We have a pleasure to host a special fundraising event where we’ll be screening a work-in-progress cut of the film, followed by a panel with the filmmakers and our contributors, who are leading the psychedelic renaissance.
After the panel, we’ll have a short acoustic music performance by Timmer (Chris Timmerman) followed by a DJ set from Sun Anga, – the film’s soundtrack composer so you can dance and socialise with the panellists and fellow psychonauts!
We’ll be selling vegan cakes, vintage clothes, ethical hemp t-shirts from The Hemp Trading Company, and our postcards and posters — all to raise funds for further production of the documentary. (Find out more about the project here: thepsychedelicrenaissance.com)
DR BEN SESSA
Dr Ben Sessa is a writer, psychiatrist, and researcher working in the UK. Heis conducting the UK’s first clinical studies with MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of PTSD and alcohol dependence. He is specialised as a child and adolescent psychiatrist and is interested in the developmental relationship between child maltreatment and adult mental health disorders. Dr Sessa’s joint interests in psychotherapy, pharmacology and trauma have led him towards the research of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
He is the author of two books exploring psychedelic medicine; The Psychedelic Renaissance (2012) and To Fathom Hell or Soar Angelic (2015) and is a co-founder and former director of Breaking Convention, a biennial multidisciplinary conference on psychedelics. Dr Sessa is an outspoken lobbyist for change in the UK’s current drug classification system and firmly believes that a more progressive regulatory policy would reduce the harms of recreational drug use. Ben is also one of the few people who has ever received MDMA, LSD, DMT, ketamine, and psilocybin in a legal research setting.
Christopher Timmermann is a neuroscientist and a leading researcher in a neuropsychopharmacology study at Imperial College London where he is investigating the effects of psychedelic drugs in the human brain, alongside Robin Carhart-Harris and David Nutt. He obtained a BSc in Psychology in Santiago, Chile and an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Bologna in Italy. Christopher is interested in the use of methods that bridge the relationship between the phenomenology evoked by the psychedelic experience and changes in brain activity using diverse neuroimaging tools. He is developing his research with a focus on the effects of psychedelics in consciousness and brain connectivity. Christopher is also a talented musician and is currently finishing work on his solo album.
Nikki Wyrd is one of the directors of the psychedelic conference Breaking Convention. She enjoys helping people communicate their thoughts. She is an editor of the Psychedelic Press Journal and runs The Universe Machine publishing house. Nikki also works as a freelance proofreader/copy editor. Her copy editing work can be found in most notable books of recent years related to psychedelics, occultism and medicine. Along with Julian Vayne, she co-authored The Book of Baphomet, which beautifully blends scientific rationale with magical actions.
Nikki often talks at conferences and festivals. She also holds space at retreats and gives workshops centred around shamanic/ceremonial practices. Nikki enjoys dancing to psytrance and as an ecologist, she actively encourages humans to reconsider how they can live in harmony with other organisms.
ANYA OLEKSIUK (Producer/Director)
A love of documentary films and music videos led Anya to pursue an MA in Documentary and Experimental Filmmaking. After completing her masters, she joined the End-Of-Life Care charity with Marie Curie, where she ran their video department. She set off as a freelancer in 2016 and specialized 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/racial justice and environment-friendly lifestyles. Anya’s goal with Triptika Studios is to work on projects oriented towards social change and improving human wellbeing. She is also a Co-Director at the Psychedelic Society UK, where she leads video production and campaigns for the decriminalisation of psychedelic plants and mushrooms.
HAYA HUASCAH (Co-producer/Co-director)
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 from Claremont McKenna College in California where she 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, including a short film “Dunya’s Day” which was the recipient of the Jury Award for International Fiction at Sundance Film Festival. She was formerly involved with community development at The Third Wave and administration with Synthesis Retreats. Haya is a member of the French Psychedelic Society and volunteers at the Psychedelic Society in the UK. In the future, Haya has plans to pursue a masters in Clinical Psychology to develop the skills needed in providing psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
Psychedelic folk – Timmer
Sun Anga (Stefano Sgarbi) is a musician, sound designer and workshop leader. His interests, starting from a general attraction to art and particularly music, grew specifically towards electronic music and sound therapy. He studied electroacoustic music at the Institute of Sonology (Royal Conservatoire of The Hague) in a rather prolific and inspiring artistic environment. His artistic practice is now oriented towards festival/club and healing/spiritual contexts. In addition to his personal music projects (Sun Anga, ImU and Bistecchiño), he collaborates with various international musicians and performers; he joined Electrik Dream Records in 2018 and he is an enthusiastic member of the collective Gaia Psybient Music.
Dates and Times: 5th December, 7pm to 11pm
Doors open at 6:45pm and close at 7.15pm. To ensure the quality of the event, latecomers may not be admitted.
Venue: The Boiler House, 152 Brick Ln, London E1 6RU (Unfortunately we do not yet have wheelchair access).
This event is hosted by The Psychedelic Society and proudly supported by the Experimental Thought Co.
We are excited to show you our work in progress and present this new teaser for our documentary The Psychedelic Renaissance:
We also have recently got our new artwork for the posters and t-shirts. Soon you can buy them and support our film!
Our fundraising campaign is not over yet, we continue to need support in raising enough to finish our film. Please help us to raise the awareness by sharing information about our campaign.
To donate, please visit www.gofundme.com/the-psychedelic-renaissance-documentary
We will send another update soon!
Welcome you to our The Psychedelic Renaissance Documentary Website. We will be posting updates from our journey here so stay tuned!
We started the production on 10 December 2017 with an interview with the ayahuasca
expert Arno Adelaars in a beutiful location – Hortus Botanicus Gardens in Amsterdam. Two days later we filmed Ben and Sonia from the psychedelic B&B Firejuice in Amsterdam. We spent the next two months doing a lot of research and contacting initial contributors and partner organisations. Filming recommenced on 11 February when we filmed Jose Montemayor from Virtual Awakening, who introduced us to cyberdelics (psychedelic VR). In March 2018 we followed policy advocates Natalie Ginsberg and Ismail Ali from MAPS on their trip to Vienna for the United Nations Commission for Narcotic Drugs.
In April we followed a grassroots researcher Darren Springer on his trip to Prague where he delivered lectures on psychedelics and mythology, as well as a mushroom growing workshops. While in Prague, we interviewed Eva Cesarova from the Czech Psychedelic Society as well as a few other psychonauts, including Dana and Cosmin who we met at Darren’s workshop.
After Prague, we followed Darren to Amsterdam to capture one more workshop and check-in with Ben and Sonia from Firejuice. After coming back to London we visited Darren at his part-time work at a permaculture farm Organiclea and interviewed him in detail about his research. We returned to Amsterdam again in May to interview Jakobien and Hein from microdosing.nl to get insights into their latest findings into microdosing. In June we were invited to film an ayahuasca ceremony and met a few fascinating people with whom we will definitely follow up.
Soon after we were invited to Beckley Foundation to film Amanda Feilding. Amanda, as well as being a contributor to The Psychedelic Renaissance documentary, is also featured in the pilot episode of our series Women in Psychedelics that we are producing simultanously.
After launching our crowdfunding campaign we returned to Prague in late June to cover the Beyond Psychedelics conference and also heavily promoted the film. We met a lot of amazing people who gave us loads of support and encouragement to keep going. From that point we travelled to Boom Festival in Portugal and to Psy Fi in the Netherlands to promote the film.
After coming back from summer adventures we filmed Jamie and Phil who run psychedelic sound baths and learned more about non-substance induced psychedelic states. They invited us again in September to capture one of their amazing events – we cannot wait to share some video samples from the night!
The same month we were fortunate enough to interview Dr Ben Sessa, leading British psychiatrist and the author of the acclaimed book The Psychedelic Renaissance. Ben gave us expert overview of psychedelic substances and their history as well as an in-depth outline of his study into MDMA assisted psychoteraphy for addictions, running at Bristol University. We came back to visit Dr Sessa in October as he prepared for dosing the patients with MDMA.
Week later we went to Paris to spend some time with French Psychedelic Society and to interview its Vincent Veroust who is a researcher in the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and in the Instiute for the Humanities in Medicine. Vincent is a historian of Sciences and he specializes in French psychedelic studies and is very passionate about Roger Heim and mushrooms. He showed us the vast psychedelic mushroom collection with original samples of mushrooms from Maria Sabina.
Last shoot so far was on 4 November and we followed Camille Barton at her Black-centred arts festival Re-Generate. Our own associate producer Akua was a guest on the panel dutring the event.
This is what we’ve done so far. Make sure to check our gallery. We will soon update it with stills from last shoots. We are also working on some video content for you! Stay tuned!