The Place of Refuge–Calming the Storm of Divorce

A Documentary to Help Parents and Their Children Successfully Weather the Storms of Divorce.

On the Southern coast of Kona, Hawaii, there is a Place of Refuge called a pu’uhonua close to where the dolphins play and protect their young. A place of beauty where the ancient Kahunas offered peace and forgiveness to those who had been banished from the island for simple disobediences of tribal laws and where the kahunas forgave them and helped them integrate back into society.

This film will offer that same sense of hope, forgiveness and support to today’s parents wishing to find new life, hope and forgiveness and an inner place of refuge to escape the storms of divorce. Please help us help the next generation and donate to the funding of this beautiful documentary.

Imagine knowing that YOU helped make it possible…

Behind the Scenes

Who Are the Creators Behind This Film Project?

Production Crew

Mimi Lupin


Mimi Lupin is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Associate School Psychologist who has worked with children and parents for over thirty years. She developed the ideas for The Place of Refuge and has co-produced a film for counselors produced by AETN, an Arkansas PBS station. She was a child of divorce and a divorced parent as well and knows well the issue from both sides. She developed and currently teaches a mandated class for divorcing parents in Hot Springs, Ar., Children in the Shadows of Divorce, which helps parents and children cope with both the emotional and behavioral issues of divorce. Over the years she has produced numerous programs for children with behavioral and emotional problems including the Old Me New Me and the art therapy component.

Tom Vendetti

Filmmaker, Director and Co-Producer

Emmy-Award winning filmmaker, Tom Vendetti combines his work as a psychologist and his passion as a filmmaker for the last twenty years to direct and produce films that have been viewed around the world. In addition to his work as an filmmaker, he is the head of the psychiatric unit of an Adult Mental Health hospital in Maui. Among his award winning films are Bhutan, Taking the Middle Road to Happiness and Sacred Tibet-the Path to Mount a Kailish. His films have been viewed on PBS, with another film, When the Mountain Calls being scheduled for viewing later this fall. Dr. Vendetti is developing an International Film Festival in Cambodia, Angkor Wat International Film Festival in Feb. 2012 presenting films from around the world.
See: He will direct, produce and edit The Place of Refuge.

Bob Stone

Cinematographer, Editor

Bob Stone has worked in all facets of the video business for over 30 years including audio production, film editing, technical director, producer, director, cameraman, editor and writer. In addition to documentary work, Bob Stone has a thriving business producing high quality commercials for local businesses, promotional videos, music videos and magazine segments for mainland networks. His most recent projects include two pilot shows for national cable television. His website is

Marshall Riggan

Screen Writer

Marshall Riggan has written non-fiction for film and television for three decades. His scripts have been productions for National Geographic, Smithsonian, PBS and the History and Learning channel and all major four networks. He has won eleven Cine Golden Eagles and an Emmy for the film Walls and Bridges. His latest work is the documentary None Less Than Heros honoring the World War II veterans and their journey to the World War II memorial in Washington.

George Pratt

Content Specialist

George Pratt has served as Chairman of Psychology, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, Ca. and is presently on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Pratt has written numerous books, has appeared on national television programs, including Larry King Live four times and has conducted his Swimming with the Dolphins: The Power of Energy seminars on the Kona Coast of the Big Island for four years. He will provide the energy work with the participants to help change behaviors.

Christopher Hedge

Music Score

Christopher Hedge, an Emmy-Award winning musician, will compose the music. Christopher is the founder of the Magic shop where some of the most acclaimed albums of our age have been produced. His collaboration with legendary Paul Horn has produced several Grammy nominated albums and the score for a number of PBS documentaries.

Blaise Noto

Film Marketing

Blaise Noto of Blaise Noto and Associates, an award winning communication and marketing company will promote this film to many outlets. Blaise has had extensive experience with film marketing for a number of years as an Executive V.P. of Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures and has won awards for publicity for such films as Titanic, Forrest Gump, Spider-Man and other major motion pictures. Blaise now resides in Maui. His website is

How Can I apply to be in the film?

If you’re interested in applying to be one of the 3 subjects of the film, please send an e-mail to Co-Producer, Mimi Lupin at with a brief overview of your background and current situation. She will respond personally if you are under consideration for inclusion in the film.

Note: All applicants will be responsible for airfare to/from Hawaii as well as lodging during the program and filming.

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The Place of Refuge

A documentary film to entertain, educate and motivate divorcing parents to reduce their own conflicts for the sake of their children and get help for their own emotional issues during this difficult time.

The Opening Scene…

“The film opens with dramatic scenes of the Kona Coast in late afternoon light–secluded bays, brooding lava flows, and the vast solitudes of the sea. Then we begin to see three human forms moving through the natural setting of sea and stone, living green and fading light.

A man and two women and a child. They are some distance apart, unaware of each other’s presence.They have come to this place seeking renewal, seeking relief from the pain of a life gone terribly wrong. Each has lost the love that once bound two souls together, has lost that most fundamental and cherished of human institutions – the family.

Divorce has come to their homes and cut their families apart like a blade.

They came here to the beautiful, sometimes brooding, Kona Coast of Hawaii, hoping to find a way to understand what has happened, to cast away the guilt and rage and grief they feel, and perhaps to forgive and to somehow learn to love again. This is the story of their search. It is a tale woven of both myth and science, of sorrow and joy, of mystery and medicine. It is an odyssey that brought them into the surprising, magical, life-affirming world of the wild dolphin.”

–From the “The Place of Refuge” Film Treatment

Click the Links Below for Answers to FAQs, or Just Keep Scrolling Down

About “The Place of Refuge”

What’s This Film About?

This documentary will be filmed in Hawaii using the dolphins as a metaphor for parents who protect their children as the dolphins do, in combination with energy psychology for the healing of the pain of divorce. Parents will learn how to protect their children emotionally and be sensitive to their needs during this difficult time by not engaging in behaviors that are particularly harmful to their children.

The audience will follow five parents who are attending a parenting class that features dolphin swims for divorcing parents and help in overcoming the negative attitudes and behaviors that are so hurtful to their children.

Clips of the earlier class will be interspersed with the energy psychology to help these parents with their pain, make the behavioral changes based on what they have learned and help them see possibilities for a new life.

At the film’s end, parents will be directed to a website where there will be classes for divorcing and single parents and also to a Centers of Refuge to be established in centers across the U. S.

This film will be the first step in helping parents become more conscious of how their divorce is affecting their kids and what they can do to achieve the best possible outcome.

How Long Will It Be?

This documentary is anticipated to be a full-length film, which may be edited to fit into an appropriate 1-hour time slot on television.

When Will This Film Be Released?

That depends, in part, on you. We have finished some segments of the film however we need to find the necessary funds to finish the film. The more you donate, the more you let other people know about the movie, and encourage their donations, the sooner we will have it finished and the sooner the movie will be available for viewing. (Scroll down for more information on Donating.)

Where Will It Be Shown?

Upon completion of the film project, the film will be shown on cable and/or PBS, at film festivals both nationally and internationally and will also be available in DVD format for purchase.

Click Here To Donate Now


How Much Should I Donate?

We ask that you donate as much as you are inspired and able to give. Our Target Total Donation Level now is $45,000. We have already filmed several segments of this documentary and will continue filming in November. For more description of this film, please go to our funding site listed below.

$10.00 for anything else we may need
$20.00 rental equipment for filming
$40.00 meal expense for crew
$50.00 editing
$60.00 accomodations for crew members
$75.00 equipment for filming
$100.00 fees for location
$250.00 stock footage
$500.00 film crew travel to filming location

Everyone will receive a thank you letter and receipt and those who donate $1,000 or more will have their names in the credits as donors.

Will I get to See the Film When It’s Finished?

Everyone who donates to the film will be notified by e-mail when the film is available. Everyone who donates will be invited to view the documentary when it is presented at a film festival or on cable or PBS when it is completed. You will be pleased that you have made a difference in the lives of divorcing parents and their children.

What if I Don’t Have Much to Give?

Any amount, even $10 or $20 is greatly appreciated. So don’t worry if you don’t have a lot to give. Give what you can, and then let others know about the film that you’re contributing to!

Is My Donation Tax-Deductible?

All donations are tax-deductible though the Making The World A Better Place Foundation, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization. You will receive a letter stating the amount of your donation.

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The Big Picture

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What Comes After the Film?

At the film’s end, centers called “Centers of Refuge” will be established around the country, an index of which will be made available online. In addition, the film will introduce viewers who are going through divorce to an online community and other resources including the “Children in the Shadows of Divorce” program. Children in the Shadows of Divorce is a divorce recovery online class that will feature nationally known experts teaching sessions in their area of expertise. The class will offer a total of twelve sessions featuring energy psychology and emotional freedom with a mind, body and spirit focus on healing.

How can I find out more about dolphin therapy?

Here’s a Youtube Video About Dolphin Therapy. We are in no way affiliated with the producers of this video, but are simply sharing it as an additional resource.

I Still Have Questions, Who Can I Contact?

Send an e-mail to Co-Producer, Mimi Lupin at