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Hey everyone, welcome to the Happen Films blog for June 2018.

We’re so excited to announce the release of our first short film, Creatures of Place, since our feature film Living the Change took over our lives last year!

Creatures of Place is an insight into the wonderful world of Artist as Family: Meg Ulman, Patrick Jones, and their youngest son, Woody. These folk are living our dream! We were so inspired by their philosophy about how to live in the world that we came away energised and motivated to stay strong on our own paths in life.

Here’s a quote from Patrick that was the source of the film’s title:

“We are creatures of place. And if we don’t become creatures of place again we will absolutely annihilate every place, for every species.”

It sounds like a dire warning, but Patrick and Meg are living as creatures of place – living solutions – in such a happy, abundant way that they inspire great hope for us all.

In the film Meg talks about their “bin-liner moment” when they realised they were no longer putting anything in the rubbish bin that required a plastic bag to protect the bin – and how that led them to decide not to buy plastic at all, and later to no longer buy from supermarkets, and eventually to not owning cars – on which, Patrick points out, the average Australian family spends $30,000 a year. Patrick:

“Going without is actually saying yes to other things. So going without cars means I don’t have to be a full-time builder like I was ten years ago. I can actually stay at home, grow vegetables, co-homeschool Woody…”

This was no quick leap into a new way of living. The years of thoughtfulness in their approach to the transition seems to have made it all the more successful. But Meg says:

“This is just how we’re choosing to live; how we’re responding to the world… It might not be meaningful for other people who are mapping out for themselves how they’re going to live a carbon-positive lifestyle in the future, but for us this feels wonderful, this feels resilient, this feels important and this feels… vital. And this feels like a very rich life for us to live.”

That’s the message we came away with for sure: these guys are rich way beyond anything money could buy.

Watch the 10-minute film here. And please leave a comment! We love hearing your feedback – it makes us and our films so much stronger 🙂

In other news from Happen Films…

We’ve signed a worldwide distribution deal!

Huge news this one: our feature films Living the Change and A Simpler Way have been picked up by distribution company Fighting Chance Films. This is such a great step for us – feels like we’ve jumped up to a whole new level as filmmakers 🙂 Both films will become available to a much wider audience than we can easily reach, including on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon, the library streaming service Kanopy, plus Dustin and his team are negotiating with conventional TV channels.

Fighting Chance Films logo

“Fighting Chance Films distribution and sales arm was formed to bring quality independent films to international audiences, embracing and coupling new technologies and delivery methods with traditional screens in order to reach the widest audience possible across multiple platforms and territories. We believe great stories deserve to reach their audience.”

If you haven’t seen Living the Change yet, check out our website for info and to purchase the film for $9.99. You can also rent it for $4.99 here.

Are our films available in your language?

YouTube has a great facility that allows viewers to translate films into their own language. If your mother tongue isn’t represented in our films, and you’d enjoy the opportunity to translate them, we’d love that! Just pick one of our films in YouTube that hasn’t been translated, select Settings -> Subtitles -> Add subtitles, and go for it! If you’re interested in translating Living the Change, check out this page to see whether a translation is already underway in your language.

What’s impressed us most this month?

We’ve just re-watched a profound 15-minute talk we were lucky to hear at the New Frontiers gathering in New Zealand this year by Swedish climate scientist Johan Rockström. We wanted to share it with you because he says so many things that are crucial and relevant and, well, necessary to share! Does this despair-to-hope quote spark your interest?

“We are standing on so much evidence that we actually, for the first time ever as scientists, need to pose the following question: Are we, as humanity, at risk of destabalising the whole Earth system? … I can tell you, as a scientist, there’s never been more reason to feel schizophrenic. Because, if there’s never been more reason to be nervous, there’s never been more reason to be hopeful.”

– Johan Rockström, Director of Stockholm Resilience Centre

Watch the full 15-minute talk here. We really recommend it! While you’re there check out the many other amazing talks that were beautifully recorded at New Frontiers, including this powerful one by Charles Eisenstein.

Thanks for reading our blog. If you’d like to receive updates – sometimes monthly, sometimes less – you can sign up to our newsletter in the box below.

Wishing you and yours well!
Antoinette & Jordan

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