Simple Living: Creating an Ecovillage in a Year

Happen Films
Monday, 6th June 2016

This FREE film follows a community in Australia that formed to explore and demonstrate a simpler way to live in response to global crises. Throughout the year-long experiment the group practises permaculture, builds tiny houses, and learns how to live in community.

We here at Permaculture magazine highly recommend you watch this by Happen Films – please watch it and share it today!

Filmed during the year of 2015, a small community of nine people formed an emerging ecovillage in Gippsland, Victoria, and challenged themselves to explore a radically 'simpler way' of life based on material sufficiency, frugality, permaculture, alternative technology and local economy.

Heard it all before? No, this is worth watching for its array of low impact, low cost build methodologies plus the sense that this group are seriously testing out new ecological and communal ways of living. This is all about preparing for the challenges of the present and the future.

This documentary by Jordan Osmond and Samuel Alexander tells the story of this community's living experiment, in the hope of sparking a broader conversation about the challenges and opportunities of living in an age of limits. David Homgren and Helena Norberg-Hodge also appear in the film and Helena particualry gives a very powerful presentation on the necessity of systemic change - and how it is coming towards us at a great rate becasue of the collapse of the tsable global climate and the illogical and siudcidal global financial system.

The results are stunning. It is by turns positive and inspirational (you will just take so much positivity away from this film and these people) and realistic in that they face many challenges along the way. 

It will also get you fired up.

Whether you're discovering permaculture for the first time or continuing an ongoing journey of discovery that connects you ever more to this planet, our eco systems and other species, this is a film you need to see and importantly, as we say, share it with others.

The documentary also has exclusive interviews with leading activists and educators in the world's most promising social movements, including David Holmgren (permaculture), Helena Norberg-Hodge (localisation), Ted Trainer (the simpler way), Nicole Foss (energy and finance), Bill Metcalf (intentional communities) and Graham Turner (limits to growth). These interviews connect the community beyond their own space and emphasis that we are each part of a whole.

The film was made on a budget of under £6,000, all of it crowdfunded by supporters. And even this tiny budget is sympathetic and in tune with the aims of the project. It shows that from tiny seeds big ideas and actions grow. 

The film making is totally class and hugely sympathetic and joyous. It is fun, it makes permaculture feel fun and buoyant. 

A very huge ‘big-up’ for the closing song in the film too, Forest Fire, White Walls by Matt Wicking … a talent worthy of an international audience. Wow!

We want this documentary to reach as many people as possible, which is why it is being released online and for free. If you would like to download a copy of the film in Full HD 1080p or SD 480p, you can do so by entering an amount of your choice (you can do this HERE). In this way, those of you who can support the work enable the filmmakers to keep making films available to everyone, without restricting viewing to those who can’t afford to pay.

Screenings are also invited and you can contact the film makers and make arrangements with them.


For more details visit

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