With a passion for creating at the intersection of ecology, spirituality, and social justice, Téana David is the Executive Director of the ILLUMINATE Film Festival in Santa Barbara, California. Prior to that, she was Co-Director of the Shift Your World Film Festival and also served as Director of Deepak HomeBase in New York City, where she designed and curated a year-round event series with authors including Brené Brown, Byron Katie, Zainab Salbi, Robert Thurman, Marianne Williamson, Mark Nepo, Deepak Chopra, and Thich Nhat Hanh monastics.
Growing up on Vancouver Island, Téana was drawn to protect the natural world from an early age. As a young actor and activist, she co-starred in an environmentally-focused children’s television series and was active in community efforts to preserve local old growth forests.
Today, Téana is a founding member of Artists for Amazonia, an entertainment industry initiative that addresses critical issues impacting the Amazon Rainforest. Through her production company, Wise Planet Media, she has produced many short films to support this important cause including Weave of Life, narrated by Morgan Freeman and The Time Is Now with Txai Surui, Ziggy Marley, and Barbra Streisand. Other media projects include serving as Impact Producer for the Amazon Prime docuseries Changing of the Gods and as an advisor on the Sundance award-winning documentary, The Territory.
Téana is also a teacher of Somatics and Pilates and has led retreats in both Costa Rica and British Columbia incorporating these modalities with sitting and walking meditation practice in the lineage of Thich Nhat Hanh.
Téana holds a B.F.A from The Boston Conservatory and an M.F.A from Naropa University where she was introduced to the practice of Dharma Art – “art that springs from an awakened state of mind” – which continues to inform her personally and professionally.