Ascension native takes filmmaking talent to India

Staff reports
Ascenson Parish native, actress and producer Shanna Forrestall most recently appeared in the critically aclaimed and popularly successful Indie film “The Last Exorcism,” filmed in Louisiana.

On Dec. 26, a group of Louisiana filmmakers, led by Ascension Parish native Shanna Forrestall will travel to Navsari, India, in order to capture the spirit of the Manav Kalyan Trust.

The trust operates as a group of schools in the country, dedicated to serving local children with learning disabilities and physical handicaps. Many of the disabilities are severe, and the Manav Kaylan Trust aims to promote individual learning, along with the teaching of useful, practical skills.

Forrestall, an actress and producer, will be traveling with a five-person crew to produce a promotional film, the Enter Namaste Project, which will highlight the schools’ accomplishments in an effort to grow support and awareness. The  unique system of integration for the children of the school, of them becoming one with the world, manifests the true definition of “namaste.”

The project had been made possible thanks to the support of Ascension Parish resident Aaron Patel, and his son Sagar. Patel, who serves as executive producer of the project has been a long-term supporter of the Manav Kalyan Trust. He and Forrestall decided on the project after a visit to the school in 2004.

Forrestall will be traveling to India, along with Production Coordinator, Kristi Prewitt, and Director of Photography, Alex Willson. Han Soto and Merrill Capps will also make the trip and will assist with production and editing.

Upon their return to the U.S.  on Jan. 12, 2011, the crew will begin editing and sound production for the film.

For more information on the project, or for information on  the crew, visit