South African couple Justine and Michael create beautiful short films about everyday people to help add some positivity to the world.
Hermanus, South Africa – Justine and Michael started Green Renaissance with the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change. The creative couple spends all their free time filming and editing positive stories that reflect the wonders of the world.
When not travelling to capture the stories of others, the couple are based on a farm outside of Hermanus. They hope their short films will inspire all those who watch them. The couple post them online making them available for free to anyone who wishes to watch.
They realised that people spend large parts of their lives scrolling through social media and are bombarded by a constant flow of bad news. They realised that stories that don’t inspire, drag people down emotionally. Justine and Michael wanted to be part of the growing change that is the good news cycle.
“We became frustrated with the bombardment of negative content that was being shared online. And when we WERE seeing good news stories, there was often a corporate brand or organisation behind it all, trying to sell us something that we didn’t want or didn’t need.
So instead of continuing to complain about it, we realised that we could use our skills as filmmakers to try and change that in our own small way.”
“In June 2017, we made a commitment to make and share one new short film every week – free of any advertising or corporate sponsorship – powerful stories for positive change without any agenda. Fast forward to August 2019, and we have released 116 films so far. We haven’t missed a week yet. And we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.”
Their short films explore what it means to be human and often they touch on universally felt subjects like the loss of loved ones, age and retirement, friendship, love and courage.
“We hope to remind our audience of one simple truth – that we are all human – that inside our hearts and minds, we are all facing similar challenges. We have so much to learn from each other, and our connections run so much deeper and stronger than we think.”
Their short films focus on the lives of ordinary, everyday people who have extraordinary stories to share.
“Listening to people’s stories and getting a glimpse into their lives is our idea of a good time. In each meeting, we get to share a beautiful conversation with a new person, that ALWAYS has an impact on us personally – it challenges how we think, it shapes how we live.
We get to explore topics that have been racing around in our minds and have conversations that are close to our hearts. And best of all – many of these people have become close friends. Even if we won the Lottery tomorrow, this is a project that we would continue to pursue. It gives us meaning and purpose. It makes us smile.”
The couple feel that each story has reminded them of what is truly important in life.
“This film making journey fills us with a sense of gratitude for life and the beautiful people that surround us all every day. And we hope that our audience feels it too. And we’re sure that they do, when we receive messages like these…”
They have received high praise for the short films they make. People are being moved by the stories featured.
“I seriously don’t have words for the joy I feel when discovering that filmmakers like you are using your lives for such a worthy cause. What could be better than shining a light on these beautiful people and sharing them with the world!”
“You are making the world a better place with each and every film you create.”
“His words went right into my soul and it felt like a small explosion… like miniature fireworks. I am near tears. Thank you.”
“I want to thank you for your films. Each one shows me something about myself.”
“The authenticity, intentionality and integrity of your films translates directly to the screen and into my heart.”
“We live on the tip of Africa. But we have a global audience of people around the world, who tune in to watch our weekly films. Because we largely self fund this project, we do not have budget to spend on travel costs. So for now, many of our stories are based in South Africa. But we’d love to start filming and featuring people from a wider diversity of countries and cultures. We hope that with time, as our crowd funding platform grows, we will be able to tell more stories from across the world.”
To join their film making journey, and see all their previous 116 stories, visit www.patreon.com/greenrenaissance
The short film that put Justine and Michael on our radar was Perpetual Motion. It popped up at a time we needed it most and inspired us to contact them to learn more.
You can watch the video below and find more at the link they provided above.