About Touchstone Farm
Anja Daniel, co-director of Touchstone Farm for many years, was a free-spirited wandering minstrel in Europe for over 6 years; whereupon she was inspired to come to America, -- energizing the Touchstone community with the full "harvest" of her wondrous ballads, soul-stirring folk songs and joyous Sacred Circle Dance instruction. She and Deborah Hall-McNeil have produced and distributed numerous music CD's, -- along with cultivating extraordinary flower, herb & organic vegetable gardens. Anyone who has ever met Anja will attest to her empathic, humble, generous & beautiful Spirit, -- along with her rare gift for "miraculous synchronicities."
[For more about Anja, click here. To see a YouTube video of Anja performing "Humble - We Shall Lift Each Other Up" during a Sacred Circle Dance at Traprock Peace Center in Deerfield, Massachusetts, click here.]
Deborah Georgianne Hall-McNeil is the founder and co-director of Touchstone Farm. Having worked and loved the land for many years, she was inspired to create "sacred space," -- where nature, in all her splendor, would be honored. Together with Anja Daniel, she has been steadfastly at the center of a profound cultural whirlwind. Accepting of all travelers who wander the land, Hall-McNeil is a true visionary, -- a mythical, magical "mistress of mystery" (& 'opti-mystic') raconteur, entrepreneur (& one-time restaurateur!) with a rare gift of healing grace and good will. A strong social conscience is infused within her heartfelt music, choreographic skills, organic farming, -- and sponsorship of numerous concerts & peace conferences at Touchstone and throughout the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Deborah was once known as George "Shakur" McNeil, prior to her extraordinary transformation.
[For more about Deborah, click here.]
About the Filmmakers
Rebecca Rideout has been involved with and has studied documentary production for over six years. She has gained priceless experience working for Florentine Films / Hott Productions as an assistant editor and associate producer, during production of several PBS programs, including John James Audubon: Drawn From Nature and Through Deaf Eyes, the recent recipient of the Alfred I. Dupont - Columbia University Award in Television and Radio News. She currently works with Monadnock Media, Inc., producing programming for museums across the country as well as editing her own films. She also produces wedding videos in her free time. Her own website is: www.RWRideout.com.
Associate Producer Holly Danyliw began her film and photography journey with a passion for capturing "The Moment" through movement and light in film and photographs. Inspired by the magic and beauty of Touchstone Farm while helping to create local community access programming in the Pioneer Valley, she produced & directed a three-part documentary about the farm in 1996/1997. This project led to producing & directing a film about the counter-inaugural peace march in Washington, D.C., after President G.W. Bush's second election in 2005, called Silent Voices, in Willimantic, CT. Other film projects include an artist and music show for Hartford Public Access; and, directing a storytelling conference.
D.S. Fine is an award-winning photojournalist, cinematographer, producer, director, and writer who has worked for PBS station WGBH-TV & WBZ-FM in Boston, The Sharon Advocate newspaper and Boston's "Rear Window," -- a film exhibitor & distributor. In addition to receiving four grants from Massachusetts Arts Councils, Fine has received dual recognition as a finalist in the National Educational Television Film Festival; and has won awards in both The Boston Globe Film Festival & The Boston Globe Photography Contest; along with the Kodak International Newspaper Snapshot (KINSA) Awards. He has established an independent media production company called: "Immediate Impressions," generating memorable cable TV series such as: Moments of Bliss and The Most... over the past 10 years.
Photos by: George "Shakur" McNeil, D.S. Fine & Holly Lynn Danyliw
Website photos Copyright © Immediate Impressions / Touchstone Farm. All Rights Reserved.