April 23rd: Frank Zane Book Signing

Three-time Mr. Olympia and Challenging Impossibility cast member Frank Zane will be offering a book signing at 18 Jay Street in Tribeca, our Pop-Up Gallery, on Satuday April 23rd at 3 pm.

Don’t miss this rare chance to meet a bodybuilding legend, the only person to have ever beaten Arnold Schwarzenegger in professional competition.


Pop-Up Gallery Featured in NY Times

The Feats of Strength Pop-Up Gallery at 18 Jay Street was featured in the New York Times “Spare Times” section on Friday April 22nd.

“Feats of Strength Pop-Up Museum (Friday through Thursday) World-famous athletes will attend screenings, hold lectures, sign books and give informal talks on fitness and health, strength training, meditation, the mind-body connection and the teachings of the fitness guru Sri Chinmoy at this museum. The events coincide with the premiere of ‘Challenging Impossibility’ at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday; meet the cast, including the Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis and the former New York Jet and bodybuilder Mike Katz, at the museum on Saturday. Hours: daily from noon to 8 p.m. 18 Jay Street, TriBeCa , (212) 380-8153; free.”


The film features appearances by the “20th Century’s Best-Built Man” Bill Peal, Three-time Mr. Olympia winner Frank Zane, Nine-time Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis, World’s Strongest Man Hugo Girard, Bodybuilding pioneers Dan Lurie and Mike Katz, pro judge Wayne DeMilia and biomechanics expert Dr. Allan Tencer.

Cameos by President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Sting and his wife Trudie and Susan Sarandon.

Featured music by Arvo Part and Explosions in the Sky.


Natabara Rollosson (director, producer)

Natabara is a seasoned United Nations consultant having participated in a number of landmark programs for the environment under the auspices of various UN agencies. He had advised on a number of development initiatives including the World Harmony Run and has contributed to PSAs and documentaries including Angelina Jolie’s A Place in Time. Natabara developed this film and was the true force driving the pre-production and filming.

Sanjay Rawal (producer, director)

Sanjay has advised nonprofits and governments on humanitarian initiatives for nearly ten years. He also led the Tribeca marketing campaign for Abigail Disney and Gini Reticker’s award winning film Pray the Devil Back to Hell in 2008. Sanjay’s first film Ocean Monk premiered in 2010 and went on to win several awards including Best Short Documentary (Festivals Online Competition) at the St.Louis Film Festival and an Official Best of Fest Award. Sanjay runs the Illumine Group.

Mridanga Spencer (producer)

Mridanga has traveled the world producing news footage and short documentaries, getting access to dozens of luminaries like President Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Mother Teresa. Mridanga captured much of the archival footage featured in Challenging Impossibility from his role as Sri Chinmoy’s videographer. Mridanga runs Anglia Productions.

Abakash Konopiaty (co-producer)

Abakash was one of the main spokespersons for Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting activities and served as a go-between for Sri Chinmoy and the strength community. Abakash is an artist and photographer and runs the Manifestation-Glow Press in Queens, New York.

Bishwas Polissar (co-producer)

Bishwas was one of the chief engineers of Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting and training equipment. He hails from Seattle, Washington and regularly produces free community meditation and cultural events in New York City.

Jennifer Hickman (associate producer)

Jennifer manages a variety of business ventures in New York and in Abu Dhabi and has advised a number of  influential businesspersons, politicians and entertainment professionals. She is an avid athlete and fitness enthusiast and constantly finds way to transcend her own level of personal satisfaction!

Parichayaka Hammerl (composer)

Trained in classical music from his childhood in Austria, Parichayaka worked in the fashion and graphic design industry, returning to his roots as a musician and composer with the award winning Ocean Monk. His has produced a wide range of pieces from sweeping orchestral soundtracks to soulful arrangements of Sri Chinmoy’s haunting compositions.

Hugo Girard

Hugo Girard is a former IFSA World’s Strongest Man and six-time Canada’s Strongest Man. Cut in the mold of fellow Quebecer Louis Cyr, Hugo has an appetite for self-transcendence and has set numerous Canadian and World Records.

Having met Sri Chinmoy in 2006, Hugo quickly developed a deep friendship with the spiritual teacher.

In fact, on their first meeting, Sri Chinmoy held a special weightlifting demonstration just for Hugo. Bill Pearl flew to New York from his home in Oregon with his wife Judy for this special exhibition.

In the following video, Hugo is lifted with two stone lions as well as powered by Sri Chinmoy on a merry-go-round.

Frank Zane

Frank Zane is a three-time Mr. Olympia winner and the only bodybuildling to beat Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. Frank collected dozens of titles before retiring in 1980 to begin a successful gym and exercise equipment company.

Frank encouraged Sri Chinmoy through the years not only with his example as an athlete, but as a philosopher as well. Highly learned in eastern thought, Frank inspired Sri Chinmoy with his thoughtful observations of Sri Chinmoy’s spiritual motivations behind his pursuit of weightlifting.

Sri Chinmoy lifts Frank Zane overhead outside his home in Palm Springs, CA

Carl Lewis

Carl was recognized in 1999 as the “Sportsman of the Century” by the IOC for his nine Olympic gold medals including his four gold performance in 1984, matching Jesse Owens’ 1936 feat. Over the course of his career, he set world records in the 100 meters and 4×100 and 4×200 relays. His world indoor long jump record has stood since 1984 and his streak of 65 victories in the long jump achieved over a span of ten years is one of the sport’s longest undefeated streaks. Carl has been an avid humanitarian and serves as a World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador. Carl lives in his native New Jersey where he trains youth sports stars in his hometown.

“Who can imagine what Sri Chinmoy does? He does it through his spiritual strength, his power, putting his faith in God and under- standing that anything can be achieved. It is a strong message to everyone that they also can achieve anything they set out to do.” – Carl Lewis


Bill Pearl

Bill is considered one of the founders of modern bodybuilding. Named the 21st Century’s Best Built Man, he served as a coach or mentor to dozens of eventual champions and has been elected to numerous Halls of Fame. Bill trained Apollo astronauts in the 1960s and was the first bodybuilder to write training manuals. His book Getting Stronger has sold more than 350,000 copies in the United States alone. He is a 5 time Mr. Universe award winner and even came back from retirement at age 41 to win the title, having been a vegetarian for nearly a decade at that point. Bill is legendary for his 3 am workouts at his home gym in Oregon which are open to all who want to attend. At 80 years, Bill continues to train with his wife Judy every morning from 3:30 to 7 am.

Bill encouraged Sri Chinmoy from Sri Chinmoy’s humble beginning in 1985. They established a very close friendship and communicated almost daily during Sri Chinmoy’s most intense years of training.

“What Sri Chinmoy has done in his weightlifting is an absolute miracle. He is a man of unique strength, a spiritual man exemplifying mind over matter. He is not merely lifting a dumbbell – he is trying to lift the attitude of the world.” – Bill Pearl


Sri Chinmoy

Challenging Impossibility chronicles the weightlifting odyssey of an unlikely strength athlete, the Indian spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy. From his arrival in the West in 1964, he quickly developed a large following of people from all faiths and all walks of life who were eager to learn meditation and unlock their own deepest potential. A multifaceted savant, Sri Chinmoy lectured at all the major universities, wrote hundreds of books, exhibited his paintings in galleries worldwide, offered meditations regularly for United Nations staff and delegates, performed free concerts of his own music for inner peace at venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the Sydney Opera House, and sponsored a variety of marathons and ultramarathons.

Sri Chinmoy received numerous awards for his landmark and often ground-breaking programs for peace and goodwill.

In 1985, at the age of 53, he took up weightlifting. His friends and followers assumed it to be a supplement to his own love for running and tennis and a way for him to improve in those sports. Within 18 months, however, he had shocked and amazed hundreds of top caliber athletes and experts with the incredible speed with which he progressed in the weightlifting world. Always a believer in the power of inner peace, he translated this inner energy into a true source of outer power, attempting and succeeding in lifting poundage that seemed beyond comprehension.

For Sri Chinmoy, weightlifting was yet another channel to exhibit the true potential man possess. Perhaps more striking than all his other achievements in art, music and philosophy, his weightlifting exploits provided undeniable visual proof of the true power we all hold within. Sri Chinmoy’s weightlifting captivated millions and was featured on thousands of news broadcasts worldwide.

Challenging Impossibility tells Sri Chinmoy’s story through the recounting of one particular night, a public exhibition of strength during which Sri Chinmoy lifted a total of over 200,000 pounds in various fashions. Witnessed by legendary bodybuilders like Bill Pearl, Frank Zane and Mike Katz, this exhibition demonstrated that neither age (Sri Chinmoy was 73) nor stature (Sri Chinmoy stood 5’8″ and weighed 165 pounds) could limit one’s strength and power.

Challenging Impossibility features these bodybuilding legends as well as Olympic athlete Carl Lewis and appearances by President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Sting.