The Global Search for Education: Alan Chriest’s So Much to Live For Today: A Celebration of Joy and Mental Wellness

C. M. Rubin
3 min readNov 21, 2023

This month, audiences can screen So Much To Live For Today on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by Planet Classroom.

So Much to Live For Today is a heartwarming film directed by Alan J. Chriest. It celebrates the beauty of life by showcasing people enjoying special activities and community connections. With music by Charley Harrison, Jeff Meegen and David Tobin, this short inspires viewers to find resilience by seeking joy in everyday moments.

The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Alan Chriest.

Alan, what inspired you to create a film centered around the importance of cherishing the present and finding joy in everyday moments, particularly in the context of coping with depression?

At 16, I started experiencing episodes of depression that would grow longer as the years progressed. Though I sought therapy, workshops, and read books, the depression persisted. At 50, I met a psychotherapist who diagnosed me as chemically imbalanced. Yes, there were psychological issues, but most of it was chemical, unbeknownst to me. Knowing how to address one’s mental and physical issues changes everything in your life. The film celebrates the little moments that make a big difference.

The film features a variety of activities and interactions that convey its uplifting message. Can you share the process of selecting these scenes and how they contribute to the film’s overall narrative?

With a myriad of activities and interactions to choose from, the primary consideration was in the editing process. The intention was to select activities and actions that blend together seamlessly. To achieve this, we colorized and adjusted the speed of many of the clips. The end effect is like watching a rollercoaster ride.

The music plays a vital role in enhancing the film’s feel-good ambiance. What were your goals in integrating music into the storytelling?

Jeff Meagen’s music is available for leasing through Audio Network. We’ve used several of his works because his compositions inspire a cinematic treatment. He’s an incredible talent.

What impact do you hope the film will have on its audience, and how do you envision it promoting discussions about mental health and living in the moment?

The world is full of wonderful people and fun things to do. Open your mind and heart to enjoying what life has to offer. Everyone deserves mental wellness.

Thank you Alan!

C.M. Rubin with Alan J. Chriest

Don’t Miss So Much To Live For Today, now streaming on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated by Planet Classroom.