Living the Change Film Premiere event

Foyer at Holy Trinity with displays from local organisations

Click the image above to watch the video

The world premiere of Happen Films’s ‘Living the Change’ was held at the Holy Trinity on Thursday night.

The documentary by directors Antoinette Wilson and Jordan Osmond pulls together stories from their travels around New Zealand, along with interviews with experts able to explain how we come to be where we are today.   

The film explores solutions to the global crises we face today – solutions any one of us can be part of – through the inspiring stories of people pioneering change in their own lives and in their communities in order to live in a sustainable and regenerative way.

From forest gardens to composting toilets, community supported agriculture to time banking, ‘Living the Change’ offers ways we can rethink our approach to how we live.

The film features BOP locals Andrew Martin, who gave up life in Sydney working in high finance managing millions of dollars in investment funds.

He grows a food-forest in Katikati, from where he works as a consultant helping councils to develop resilience strategies. Also featured is Leo Murray, who talks about the critical need to properly compost waste and the business he set up helping Tauranga cafes to do just that.

“I started Happen Films three years ago,” says Jordan, “with filming my first documentary called ‘A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity’, in Australia. Antoinette was involved in that, as a subject in the film, and came on board to help write it.”

After filming that we decided to come to New Zealand, as we had a bunch of connections here.”

They relocated at the beginning of 2016 and spent time travelling around the country finding inspiring stories of people making changes in their lives.

Jordan Osmond and Antoinette Wilson, directors of ‘Living the Change’

“These stories that we’ve captured throughout New Zealand along with interviews along the way – we’ve combined all that to make ‘Living the Change’,” says Jordan.

“Living more sustainably and more resilient in the face of things like climate change, economic instability and environmental issues.”

Jordan says the film is a look at what people can do as individuals to make change in the face of the big issues facing humanity.

About a year into making the film, they realised they had filmed a lot of valuable material, and so went and stayed in a friend’s shipping container in Raglan and wrote the story over two weeks.

Key topics explored in the film include energy, waste, food systems, economic issues and conscious consumption.

“We didn’t really set out to make a feature-length documentary,” says Antoinette. “We actually planned to make a series of short films.

“And then we kept meeting people who had really interesting things to talk about on the bigger issues. Energy, waste and the transition from an old story to a new story which was something that we were really fascinated about. Making that transition to change.

“We wanted to incorporate what we were hearing from those people, but they weren’t necessarily the subjects of a short film. And so the idea of a feature-length documentary came up as a way that we could bring that material in and talk about it and the issues, but still have these short stories that offered inspiration and a positive response to those issues.

“For the first 20 minutes of the film, it’s ‘these are the issues’. And then we get really positive,” says Antoinette. “It becomes all solutions-focused.”


 Panel discussion following the film premiere

About 400 people attended the premiere, which was followed directly afterwards by a question and answer time with Antoinette and Jordan. Topics raised included timebanking, and making changes locally as well as lobbying for change at government level.

Complementary organisations that had stands in the foyer were BOP Film, Crafty Gatherer, Good Neighbour, Grow Food Instead, Plenty Permaculture, Sustainable Business network, Tauranga Co-op, Tauranga Seed Library and Toi Ohomai.

The film runs for 85 minutes. More information can be found on the website .

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