CURRENTLY IN POST-PRODUCTION
CURRENTLY IN POST-PRODUCTION
In a time of escalating divorce rates, increased transparency about polyamory and open relationships, shifting gender roles in relationships and the like, this feature length film comes forth to weave a very relevant question to our time – What makes a Union? The director, a millennial, narrates the story as she finds herself falling in love with a man who she believes is “the one.” When he proposes marriage, she goes on a personal quest to understand and validate the questions many of us have about how to be in Union in our current times.
The narrative is framed by the director’s own personal journey in love and loss and touches upon our universal longing to be taken and consumed by a big love in our lives. Crafted partly from a past retold in interviews, and partly from intimate verité footage, this film spotlights an alternative San Francisco Bay Area community as they reveal the building blocks of their alternative and intimate loves stories.
Aesthetically beautiful and at times other-worldly, the film weaves art, music and poetry inspired by these love stories to support very tangible and current questions about love, devotion, freedom, sexuality, family and community.
The featured lovers support the director’s own questions by sharing their own journeys about creating new blueprints for evolved paradigms of love partnership.
What starts off as a celebration and examination of succesful relationships, takes a turn and invites us to look more closely about our ideas of partnership as some of the love stories and decade-long commitments begin to unravel.
The narrative leverages dominant culture, challenging our ideas of “failure” when relationships comes to an end. A pilgrimage to the festival of Impermanence, also known as Burning Man, gives us an inside look at a radical subculture, and uses metaphors of fire to burn away veils of illusion.
How do we cope with transition and reframe our sense of what it means to be in a Union in a culture that does not teach us to learn to love the endings of things?
What new behaviors and beliefs must we embody when we want to be to be loved in ways that make us feel free, when we want to belong to community, and confront our desire for novelty in long-term partnerships? How do we serve our collective evolution by daring to move toward what pulls us, while maintaining commitment and devotion to our love partnerships and families?
This film is a very personal account of a widely considered question about how to live love and relationship in our current time.
Currently in Post-Production.
NIMITAE ("Nothing is More Important Than Anything Else")
My current project, "Including Love - Music That Celebrates Sacred Union" is a compilation of uplifting and deeply grooving dance music - with each song inspired by and dedicated to a specific epic couple in our community. These men and women are pushing the envelope of what it means to embody the divine masculine and divine feminine, and each couple has their story of how they came to alchemize true love.
I believe the primary love relationship is the current cutting edge of culture and human potential, and that viewing true love as the prime transformative experience is the window to a future we all can believe in. The only way to become your highest unique self is to surrender fully to the most spectacular vision of you that exists on the planet - the future version of you that only your beloved can see. When you stop resisting the greatness that only they can hold for you - you can become something far surpassing your own limited sense of self interest.
The music in the film will be remixed by notable electronic music artists such as Random Rab, Shpongle, Phutureprimitive and others.
A special thank you to Android Jones (www.androidjones.com) for capturing the love between me and my wife Jennifer in his piece "Union" which I use as the image / icon here and for the album cover art. Jennifer - as you would expect - is the inspiration for this project and our relationship is captured musically in "Warrior Catches Thief". Listening to "Warrior Catches Thief" and looking and Android's "Union" together is a spiritual experience for anyone who believes in true love…
When I was 16, I remember sitting at the kitchen table, looking my parents straight in the eyes and saying, “I will never get married. I’m just going to have a lot of boyfriends.” They laughed and said, “Yeah ok… we’ll see!” I didn't see myself in one steady relationship for the rest of my life, but there were no models of how to do it any other way.
Fast forward 13 years, and here I am, engaged to be married, while in an open relationship, exploring unchartered territory in our sexuality, spirituality and relationship. I looked around and found myself in complete dissonance with traditions and rituals of weddings and marriage, including the vows of "'til death do us part." I felt it was my duty to discover and then create what felt true to me.
In the Summer of 2012, I attended the wedding of Jennifer Russell and Bryan Franklin, and I was transformed. Never before had I attended such a ceremony, crafted uniquely to reflect everything the couple stood for in relationship.
Bryan & Jennifer invited couples whom they loved and respected to "marry them" by standing for the value they believed was uniquely embodied by them as a pair. Here you'll see some of the values represented by banners such as "Community", "Freedom" and "Contribution." The way this community of people stood for each other marked me for life.
They are a conglomerate of TEDx Speakers, world-class entrepreneurs, award-winning artists, authors, dancers, and thinkers. They are Burners, forming some of the foremost, innovative and contributing camps at Burning Man annually. They are do-gooders, strategizing on how we can create new systems to make the planet a place our great-grand children will be glad to live in.
When Bertram and I decided to get engaged, we had no community of our own, and I was scared– were we going to last? We prayed to find "our people," and looking back we see that starting on this wedding way, we began to weave friendships with the members of this community and over time, they have changed our lives forever.
In this tribe, Bertram and I encountered something we had never seen before… a group of people bound together by a core value of holding primary love relationship, their own and each other's, as the vehicle for their own and each other’s highest transformation. We would meet at parties, concerts, weddings, festivals, holidays, Burning Man, and started to call one another chosen family. We spent hours processing our own and each other's most personal feelings and aspects of relationships. The level of trust was deep, and the commitment to us standing solidly together as a tribe was strong.
Sitting in the audience of this wedding was renowned visionary artist, Android Jones. Android's caliber of artistry is world class. He has projected his live paintings onto the Sydney Opera House and the United Nations Headquarters in NYC. He began the sketches for a new type of painting that day– a portrait of two people in love. The result was this, and it has since gone viral, seen by millions of people around the world.
Bryan, pictured above with his wife Jennifer, is also known as NIMITAE, and is an Academy-Award winning sound designer (credits include Memento, Gladiator, E.T. and more). As NIMITAE, he has given a great gift of writing highly complex and beautifully orchestrated electronic music songs for the couples he sees as embodying the true values of evolutionary love. Bryan came to me in 2013, inviting me to document these love stories, and here we are today, creating a feature length film about them.
Naturally I agreed. After all, after 4 years of relationship, 2 years of engagement with my love, Bertram and I had already burned through many fires of jealousy, fear, insecurity and desire, and I was on a personal quest to discover how to "do relationship." We felt married already, and saw engagement as a verb, not a noun, and wanted to live and breathe it through all the facets of its theatrical drama, tragedy and comedy that it is.
So here I am at the end of 4 years of that relationship, and we find ourselves parting, and I find myself having a visceral experience of evolutionary love. With this film, through heartbreak, questioning and a road of discovery about how do we "do" relationship, i've set of on a mission to ask the most difficult questions– How do you make it through the challenge of death, heartbreak, jealousy, desire, family feuding and more. I set out to discover and document how it is these couples came to create the artful and transformative relationships they have today.
So through the lens of art and music, I bring you the most insider's view onto a uniquely extraordinary tribe of world class humans to tell the tale of UNION, a documentary about evolutionary love.
-Julia Maryanska, Director
Android Jones is at the forefront of the Electro-Mineralist art movement, a wave of artists whose medium is electricity and their hardware and tools are forged from mining elements found deep inside the earth . Androids body of work aims to emphasize creativity as the foundation of consciousness and an agent of social change.
As a Electro-Mineralist, Android builds on the technical developments of past centuries in art history while pushing the boundaries of the imagination with new technologies and media forms. Moving beyond the traditional organic vegetable and animal technologies of pencils, ink, and brushes, Android develops latent possibilities within software programs such as Painter, Photoshop, ZBrush, and Alchemy, discovering new combinations and uses for tools that exceed the original intentions of their programmers.
As an experienced designer, Android has contributed to films, games, and to building communities in person and online, and his interactive installations have enchanted tens of thousands of participants at events like Boom and Burning Man. Viewing the digital domain as a medium of energy and light capable of expanding the nature of reality, Android's art encourages others to explore the potential interfaces of mind and machine in this time of accelerating change and increasing novelty.
To this end, Android's art serves two related functions: it bears witness to realities accessible through heightened states of consciousness, and it also engenders heightened awareness through the processes of creation and audience interaction. Digital art becomes a tool for navigating reality and human awareness, and Android's art invites others to join the advancing evolution of consciousness by speaking to the artist in everyone.
Behold, a leading Visionary artist of our time weaves his work synchronistically into the cinematic fabric of this compelling narrative... Playing with a dynamic range of light and shadow, we invite Android Jones to use his full artistic palette to mesh realism with fantasy, and through his art, introduce the characters' higher versions of themselves. By inviting visionary art onto the cinematic screen, we imagine a world in which evolutionary partnership makes it possible for each one of us to live out the highest version of ourselves that exists on the planet.
Art Director of Archetypal Scenes / Photographer