I recently attended the Newport Beach Film Festival, and since I only had one day to see as many films as possible, I decided to pick one from each category: art/design, feature, short, family, and documentary.  My first screening was “A Not So Still Life”( , the story of Seattle-based artist/iconoclast Ginny Ruffner.  Having no expectations, I was immediately drawn into Ginny’s art and personal story.  The film  chronicled her life from young, vibrant artist and force of nature, to her being subsequently debilitated by a tragic car accident.  While in a coma for weeks, her prognosis for survival—let alone her ability to walk again one day—was not good.   Her family stayed by her side, communicating with her without knowing if she was able to hear them.  And then, miraculously,  Ginny’s spirit and strength brought her back from the dead to transcend her physical limitations, and she is now more than ever an in-demand, highly successful artist whose coterie relishes her unique perspective, which is at once hopeful, encouraging and uplifting.  What a story!  In my enthusiasm for the film,   I subsequently contacted director Karen Stanton to praise her work—not only did she beautifully portray Ginny Ruffner in all of her dynamic glory, but she did so using the architecture inherent in all good storytelling.  I was then put in touch with David Skinner at Shadowcatcher Entertainment, and was pleased to know that they have a successful track record in TV and films, each bearing the mark of integrity.  Both Karen and David were gratified to know that their work had been appreciated.  I can’t wait to see what projects these two talented filmmakers— and of course, Ginny— come up with next.  The world needs more films that are positive and inspiring,…especially now that Oprah is off the air!  But seriously, is anyone encouraged by downbeat stories of people who can’t overcome life’s obstacles and are left in their own misery?  I know I’m not. When I see how others have conquered great challenges—in spite of overwhelming odds—to become winners, I smile at the fortitude of the human spirit,  and know that I can handle anything that life hands me.

For those reasons, films like “A Not So Still Life” are the films about which I am most passionate.

About The Author


“God bless your heart! Your chart is a masterpiece!”

– Arturo Sandoval

For the first time…..
Nan Schwartz’s original symphonic music

Available 16 March, 2018

As a woman composer who has carved an enviable reputation inside the crucible of the Hollywood Film Music business, Nan Schwartz nonetheless remains an enigma to orchestras and concert music audiences around the world. This apparent anomaly can, in part, be ascribed to the imbalance in respect to opportunities for women composers generally, but given that Nan is a Grammy winner, 5-time Grammy nominee and seven-time Emmy nominee, it remains perplexing that the classical music world has taken so long to recognize her indisputable genius.

This album beautifully directed by the eminent Australian conductor, Kevin Purcell, brings to light through these premiere recordings the extraordinary music of this iconic, contemporary, American composer.