Cohousing film to be shown at Wild & Scenic festival
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What: The film “The Best of Both Worlds — Cohousing’s Promise”
When: 3:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad St., Nevada City; 10:30 a.m. Jan. 19, Gold Miners Inn, 121 Bank St., Grass Valley
The Wild & Scenic Film Festival has announced that John de Graaf’s latest film “The Best of Both Worlds — Cohousing’s Promise” has been selected for its World Premiere at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Jan. 16-20, in Nevada City.
Noted film producer and author John de Graaf has long been on a quest to inform, enlighten and improve quality of life through non-materialistic values. This year his work includes a 27-minute documentary film on cohousing, the unique planned coliving communities originally developed in Denmark and brought to the United States in the 1980s by architects Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant.
Realizing there are many projects to choose from, de Graaf was drawn to producing a cohousing film through his previous experience visiting and staying at cohousing while making another film, “Redefining Prosperity: The Gold Rushes of Nevada City.”
“I’ve been interested in cohousing for a long time, and have enjoyed staying with friends, including Dave Wann, the coauthor of my book ‘Affluenza,’ in different cohousing communities,” de Graaf said. “I find the relaxed neighborhoods to be so refreshing, with the bulk of the development closed to cars, people enjoying spending time on their porches or meeting others at the common house, and children who had a level of freedom so often lost in modern car-dominated housing projects. I’ve wanted to tell the cohousing story for many years and I was excited by this opportunity.”
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De Graaf worked closely with architect Charles Durrett, who has designed over 50 cohousing communities in the United States. Also on the team is Auburn cinematographer Doug Stanley of “Deadliest Catch” fame. Together with editor Greg Davis, they have collected interviews from a wide range of cohousing residents, and while doing so visited a handful of cohousing projects.
Charles Durrett has often noted that the very first cohousing communities in Denmark were slow to get started, but once a film that fully explained cohousing was made and shared, the adoption rate began to double annually. For Durrett, completing the film means realizing his vision to share with a broader audience this sustainable lifestyle he has dedicated his career to.
This film aims to reach many people with important options for creative, fulfilling neighborhoods.
“As I watched ‘The Best of Both Worlds,’ I was impressed by all the advantages there are to the cohousing lifestyle,” writes Bob Sampayan, mayor of Vallejo. “As a result, I am now promoting cohousing here in the city of Vallejo as an alternative to larger developments. I see it as a comfortable and sustainable model that makes great sense for our city’s future.”
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