All Day Immersion into Death Event (Cotati, Sonoma County)

Hello and greetings from Bob Banner, the Director of HopeDance Films.        

You may know me from randomly screening films at Songbird Community Healing Center in Cotati and other places in Sonoma County. The last time I was at Songbird was to screen the films COWSPIRACY, ANIMAL COMMUNICATOR and SONG OF A NEW EARTH. Now I’m writing to invite you to participate as a speaker, vendor, participant, and/or sponsor in an all day Immersion into the subject of Death on Monday, September 28.

In May of 2015, in my hometown of SLO (San Luis Obispo), I decided to do something a bit outrageous— an all day Immersion into the subject of Death. I felt like I needed it, since I was finally asking the big question and especially since seeing “Griefwalker” during our local film festival. The movie moved me to a depth that I needed to explore the usually forbidden topic and possibly share the Immersion with others. So, the Death Immersion was birthed. We had two major films, a few film segments, and 12 speakers along with some vendors, physical movements, breaks and time for Q&A’s.

Because I’m a generalist, I didn’t want to focus only on one specific topic of Death but as many as I could, whose only limitations were the people in my community.

We screened the film “Griefwalker” and “Death Makes Life Possible,” a segment from the music video called “What About Me? (1 Giant Leap)” that specifically focused on death via Michael Franti, Lila Downs, Krishna Das, Carlos Santana, Rokia Traore and others, as well as a PBS short segment about green burials. Our speakers included a death midwife, friends who took care of their dying friend, near-death experiencers (or NDE’s as they are called), a ceremony, a Tibetan meditation, an elder who told us how we can commit suicide legally  plus a woman speaking about green burials and other topics and experiences—with Tai-chi-like movement, prayer and ceremony included.

I was thrilled that when I asked Jasmine Gold, the director of Songbird, about doing a similar all-day event at Songbird, she enthusiastically responded with an immediate barrage of names of people who might want to engage and participate!

We have an online store for purchasing tickets, vendor tables, snacks as well as speakers and films. The prices range from $30 all day, $20 a half day, $10 per film. We won’t be policing these prices since we believe that people will do what’s appropriate. Last May in SLO we had a person sponsor 15 full day events (from a $500 donation) so people or students who couldn’t afford it could participate. That $500 donation was very kind and helpful. We created an easy GoFundMe campaign to solicit donations. HopeDance is under an umbrella of a non-profit linked to the Central Coast Bioneers (

We had volunteers, snacks, hospice vendors, lawyers, mortuary folks as well as a bookstore selling books about Death. So, if you resonate with this please click the jpg of an application for speakers or the vendor by email back information to [email protected] or through the mail. This site will have much of the information and be updated regularly—trailers for the film, a schedule, bio’s of speakers, a short film introducing the event, flyers, etc.

Also in SLO I made the decision to do this event on a Monday for two reasons:
1. I didn’t want people to use their weekends as an excuse not to attend, and
2. the fact that most elderly men who commit suicide commit it on a Monday.

How do you wish to play? We had over 100 people moving in and out of the day in SLO. It went way beyond our expectations and now I’d like to share the basic structure to Sonoma County, where by the way I lived for nearly 15 years some time ago. Thanks for reading this far!!

If you wish to see the link we created for the all day event back in May about Death in SLO, please visit here with over 2,100 hits so far. We also did one on WATER and plan on doing ones on MONEY, HEALING, EDUCATION, ENERGY and other edge type topics where is revealed the new breakthroughs, the new consciousness unfolding and changing from what’s no longer working.

Bob Banner
Director of HopeDance FiLMs • 805.762.4848 / [email protected] /
3960 S. Higuera St. #104, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
more details, flyer, app, vendor info, store, trailers… of the Sept 28th event, please visit HERE