We are crowdfunding to make a beautiful, open source feature film about everyday people's stories of transition.

Through witnessing the joys and challenges of others around the world working to transition themselves and their communities, we want people like you to reflect on what’s really important to them and dare to vision and enact their own transitions.

Life in Transition will feature those who took part in the letter writing project Post Present Future during the first International Transition Network conference held at the Battersea Arts Centre, London in September 2012. The Transition movement is about communities stepping up to address the big challenges they face by starting local. There, people were asked to write a personal letter to themselves, sharing their hopes, challenges, visions and concerns with their future self. They knew it would be five years before their letters were returned...

Now, five years later, many of them are still active within the Transition movement as community leaders, artists, changemakers, new economists, craftspeople, inner transitioners, and educators. We set out to get in touch with all of them to be able to meet them and hand-deliver their letter back. We feel that film as a medium is the perfect way to share the intimacy of reading a personal letter; these unique moments are often full of emotion, tender and deeply inspiring.

Low carbon – High collaboration

We have designed the project to be ‘low carbon - high collaboration’ embodying the values of the Transition movement, so instead of the film being made by one team flying to each location, we will work with local filmmakers in different countries, building a diverse network of skills and supporters, whilst minimising the use of natural resources. This is a great challenge for everyone involved! We are very excited to work hard to get on the same page with videographers and interviewers from all these different cultures.

Community screenings

We look forward to sending you a DVD of the film as soon as it is a wrap. By funding now you're not only ensuring your own screening, but also making this project accessible to others. We will make this film open source and publicly available online. We hope to encourage people around the world to screen Life in Transition in community halls, schools, pop-up outdoor cinemas, inter/national transition conferences, businesses, city councils, etc. The wider the reach the better. We are creating a ‘participatory pack’ for groups to use after watching the film to catalyse conversations and actions.

How the money will be spent

The money will be spent on expenses and payment for the filmmakers, interviews, translations, editing, music composition and distribution. We have kept our budget to a minimum – and we also believe in fair pay. We plan to thank our collaborators for their time, dedication and skill by means of payment. With your support, this September 2017 these letters will be hand delivered to the writers in Estonia, Brazil, Denmark, Portugal, Australia, Spain, Italy, UK, Sweden and USA.

The background story / Origins of this film

Ruth Cross began her letter project Post Present Future in 2009 and since then more than 5,500 people around the world have written a letter to their future self. She asks people to write to themselves because it offers them space to reflect, a moment’s pause in our hectic lives. People have said sealing their words away to be returned five years later feels like a time capsule diary entry. She began this project because of a growing fascination with the process of transition; inner transitions, community transitions and global transitions. We are challenged to find sufficient time to reflect on what we are collectively creating within our societies. This leads us to taking part in things that without us realising support incoherent distributions of power and wealth, contributing to imbalance and inequality. On a personal and collective level, this project is a small step towards imagining a more just and sustainable future.

Meet the team

Ruth: “To realise this project I am working with an experienced core team - Film Director Ayla van Kessel and Assistant Producer Hannah Sneyd - in collaboration with Transition Network, and filmmakers around the world.

With a background in the arts, I have been working creatively with changemakers for 10 years. Recently I co-founded Eroles Project, an international annual learning for action residency based in Eroles, Spain. In 2015 we hosted a hub space for creative actions during the Paris Climate talks; in 2016 we focused on migration and borders and as a result are developing a Regeneration Project with refugees and migrants in the region of Granada. This year we will be focusing on Deepening Citizenship and Emerging Politics. You can see more of my creative work on www.cross-collaborations.com

I met filmmaker Ayla van Kessel at Schumacher College in 2013 while she was studying an MA in Economics for Transition. We have been friends and colleagues ever since. Invited by TAZ (an arts festival in Belgium) we worked together last summer to make a 20 minute film documenting delivering letters by hand to people around the city of Oostende, where five years earlier they had met me and written a letter to their future. You can find the film Post Present Future on Ayla's website: www.influxusfilms.com - the people with letters you see in the short video are Oostenders who participated in this film one year ago!  

I met Hannah Sneyd through the Eroles Project's residency at the COP21 Paris climate talks. She is a researcher and changemaker from the UK with a fondness for growing vegetables and climbing trees. Her background is in science and documentary-making, with dashes of food-sovereignty and divestment activism. These days she is branching out further - soon to begin various trainings as a facilitator in group work for inner/outer transition.”