The Psychedelic Renaissance

PROJECT SUMMARY

We are producing a pilot for the documentary series about the worldwide re-emergence of the psychedelic movement and the crucial role of psychedelic substances in human culture from prehistory to modern times. We invite a broad spectrum of people involved in the psychedelic renaissance - scientists, doctors, researchers, authors, facilitators and users - to bring a better understanding of these controversial substances. With so many people suffering from conditions that could be improved by psychedelic medicines, the documentary sets out to present the argument that science and medicine would benefit from the incorporation of psychedelics.

We hope the evidence provided in the documentary will significantly change the public opinion on psychedelics. In turn, this shift in public opinion should put pressure on governments to adjust outdated drug laws and to open their minds to the idea of psychedelics for therapeutic use. 

WHO ARE WE?

We are an intersectional collective of artists, including filmmakers, musicians and entrepreneurs, advocating for the responsible and intentional use of psychedelic substances and plant medicines for personal and collective healing.

WHO WE ARE - MEET THE TEAM

Anya Oleksiuk >>> Director//Producer//Editor//Director of Photography

Love of documentary films and music videos led Anya to study MA Documentary and Experimental Filmmaking. After completing her masters, she joined the End-Of-Life Care charity, Marie Curie, running their video department. She set off as a freelancer in 2016 and specialised in not-for-profit videos, music videos and documentaries. In 2017 she founded Triptika Studios, which is a collective of independent filmmakers with interests in health, science, innovative solutions, mental health, drug advocacy, social and racial justice and environment-friendly lifestyles. Anya aims for Triptika Studios to work on projects oriented towards social change and improving human wellbeing. She is also a Co-Director of the Psychedelic Society UK, leading on video production and campaigning for the decriminalisation of psychedelic plants and mushrooms.

Haya Huasca >>> Co-Producer

Haya is an enthusiastic advocate of psychedelic literacy who intends to help catalyse the psychedelic movement globally. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and wrote a senior thesis titled “Ask Your Doctor If Psychedelics Are Right For You: A Closer Look At The Clinical Uses Of Psychedelics.” Since obtaining her degree in psychology, she has branched out to work in different fields ranging from NGOs to film sets. She was formerly involved with community development at The Third Wave and is an active member of the French Psychedelic Society. In the future, Haya has plans to pursue a masters in clinical psychology to develop the skills needed in providing psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

Mareesa Stertz >>> Co-director

Creator of the Seeing Machine, Mareesa Stertz, is a Director, Producer who has worked in the industry for over 13 years. She’s the creator/director/producer of a documentary series about healing for mental health that’s screened on GAIA TV. Her work focuses on redesigning of systems, discovering innovative solutions, and celebrating of the human condition. Mareesa’s work has been featured by Viceland, GAIA TV, CBS, IFC, SPIN, INDIE NATION, 60SecDocs and has been shown in numerous film festivals around the world. Clients include Gaia, Participant Media, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, TEDX, Nylon, Ableton Live, New York Film Academy, and more.

Ana Sabolic >>> Director of Photography

Ana Sabolić is a visual artist and filmmaker working in the field of independent film production and contemporary visual art. She graduated with an MA in Art in 2015 focused on graphics and video art. Interested in psychogeography, Ana explores problematics through moving image and art workshops. Many of her workshops where founded and supported by the Croatian Ministry of Culture and shown as solo exhibitions in galleries. It is an on-going project about exploring the identity of space and effects of the geographical environment on the emotions and behaviour of individuals. In the context of film and video production, she works on experimental and documentary projects which often go beyond the boundaries of the traditional state of a movie in cinemas and integrates into modern gallery spaces. Currently, she is an MA Film Production student at London School of Film, Media, and Design at the University of West London focused mostly on the experimental and documentary film. She is working as a freelance Art Director and Editor and is a Co-director of Triptika Studios.

Mercedes C.A. Grant >>>  Associate Producer

Mercedes is a healer, activist, writer, Witch and community organiser. She is dedicated to creating dynamic, inclusive, healing, and educational spaces that encourage people to engage in paradigm-shifting dialogue while building safer, compassionate and supportive communities both online and in-real-life. She holds 500+ hours in traditional yogic education, with a focus on substance abuse recovery and trauma recovery through a justice-informed lens, producing educational programs for wellness professionals from around the world. With over a decade of combined education and experience in documentary film production, public relations, communications and crowdfunding strategy, she has collaborated with social entrepreneurs and organisations including MAPS Canada, Extinction Rebellion, Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery and the award-winning documentary feature, Fractured Land. She is currently on the steering committee of the 2020 Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum in unceded, ancestral territories of the Coast Salish people in so-called British Columbia, Canada, as well as holding space in her community for exploring Deep Adaptation in the face of climate and ecological collapse. 

Jonas Di Gregorio >>>   Fundraising Director

Jonas is a writer, speaker, transpersonal guide, with a successful track record in a diverse range of projects. He co-authored The Manual of Psychedelic Support and worked with psychedelic harm reduction organizations, such as Kosmicare and the Zendo Project. He co-founded the Italian Psychedelic Society and the Italian Chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). He presented at international conferences like the Breaking Convention, Beyond Psychedelics, the World Ayahuasca Conference and the Psychedelic Science Conference. Jonas is passionate about creating content regarding the healing power of psychedelic therapy. He graduated in Philosophy at the La Sapienza University of Rome and has been organizing medicine ceremonies with healers from different parts of the world for the last 12 years. He currently lives in San Francisco, California.

Marta Kaczmarczyk >>> Associate Producer // Consultant

Marta has graduated from MSc in Cognitive and Decision Sciences at University College London and Post-Msc (PDEng) in User System Interaction at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). She is an expert in persuasive science and technology. She had researched this topic in the medical and well-being field for two years during her Post-MSc course and during her work as a UX researcher at the TU/e. She is a co-founder and a coordinator of Psychedelic Society of the Netherlands (PSN); a non-profit organisation focused on advocating safe use of psychedelic substances. She has trained and worked as a carer/sitter for the psychedelic emergency during psychedelic festivals. At the moment she is working with the PSN on preparing safety guidelines for participants of retreats and ceremonies taking place in the Netherlands. She is interested in demystifying the psychedelic experience and creating a scientific framework that would be more accessible to the Western mind and more relevant than the shamanic or new-age framework which is popular in the psychedelic community.


THE FILM SERIES {UPDATE!}

We originally intended this to be a feature-length documentary film project, but we’ve recently realised that with the psychedelic field expanding and amplifying at dizzying speeds, that the exploration of this subject is best suited to a film series. This way, we can continue to discover and capture various aspects of this movement as they happen, while releasing relevant and captivating episodes as we go!

We will continue to explore all relevant and current aspects of the field of psychedelics, including but not limited to; medical and clinical research, neuroscience, neuropsychology, clinical psychology and psychotherapy, spirituality, philosophy, recreation, art, music, cyberdelics (Psychedelic Virtual Reality), XR (Extended Reality) and the crypto-psychedelic movement. The series delves into global, historical and traditional psychedelic use, their socio-cultural value, their value in environmental justice movements, and finally, their potential for healing, curing and alleviating a vast number of conditions that plague modern society, including depression, PTSD and substance-use disorder among many others.

We feel it is vital to present a wide diversity of perspectives within the psychedelic movement. We understand that psychedelics and plant medicines are not a magic cure and that they may not serve everyone. We will not shy away from revealing and exploring the shadow-side of psychedelic use, and we intend to do our best to present an unbiased account of the history, current reality, and future trajectories of the movement, through multiple perspectives including BIPOC, and LGBTQI2S+ people.


THE MISSION

Mental health is a defining issue of our generation, with approximately one in every four people suffering from ‘mental illness’. In 2017, The World Health Organization (WHO) began a campaign to prioritise global mental health, stating:  

“Behavioral health disorders are on the trajectory to surpass all other diseases as a major cause of disability by 2020. Each year, approximately $2.5 trillion is lost in the global economy to mental illness; this number is expected to increase to $6 trillion in a little over a decade.

We intend to de-stigmatise psychedelic use by presenting personal and professional accounts of beneficial use from a wide array of individuals. We make a clear call for their responsible therapeutic use,  for personal growth and collective healing, including traditional, Indigenous applications of plant medicines and substances.

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WHAT WE NEED & WHAT WE ARE GRACIOUSLY ASKING FOR

We believe crowdfunding is ideal because the nature of our project makes it particularly challenging to find appropriate funding avenues. Due to the controversial nature of psychedelic substances, we simply are not eligible for any specific film grants. Potential financial sponsors are risk-averse, citing the topic of our film to be outside the realm of ideas they consider beneficial to fund. All the more reason to make this film series!

Project Development >> £400
Salaries >> £7600
Production expenses, mainly equipment >> £2050
Travel & Accommodation { USA, Canada, The Netherlands} >> £2470
Post-Production >> £11100
Administration >> 2950
Loan Repayment >> £8250
Contingency 5% >> £1874

TOTAL: £39354 / 40K


DETAILS OF FUTURE PRODUCTION COSTS >>>

We seek funding to produce a high-quality pilot for an episodic film series, which will appeal to a broad audience, including those who have never considered psychedelic substances as a legitimate tool for healing and growth. While filming the pilot, we are collecting additional content that will be used in the series.

Any form of financial support will help us to move the project forward. It will allow us to both continue with the production as well as to create and run a successful fundraising campaign. 

17K will allow us to complete filming
29K will allow us to complete filming and to pay for editing
40K will allow us to add compelling animation and bespoke sound design


FILM PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT & OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO OUR EARTH HOME >>>

We understand that we are living in a critical time in the Earth’s history and that we must all do our part to consider our environmental impact. While we do our very best during production to reduce our ecological footprint through sustainable actions, we also understand that air travel is a significant contributor to carbon in the atmosphere. We are actively in the process of calculating our past carbon footprint from air travel, intending to purchase carbon offsets from a certified, transparent and trustworthy source, The Gold Standard Foundation. We also understand the philosophical argument against carbon offsetting, in that when we purchase an offset, we are paying someone to cut their emissions, so we don’t have to, and that this route is not ideal. With that, and where possible, we aim to reduce our air travel by train and bus travel, to hire local filmmakers where possible, and to continue engaging in actions that demand responsibility from corporations.

OUR CURRENT FINANCIAL SITUATION >>>

We are a tiny team of volunteers with minimal time. We all have to support ourselves and earn money to survive while we volunteer our time for what we feel is a very worthwhile venture. We want to commit to paying £100 per day to the crew to cover our basic needs and allow us to focus our attention on further developing this project, as well as hiring new crew members to support us.

URGENT EQUIPMENT NEEDS >>>

We have so far filmed with our own and borrowed equipment. However our camera is now faulty, one of our lenses broken and the one that was on loan had to be returned. Our batteries and memory cards wore out and we are left with limited number of them, meaning it’s challenging to have longer shoots. We desperately need to buy kit before we can continue the production.

FUNDS RAISED & SPENT TO DATE >>>

Incoming >>>

Crowdfunding & Private Contributions >>  £7,315.64
Private Loans >>  £3,000
Unpaid Crew Time >>  £5,200.00

TOTAL: £15,515.64

Outgoing >>>

Project Development >> 750
Production and post-production crew (43 shooting days)  << 6200
Production expenses (including equipment) << 3000
Travel & Accommodation << 3559
Website & Social Media << 930
Fundraising << 1150

TOTAL: £15,582


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ACCESSIBLE DISTRIBUTION + PUBLIC SCREENINGS + FUTURE PLANS FOR RELEASE

THE PILOT

We intend to release a pilot episode of ‘The Psychedelic Renaissance’, with free, public screenings set for the spring of 2021. We have been invited to screen at psychedelic conferences around the world, as well as educational institutions such as Oxford University and Newcastle University. After initial screenings, the pilot will be available for free online and promoted by our community partners such as the Beckley Foundation, MAPS and psychedelic societies around the world, as well as other associated institutions and brands with interest in psychedelics.

In August, we have screened a work-in-progress cut of the film at the 2019 Breaking Convention conference in London, UK. The auditorium was packed with people who received the film enthusiastically and approached us to express their support and gratitude.  

THE SERIES

We will continue to work towards providing accessible screening options through educational institutions and partner organisations, with a simultaneous goal of selling the series to public broadcasters. Our goal is still to give the broadest possible access to the film series and the vital knowledge it will hold. In the absence of a traditional distribution deal, we will make the series available on a digital platform.

ADDITIONAL CONTENT

We will maximise our impact by producing additional content that can be used for education and harm reduction. Footage will be developed for online, social media content. We are currently developing a subsequent online series that will focus on women in the psychedelic field.

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THE IMPACT

Our film series sets out to shift the negative propaganda and stigma around psychedelic substance use while educating the public about the potential personal and collective benefits of these extraordinary allies. We feel strongly that if the public is made aware of the potential of psychedelic and plant medicines for therapeutic use, the demand will facilitate a necessary shift in out-dated drug laws. These laws restrict cognitive liberties and disproportionately criminalize marginalised people in many regions of the world.

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) each year, according to the official figures from the mental health charity, Mind. In the United States alone, mental illnesses are affecting approximately 47 mln of people each year, according to The National Institute of Mental Health. One must keep in mind that these numbers account only for reported cases, but in reality, the number of undiagnosed individuals is immeasurable. Mental illness is an imminent global issue which can no longer be ignored. Many people around the world suffer from treatment-resistant conditions that have the potential to be healed with the aid of psychedelic substances.

We have known of the therapeutic qualities of psychedelics since the first studies conducted in the 1950s. Renowned British psychiatrist Ronald Sandison wrote that LSD gives increased access to repressed experiences, opening childhood memories, and allowing patients to explore traumatic events of their past while providing associated emotional release and healing.

Today, we have the tools in contemporary neurological science, such as neuroimaging, that gives us an opportunity to revisit the studies of the 1950s and 1960s with new eyes, and to research the potential for curing the 21st-century epidemic of mental and emotional suffering.

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PILOT EPISODE CONTRIBUTORS

We interview some of the leading scientists and clinicians that have contributed to discoveries in psychedelic science, and we interweave these interviews with those whose lives were transformed through psychedelics.

Dr Ben Sessa (Bristol University)
Amanda Feilding (The Beckley Foundation)
David E Nichols
Natalie Ginsberg (MAPS)
Ismail Ali (MAPS)
Nikki Wyrd (Breaking Convention, Psychedelic Press)
Julian Vayne (Psychedelic Press, Breaking Convention)
Chris Timmerman (Imperial College)
Rosalind Watts (Imperial College)
Camille Barton (Artist and Drug Activist)
Mendel Kaelen (Imperial College)
Arno Adelaars (Author and Drug Activist)
Jakobien Van der Weiden (Microdose NL)
Hein Pijnnaken (Microdose NL)
Darren Springer (Mycologist)
Carl H. Smith (Ravensbourne University, Virtual Awakening)
Stephen Reid (The Psychedelic Society UK)
Gaia Harvey-Jackson (The Psychedelic Society UK)
Eva Cesarova (The Psychedelic Society of Czech Republic)
Vincent Veroust (The Psychedelic Society of France)
Jose Montemayor (Virtual Awakening)
and more


PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS

The Beckley Foundation
Decriminalise Denver
SPORE
Unlimited Sciences
MAPS
The Psychedelic Society UK
Psychedelic Society of the Netherlands
Czech Psychedelic Society
French Psychedelic Society
Breaking Convention
Beyond Psychedelics
Psycherence
Psychedelic Seminars
Psychedelic Experience
Microdosing.nl
Firejuice
The Hemp Trading Company


MORE INFO

Visit our website for more info and the photo gallery

Read about our story so far

Follow us on Facebook


WATCH OUR 2019 TEASER





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Donations ()

  • Tom Kenny 
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    • 1 d
  • Scott Cousland 
    • £16 
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  • Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth  
    • £1,000 
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Fundraising team: Triptika Studios (4)

Anya Oleksiuk 
Organizer
Raised £131 from 7 donations
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
Haya Al-Hejailan 
Team member
Raised £40 from 2 donations
Jonas Di Gregorio 
Team member
Mercedes Grant 
Team member
This team raised £2,080 from 27 other donations.
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