Good news! The world is not going to end next December 21, no matter what people insist the Mayan calendar predicts. Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff, the founders of PeaceJam, exploded that myth in 2012: The True Mayan Prophecy, the award-winning film they released last year that will air tonight on Colorado Public Television.
"It's really crazy, because the Mayans have never ever said any of this stuff," notes Engle. "It was two charismatic dreamers, Jose Arguelles and Terrence McKenna, who latched onto the idea of something dramatic, apocalyptic and world-changing happening on December 21, 2012."
With PeaceJam, Engle and Suvanjieff work with more than a dozen winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, and it was Rigoberta Menchu, the 1992 winner, who put them in touch with the Mayan elders, who came to Boulder with Menchu in the summer of 2010. "They say that December 21 will just be a day like any day," says Engle of the elders.
But that doesn't mean that the status quo will continue. "We are in a period of change, a forty-year period that started in 1992," she explains. "So we're already in the 2012 change, and it will go on until the year 2032. One cycle of 5,125 years is ending, and a new cycle of 5,125 is starting. The state of humanity in the new cycle will be determined by the actions we've taken during this forty-year period."
The elders "call this forty-year period an era of great responsibility," she notes. "Their fear is that humanity will not step up and take this opportunity to create a better future....But we have the opportunity: With great chaos and change comes great opportunity."
And this week, you have several opportunities to catch The True Mayan Prophecy on Colorado Public Television. The movie -- which recently won "Best Humanitarian Film" honors at the Paso Robles Film Festival in California, as well as "Best Colorado Filmmaker" and "Audience Favorite" at the Film Festival of Colorado -- will air at 7 p.m. tonight, and again at 12:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday, December 16. That's just the start of the partnership with CPT12: The station will be showing the film on several other occasions, and also sharing it with public television stations across the country.
And just as the world will not end next December, neither will the Mayan movie project. Engle and Suvanjieff are already hard at work on Mayan Renaissance, which should be released next April. Mayan Renaissance will be the first in PeaceJam's Nobel Legacy Film Series; a former CEO of Lucas Films has just signed to raise money for the entire series.
"Our first film dispels the myth," Engle explains, "and the second gives the Mayan vision for the future. We're incredibly excited about Mayan Renaissance because it's never been done before -- 4,000 years of history from the Mayan point of view, along with their predictions for the future, and it's all coming from the heart of the Mayan world, 100 percent from Central America.
"It's moving and inspiring," she concludes. "They've been hiding many of their teachings; they've gone through 500 years of oppression. Now it's time for them to step up and lead."
The world may not be coming to an end in 2012, but that's no reason not to get started on your bucket list! Governor John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock both provided theirs for our 2011 New Year's Eve Guide; get your copy in the December 15 issue of Westword.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.