In the aftermath of the 2011 Occupy movement and the release of the short films 'The Revolution Is Love' and 'Sacred Economics' filmmaker Ian Mackenzie paired up with John Wolfstone.
Both were invited by Tamera in Portugal to make a film about the project’s approach to building an alternative culture founded on “the liberation of eros.”
On the Spring Equinox in 2015, Ian and John launched an initial crowdfunding campaign for the film “Healing of Love” and successfully raised and exceeded their funding goal ($23K). They immediately flew to Tamera and participated in the Global Love School, a 10 day experiential deep dive into this new culture - and they were profoundly altered by what they found.
Upon returning to California & Vancouver to edit the film, they quickly realized the potency of the material needed a longer format to share faithfully with the world.
Instead of the intended short, the film would now become a feature documentary.
The following year, Ian and John returned to the Global Love School and were joined by Bay area filmmaker Julia Maryanska, who had already been working on her own film about love (Union). All three found a shared resonance in co-creating a film about Tamera and began their journey of collaboration under the newly formed alliance RE/CULTURE FILMS.
In May 2017, Julia and Ian returned to Tamera for a third round of shooting and screened an initial cut of the film for the Tamera community. Upon returning to North America, all three dedicated themselves to multiple immersive work retreats and rounds of feedback from numerous elders and advisors - each time distilling further the core message of the film.
In 2018, both Ian and Julia welcomed the birth of their first children (with separate partners) and were initiated across the threshold as new parents. Meanwhile John returned to Tamera for a 3-month education journey that fall, culminating in a make-over of the film's main story-line and title.
In May 2019, Ian and Julia returned to Tamera and the Global Love School one final time, this time with their babies and partners along for the ride - and gathered the remaining footage and interviews needed to complete the film.
In July 2019, the film team launched their second Kickstarter campaign to raise completion funds, ultimately hitting 120% of their goal ($64,000).
In December 2019, acclaimed filmmaker Marc Francis (Walk With Me) joined the team as a story consultant and led the directors through an immersive creative process to distill the most powerful frame to focus the film.
Ultimately, the team decided to invite Julia to weave her personal narrative that had begun with her film Union into the documentary. They proceeded with the new title Love School.
In early 2020, the world stopped.
Within the uncertainty, the filmmaking trio continued to diligently work on the project, even without knowing what the future would bring, or even if they would be able to release the film to in-person audiences.
Meanwhile the experiment of weaving Julia’s personal narrative throughout the film was not bearing fruit. The styles were simply too different - as the original film was not shot as a personal narrative and so they didn’t have the material to make it work.
Ultimately, they decided to split the projects once again, though both had been energized by the co-mingling.
Julia would be empowered to continue expanding her film, keeping the (tentative title)
Love School. Ian & John would begin once again from the ground up, re-approaching the central narrative that would provide the “red thread” connecting the many hundreds of hours of interviews and footage.
The answer lay in the very beginning.
During their original Kickstarter, before even attending the Global Love School, it was clear that the theme of TRUST ran throughout Tamera. Their commitment to “love free of fear” was only possible through the work of generating a “greenhouse of trust” and solidarity amongst the participants.
And so the central question now became: what does it take to regenerate trust?
In the summer of 2021, a new edit began for the film, this time progressing much more quickly as the central question was clear.
Marc Francis continued to provide valuable insight as well as connected the filmmakers with his post-production team including editor Andrew McGee in London.
The film remained without a committed title until one morning, Ian was greeted with a dream.
Charly Rainer, one of the co-founders of Tamera had died a year after his interview was captured by John for the film.
Having spent hours and hours with Charly’s words retelling the origins of the Tamera project, these words came to Ian again at dawn:
“Dieter Duhm came to me and said I want to build this village… this village of lovers, how he called it.”
And from there it was clear. The film would be called The Village of Lovers.
In December 2022, the filmmaker team held an online screening event called Reimagining Village to raise funds for the tour. This was the very first opportunity for a global audience to access a sneak preview of the documentary.
They applied to various film festivals and began garnering very accolades and honours.
In late Winter, the filmmakers began initial theatrical & community screenings, dubbed The Pollination Tour, to inspire, stir, and activate these initial regions.
And now, we have arrived at the Global Streaming Premiere and summit A Cry From the Future.
Co-Director / Producer / Editor / Director of Photography
Ian MacKenzie is an award-winning filmmaker & media activist based near Vancouver, Canada. His work has appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic TV, CBC Documentary, The Globe and Mail, Adbusters, and film festivals around the world. He is the director of the recent short Lost Nation Road (2019) featuring Stephen Jenkinson and is the co-director of Amplify Her (2018) following the rise of the feminine in electronic music. He co-produced Velcrow Ripper’s feature film Occupy Love (2013), and directed the short films Reactor (2013) and Sacred Economics (2012). Ian’s short The Revolution Is Love (2011) was named one of the top 10 Occupy films to watch that year.
Co-Director / Producer / cinematographer
John is an Initiatory Witch, Emergence Facilitator, Wilderness Guide and Sacred Clown focused on the work of cultural redemption. John wields the magic of his Hebraic, Norse and Celtic ancestry, while bending towards the reparation work of being a 3rd generation settler, living on the traditional homelands of the Arapahoe, Cheyenne, and Ute Peoples. Holding space for the great grief of our times, he designs and facilitates rituals and rites of transformation, in service to regulating the personal and collective nervous systems back to belonging with the Earth. He has studied intensively the 8 Shields Cultural Regeneration model, been a scholar at the Orphan Wisdom School, trained with the Weaving Earth Nature Connection schools, and been a long-term student of the Tamera Love School. In 2021, John co-founded The School of Mythopoetics dedicated to the Initiation of Soul. John tends thresholds of all kinds in commitment to death-doulaing the ‘Power Over’ systems of colonization, creating space for the birth of a peace culture built upon the ethics of ‘Power With’. More at www.johnwolfstone.earth
Assistant Director / Producer / Cinematographer
Julia Maryanska is a Polish-American filmmaker and producer based in the San Francisco Bay Area focused on creating media and events at the intersection of justice, eros and culture building. She has worked on award winning films such as “My Reincarnation”, and “Regarding Susan Sontag,” and is the Director of the feature doc, “Love School” currently in production. Julia has been selected as one of 10 women internationally to be part of the next CIRCLE Doc Women ACCELERATOR based in Europe. She has directed and edited short films and music videos that have won awards at festivals, been featured on Uplift.TV, Gaia TV and The Shift Network. She is the co-founder of the media collaborative, Re/Culture Media, which produces stories and immersive theatrical events in service to a regenerative culture. She is also multi-lingual, a photographer, violinist, a master NLP practitioner and a mother to a young girl.
Marc J. Francis is a director, cinematographer and producer of independent film whose films have been shown throughout the world in cinemas and on television. He was chosen by Harper’s Bazaar magazine as one of their top “Household names of the future”, and named by the Observer newspaper as one of Britain’s “Rising Stars”. His current directorial work includes the Benedict Cumberbatch narrated film about Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh entitled 'Walk With Me’, and “Here I Am” a feature documentary about living, loving and dying well. Marc's early directorial work includes the Sundance hit 'Black Gold', and the award-winning BBC/ARTE feature documentary 'When China Met Africa’. Marc also produces and amplifies stories of global significance through his production company Speakit Films where he is Creative Director.
Jacob is an English actor known for his roles in The Queens Gambit, Brooked House, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker and See How They Run. He is also a theatre actor that has played roles in a number of Shakespeare plays and other productions including The Importance of Being Earnest and The Merchant of Venice. . He was named Screen International's “Star of Tomorrow” for all this work in film, television and theatre productions.