SOURCE: Transcendental Media

Transcendental Media

June 05, 2009 08:13 ET

"The Philosopher Kings" Competes for Sterling US Feature Award at SILVERDOCS

Breakthrough Documentary Explores Wisdom Found Among Janitors at America's Top Universities

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - June 5, 2009) - "The Philosopher Kings" is a documentary that interweaves the real-world triumphs, tragedies, and life lessons of eight unique custodians who work for some of America's top universities (such as Princeton University, Cornell University and University of California, Berkeley).

"Custodians are everywhere -- in every business, on every campus -- yet they're rarely seen," explains Director Patrick Shen. "The film highlights extraordinary individuals who have experienced a lot of hardship in their lives."

"The Philosopher Kings" is competing at the 2009 AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival for the prestigious Sterling US Feature Award (previously awarded to 2008 Oscar nominee "The Garden"). "The Philosopher Kings" will have its world premiere at SILVERDOCS on Thursday, June 18 in Silver Spring, Md. Anticipation for the world premiere has been overwhelming as it sold out in four days. An encore screening is scheduled for Sunday, June 21.

"This is a great time for us to be bringing this film out to the world," says Director Patrick Shen. "There's an authenticity among stories being told in the independent documentary genre. Audiences are craving that not just in their lives but in the things they spend time and money on. We expect we'll find a home for it soon enough."

Filming for "The Philosopher Kings" didn't just take place in the universities. Viewers are taken on a journey as cameras follow the custodians in their pursuit of better lives. The film culminates in a moving account of one cast member's life-long mission to bring hope to his native Haiti, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere.

Josue Laujenesse is one of the extraordinary individuals featured in the film. Custodian at Princeton University by day and taxi driver by night, Josue works nearly 20 hours a day to support his family in his native Haiti.

"Communication was tricky in Haiti and we often had no clue where we were," recounts Co-producer Greg Bennick. "What we captured in Haiti ultimately became some of the most powerful moments in the film."

To arrange an interview with Director Patrick Shen or any of the "The Philosopher Kings" spokespeople, contact Eileen Street at (310) 734-6023. Press kits are available at Screeners are available upon request.

For more information on "The Philosopher Kings," visit

About Transcendental Media

Transcendental Media (TM) is a Long Beach, Calif.-based independent motion picture company founded in 1999 by award-winning producer Patrick Shen. With a vision "to agitate the sleep of mankind," TM produces socially conscious feature-length films. For more information, visit


AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival is an internationally recognized event that honors excellence in filmmaking. The festival runs June 15-22 in the Washington, DC area. The 2008 Festival featured 108 films from 63 countries presented to over 25,000 attendees. For more information, visit

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