Media Room

Be Here Now - Peter Wintonick’s Search for Utopia

This project's funding stage has expired.

Be Here Now is a journey into Peter Wintonick’s Utopia, or what he playfully called Wintopia. As poetic and playful as the man himself, the film will paint an intimate portrait of Peter and his lifelong obsession with imagining a better world.

The Backstory
My father, renowned docmaker Peter Wintonick (Manufacturing Consent, Seeing is Believing), passed away in November. Almost immediately after being diagnosed with cancer, Peter started planning his next film, what he knew would likely be his final film. He wasted no time with self-pity or denial, transforming all his energy into creative momentum. Peter’s mantra in those last two months was “Be Here Now,” but really that’s a philosophy he lived by his whole life. Unfortunately, he didn’t have as much time left as we’d all hoped and the project remains unfinished. With your help, we are determined to see it through, not only to keep Peter’s spirit alive, but because his final film holds wisdom he had yet to impart.

The Film
For the past two decades, Peter had been obsessed with Utopia. He shot hours and hours of footage as he journeyed around the world on his quest. Utopia literally translates as “No Place” or “Not a Place,” so I would sometimes ask him why he was traveling in search of something that doesn’t exist. He’d reply that “Utopias place pictures of possible worlds in our minds.” Peter devoted his life to the idea of a possible world, of a better world, and he believed that documentaries were key in helping us make that world a reality.

With the help of award-winning EyeSteelFilm (Last Train Home, The Fruit Hunters) and drawing on the footage that Peter himself shot over the years, Be Here Now promises to be a very special film. With Peter as our guide, we will explore the world’s imagined Utopias, from Don Quixote’s idealism in Spain, to an artist co-op in the Australian Outback, to Gandhi’s backyard of peaceful resistance. With each step of the journey, we will be one step closer to understanding Peter’s own Utopia, his Wintopia, the imagined place he curated through his obsessions with art, advocacy and life itself.

Be Here Now will stand as a tribute to a visionary man who inspired countless people around the globe, and will also resonate as the story of a daughter trying to connect with her father through the legacy he left behind. The film won’t be the same without him (how could it be?), but we will do our best to make it something worthy of him. With your support, and the creative team behind this project fully devoted to giving it their all, we can bring Peter’s final vision to life.

What your contribution will be put towards
Most of the shooting for this project is already done, and so we are currently in the process of putting together Peter’s Utopia footage. Your contribution will allow us to hire the editor we need to piece together the material, to assemble Peter’s final vision. A successful campaign will additionally enable us to pay a composer & sound designer, license some archival material and cover additional post-production costs to deliver the film to audiences around the world.

**Even if you’re unable to contribute financially at this time, you can still help us out immensely by spreading the word about this project! Every gesture will help ensure that Peter’s voice carries on.