On Death & Dying, Near Death Experience, Loss & Grief, Aging, AIDS, Hospice, Native American Teachings and Sustainable Living

filming ekr

Cindy and Andy Pickard filming Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross for We’re Almost Home Now

MY SON ANDY PICKARD AND I began making films in 1990. Our first film together was a very short documentary called calledangels cover copy Jason-The Way We Live Today which we made at the request of a family with AIDS.

From there we went on to make another film about AIDS, ekr at workshop copy one on Elisabeth Kubler-Ross  and her work with dying children, File dr jim!  marian2 films on aging,……

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a film specifically about Hospice and one on near-death experience,


3 films about Native American teachings and wisdom,

one on sustainable living and one which is as yet unfinished on the US Prison System.

aiff awardtellySeveral of these have won awards and all of them remain as relevant today as when they were originally made. They have been purchased for use by universities, libraries, hospices, bereavement groups, nursing schools and health organizations including The National Institutes of Health as well as by individuals…throughout the US and Canada.


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Turning Toward the Morning

Turning Toward the Morning is a celebration of the human spirit. It is one of the most powerful expressions of love, compassion and transcendence I have ever seen. It is a reminder that we humans, for all our faults and failings, also contain the Divine. We are capable of great strengths, great visions, and great wisdom, which often surface in the wake of great pain. Watch this documentary with someone you love, and be prepared for magic.”

-Larry Dossey, MD,  New York Times bestselling author of “Healing Words”

balloonA film of unusual power and beauty, Turning Toward The Morning brings to light stories of parents who have lost a child to illness, to accidental death and to suicide. Breck & Michael 1976 copy

Filled with the special wisdom of dying children and the heartfelt thoughts of their parents, dear mr godits message is one of hope, not only for bereaved parents but for all of us. 

“I watched Turning Toward The Morning with a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes and a sense of profound awe and sacredness……Since watching Turning Toward The Morning I live life with more passion, compassion and hope.”

Robert J. Bos, M.Div.
Coordinator of Special Programs
for Community Grief Support
Hospice of Michigan – Grand Rapids


turning front coverBUY IT HERE

jason_elisWe’re Almost Home Now

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and her work with dying children

 * This is one of the only films ever made on Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. She was not easy to film but because of our close personal relationship with Elisabeth, we were able to make this documentary.

Cindy Pickard, co-producer

paul: ekr workshop“It’s understandable that it’s very, very sad to lose a child. But parents need to know that their are children who have to pass very few tests, learn very few lessons, and teach a lot of unconditional love, and then they can graduate. And, to me, death is a graduation.”

~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. from We’re Almost Home Now

File_01 jessica last chThis very sensitive and moving documentary weaves together the stories of 6 families who have each experienced the death of a child, along with the wisdom and knowledge of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross….eliza photo:poem.jpgBoth families and professionals will come to understand more about the bridge of life, death and the healing process as this famed professional brings a message of hope to EVERYONE.

Gold Plaque Award – Intercom ’93

eliza's drawingBUY IT HERE


Jason The Way We Live Today

jim-gerri-jasonJason-the way they live today is a short film about living with AIDS, about being 22 and 24 years old, watching your baby die and knowing that you also are destined to die…of AIDS. But more importantly it is a story about extraordinary grace and courage and making the most of each day…in the face of death.

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Jason the way we live today was our first film. I showed it often to church and community groups as well as to people who were interested in becoming caregivers for AIDS patients….and I watched it dissolve the prejudice about AIDS and the people who have it.

~Cindy Pickard, co-producer

File jason aids ambBUY IT HERE

Angels Watch Over Me

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“They truly could be any of our families…their vulnerability is ours, their experiences are ours and their heartbreak became ours. What we can all hope to learn from them is courage, love and above all the importance of educating our children.”

~William E. Sterling, D.D.,
Suffragan Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Texas

jason breathing tube 2The VERY EMOTIONAL sequel to Jason the way we live today, this documentary follows the Brigg’s family through Jason’s death, Jim’s death and Gerri’s determination to continue on. Although Angels Watch Over Me about AIDS and the way it was in the early 1990s, its most significant message is in the wisdom it brings forth: about facing death with courage and dignity and coming to terms with great loss . If you’re ever feeling like the challenges you’re facing are too much, this is the film to watch!

File_01 gerri“Maybe we are serving as a wakeup call to the entire nation..if other people can learn from our experience, maybe they connect with us more than some other people they’ve met, then I feel that we have a purpose in life.”

-Gerri Briggs




As It Is In Heaven
An interview with Dannion Brinkleywith music by
Andreas Vollenweider

dannionb“We are not from here, we are from there
and all we do is just go home”

~Dannion Brinkley

cloudsFor me, it provided an opportunity to ask of one who has died and returned, such questions as “What is it like over there?”, “How does it feel to die?”, “Why is there suffering?” and “How can we live through these times that are so often frightening and unsettling?” As It Is In Heaven answers these questions and many more.

Illustrated by images from our own lives-hospice patients we have cared for, beloved family members we hope to meet again when it comes our time to cross over and places we have traveled -it is interwoven with the incredibly beautiful music of Andreas Vollenweider. We hope it brings you the peace, inspiration and love that it brought to us as we worked to produce it.

~ Cindy Pickard, co-producer



Dannion Brinkley is a near death survivor and the author of SAVED BY THE LIGHTthe international bestseller, Saved by the Light as well as its companion, At Peace in the Light.


File_01 lee-hugWalking Us Home

The Hospice Experience

Created for the purpose of providing education and information about hospice for health care professionals, patients and their families and the public, this uplifting documentary includes insightful and informative interviews with staff, patients and family members -filled with many lighthearted as well as serious moments. This video is helpful for anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of Hospice-its philosophy and the services it provides, this video is also an excellent teaching tool for church and community groups.





They will come to a fork in the road. One road will lead to Materialism and Destruction…..for almost all living creatures….The other road will lead to a Spiritual Way upon which the Native People will be standing…This path will lead to the lighting of the 8th fire, a period of eternal peace, harmony and a “New Earth” where the destruction of the past will be healed

Anishnabe prophecy


Starblanket– A Spirit Journey with CD soundtrack

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noel:flagAt the age of 24, Noel Starblanket was one of the youngest First Nations Chiefs in North America. At the age of 29, he became Chief of all Canadian Indians when he was elected president of the National Indian Brotherhood [now referred to as The Assembly of First Nations]. noel:necklaceOutspoken, rebellious and sometimes outrageous, he was the subject of the 1973 National Film Board of Canada production titled simply, Starblanket. noel interviewNow three and a half decades later, he shares with humor, honesty and emotion, his own healing journey and as he finds peace in returning to the teachings of the Elders, a greater appreciation of life through loss, and renewed hope for the future with the little boy-camp-1emerging Seventh Generation. Through the universal language of image, music and emotion, Starblanket: A Spirit Journey brings to light in a very personal way, the ancient teachings and the extraordinary wisdom of the First Nations people while offering a much-needed message for our time

*Noel Starblanket’s Keynote Speech for ADEC – Toronto, Ontario, Canada 2001




FIRE“In our troubled world, we desperately need a vision that can inspire us to greatness. This vision will be a recovery of the wisdom, sanity, and hope represented in The 8th Fire.”

– Larry Dossey, MD
Bestselling Author of Reinventing Medicine, Healing Words and
The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things

dave_speakingDave Courchene  whose traditional name means LEADING EARTH MAN is an Elder and spiritual advisor from the Anishnabe Nation, Eagle Clan. Descended from a long line of chiefs and leaders of his people, he felt “Compelled by forces beyond his control” to quit his job as an educator and go on a ceremonial expedition of peace around the world.

DAVE LEADS CREMONYThrough his dreams, and visions, the experiences of others who have accompanied him on his journey and the words of the visionaries–past and present, we bring you THE 8TH FIRE One Earth * One Whole Circle * Again

thunderbird-dustinA vision of hope…. for the future……for the Earth……for the children



*Read more about Dave Courchene

Manitou Api~ Where the Sun Rises


There is an old saying:  ‘If you want to hide the treasure, put it in plain sight.’ Then no one will see it.  MANITOU API reveals the discovery of symbols and wisdom lying in full view but forgotten — until they are brought again into awareness by those who have not forgotten how to see. MANITOU API is reminiscent of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, but with a decisive difference:  It is true. Ranging from Canada to Cambridge, this fascinating film deals with life-and-death issues — because if we do not attend to the wisdom herein, we shall likely have no future on Earth, our only home.”

bigfoot kids hugFrom – Diego Mulligan, KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio  Host of “The Journey Home”
“Manitou API – Where the Sun Rises is by far the best Native American film I have ever seen.  A MUST see

dave:frank:starA First Nations Elder and an architectural historian together, uncover ancient symbols in a Canadian government building, symbols that validate a present day Native American prophecy that speaks of the Return of the People to the Center and the revealing of the 7 Sacred Teachings of the Indigenous People.

kids circle-chinese girlThe return to the Center is to return to the heart. We¹ve all been called to wake from sleep to feel our power to dream again—a dream of peace.

–Elder Dave Courchene /Ni Gaani Aki Inini/ Leading Earth Man] Anishnabe Nation, Eagle Clan

Trailer for MANITOU API~Where the Sun Rises

manitou coverBUY IT HERE

*Read more about Dave Courchene


On The Land~Together with the Earth

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  • This is a film for anyone who wants to learn more about off grid/sustainable living….

The people

Jonathan and book copy“The Earth will bring people from all walks of life together”-Jonathan Warm Day Coming, Taos Pueblo Artist

Ed interview“The messages of our ancestors are always around if we will only open our hearts to listen..” Ed Cardenas ~Social Worker/Teacher/Author


“Why get hung up in the negativity of the global world…..I don’t go there even though it’s out there. It doesn’t affect just motivates me to do my job which is pretty much… Build to the SUN”

~Willie Groffman, Solar Builder, Juggler

Victor_horse“YOU CAN’T EAT MONEY”Victor Garcia Rancher/Building Craftsman

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“There was no greed….now days there’s a lot f envy, hate..if you do something, you always have to do it for money…back then people used to help each other…whatever had to be done..”

Jody Armijo, Artist, Craftsman

Mark-5“The new technology is here. It just needs to be implemented”

Mark Myers, Solar Designer

Representing the 3 primary cultures of Northern NM, seven stories of the land and its power to heal, provide and bring people together. From growing up on Taos Pueblo in the 50s to bringing backMule_team copy the old ways of planting and relating through a traditional bean field ceremony , to healing from a troubled and violent life, the land heals and sustains and provides all that is needed to live the good life.greenhous-april-16-chard Advice and practical suggestions are offered about how to make a ranch or home completely self sustaining, using solar energy and building from materials on the land.

Visually beautiful and with an equally beautiful soundtrack ON THE LAND is interspersed with humor and as well, features when-the-moon-came-outthe Pueblo and Spanish Art of northern New Mexico

ED'S GRANDPARENTS 1 copyThe old ways are remembered and honored while respectfully blending them with new technologies. and the wisdom and teachings of the ancestors and grandparents are paramount and always present..






“A rich and precious story of 3 older women and their journeys with loss, isolation and discovery. A moving video for professionals, women who are bereaved and anyone interested in understanding the importance of staying young at heart…”

This captivating video takes viewers into the lives of three inspirational women who have each found peace in growing older. Despite the limitations and challenges brought on by aging and the loss of a spouse, they have persevered and found contentment and joy in their later years.


“Driving to Utopia offers an engaging and thoughtful window in the lives of three widowed women who have said ‘yes’ to life. They draw from the wellsprings of lives filled with faith and joy, compassion and humor. As well as being stewards to the memories of their husbands, they are keepers of dreams yet to be fulfilled. This a valued addition to our library.”

J.Chandler Newton
Chaplain/Bereavement Coordinator
Optima VNA Hospice
Manchester, NH

Merit Award – Mature Media National Awards 1995


Bringing the Circle TogetherFile dr jim!  marian

“Bringing the Circle Together” is an inspired achievement. It richly portrays one of the greatest resources of the human race – the wisdom of our elders – and why we need to rethink our current attitudes toward aging. Highly recommended.

-Larry Dossey, MD
Author: The Reinvention of Medicine
and Healing Words  Exectutive Editor:
Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine


EXCERPT FROM Bringing the Circle Together 

You’ve seen the world change a lot and not for the better?

“No, it’s getting worse every day.”

Tell me what you see.

“Greed – greed’s what’s wrong with our government today. You take those people up there in Washington-congressmen, senators and the president. They done forgot the Constitution. The Constitution said “a government by the people, for the people…equal rights to all and special privilege to none.” You think them people up there…? Something’s got to give one of these days. If we have another depression now, it’s going to be a lot worse than that other one. I lived through that other one. I know what it was. Once in a while you hear them talking about the cost of living’s gone down two-tenths of one percent, but it just don’t happen – up, up, up all the time. Look at all the floods we’ve had up north that destroyed crops and everything. That’s going to have something to do with the cost of living right there. I don’t know how our government can figure they’re doing anything right.”

Alvin Ivy, age 96 Rancher, Cowboy

Wisdom, humor alvin2

and life experience spanning almost a century Reg4– these are the legacies offered byreg CIRCLE1 four unforgettable men in their nineties, the stars of Bringing the Circle Together.

pittman tractorA retired surgeon, cowboy, road-builder, and professor…..alvin-copy  they remind us that life is a circle in which we are all interconnected and in some way responsible for the care of each other.

Woven throughout are the comments of three young men in their twenties and the insights of Dannion Brinkley, near death survivor and author of the New York Times bestseller Saved By the Light.

Merit Award~Mature Media National Awards 1999