And a great writer.

The idea for "The Awakening Universe" film originated from a 15-20 minute slide show presentation I had been doing for about ten years, where I would tell the universe story, based on my studies with Berry and Swimme, and show slides of cosmic imagery to help one visualize the stages of the universe’s development, from galaxies and stars, to planets, oceans, life, and humans. I would also discuss the importance of worldview in the ecological crisis, and how the story of the universe can help us redefine ourselves as humans.

One day I did this slide show presentation for the team that was creating the Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium: Lynne Twist, Bill Twist, Tracy Apple, Neal Rogin. (This later led to the universe story and the vision of Thomas Berry becoming an integral part of the symposium… Which has been a great way to share Thomas Berry’s wisdom, as the Symposium has been conducted in more than 42 countries and translated into six languages.)

In 2004 Neal I and co-wrote a script, turning my presentation, and ideas from Swimme and Berry’s book The Universe Story, into the flim, "The Awakening Universe."