An Upcoming Film from Connie Littlefield
Currently Seeking Producing Partners
The Shulgins pioneered the current psychedelic renaissance. This up-close and personal doc will tell the story of their love, their chemistry, and the impact of their work on the world.
After completing “Hofmann’s Potion” in 2002, which I made with The National Film Board of Canada, I began working with Ann & Sasha Shulgin. The film we planned to make would focus on their chemical romance and their significant contributions to psychedelic research. Initial filming continued over the course of three trips to California in the early 2000‘s.
With unparalleled access to Ann & Sasha, and members of their research group, family, and friends, I gathered lots of material for this film. These interviews feature Sasha at the peak of his intellectual power.
This subject matter was a tough sell back then, and crowdfunding hadn’t been invented yet. Reluctantly, when it found no support in the Canadian film industry, the project had to be shelved. The last thing we filmed was the Shulgin’s 2006 journey to Basel, Switzerland, to celebrate Albert Hofmann‘s 100th birthday.
Sasha Shulgin passed away, after a lengthy illness, on June 2nd, 2014.
Next, I wrote and produced a film called “The Sunshine Makers”, which came out in 2016. When that film screened at the Psychedelic Science conference in Oakland, in April of 2017, I ran into Ann Shulgin, who told me that the time had come to finish my Shulgin film. Naturally, I was inclined to agree. Over the past 15 years, psychedelic research has come a long way, and their story seems even more incredible now than when I first began.
This is a beautiful love story, because theirs was a true synergy: Sasha’s revolutionary approach and scientific expertise established a gold standard in psychedelic research, but it was Ann’s skills with people and words that spread these ideas to the wider culture.
At Ann’s instigation, I assembled a crack team of filmmaking professionals. With the help of a few funding partners, we filmed several days’ worth of footage at the Shulgin farm in 2018.
The visual research phase of this film was undertaken in October of 2018, concurrently with the preservation of The Shulgin Archive. This is an intense, ongoing effort that is being managed by Erowid, and our film was fortunate enough to be included in this effort. The discoveries made in this cornucopia of documentary gold will make our film one thousand percent better.
Keep up to date! View the facebook page for the film at this link.
Pictured left to right: Andrew James Mizia, Renée Reeser Zelnick, Jon Hanna, Fire, Earth, me.
Thank you, Ann and Sasha, for taking so many photos everywhere you went!
We are seeking visual and audio archives from all sources for this project… If you have something you think might be useful, please do get in touch!
Become part of the team that will bring this important story to the screen.
- All donations over $50 U.S. get a U.S. tax receipt from MAPS
- Donations over $1000 U.S. get you a personal invitation to the premiere screening and party
- Donations of $10,000 U.S will be rewarded with an ‘Associate Producer’ credit on the film
This film will put the story of psychedelic research in context, both in popular culture and in the historical record. This is a story that needs to be told, and the time is now.
MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, is the fiscal sponsor for this project. If you click on the donation link, it takes you to a MAPS-sponsored web page, where you can enter your information. This system enables us to streamline the operation and to avoid the fees charged by the crowd-funding sites. The receipts are only useful if you are filing an American tax return, but we are grateful for gifts from everywhere.
Please feel free to get in touch:
Connie Littlefield, Filmmaker
I’m Connie Littlefield , and I wrote and directed “Hofmann’s Potion: The Early Years of LSD” which came out in 2002. This film has been credited with changing the way many people think about psychedelic drugs. In 2006, my film “Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey,” was called “the smartest documentary yet on a divisive subject” by the Vancouver Sun. 2015’s “The Sunshine Makers,” which I wrote and produced, has been well-received by movie audiences everywhere.
Cinematographer Sue Johnson has over fifteen years of filmmaking experience and an MFA degree in Documentary Media from Ryerson University. Primarily working in documentary cinematography, Johnson has recently completed projects for Al Jazeera International, Nike, and a range of independent documentary directors and producers. She is the recipient of the Innoversity Summit’s Digital Storytellers Prize, from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the National Film Board’s Filmmaker Assistance Program grant. She has screened her work at many venues and festivals and maintains her own production company, Still Silver Productions, in Toronto, ON.
Renée Reeser Zelnick is a Los Angeles-based creative director, concept and storyboard artist specializing in creating visual campaigns and design for film and television studios, video game companies, fashion houses, publishing and all manner of global lifestyle brands. Her recent projects include HBO’s ‘Veep’ and ‘Vice Principals,’ Amazon’s ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ and ‘Good Girls Revolt’ and just about every darn thing on the Travel Channel. Renee is passionate about storytelling and all things mystical and unexplainable, like the art and underground club scenes. She has a BFA in film from Moore College of Art and Design and recently earned an MA from the University of Philosophical Research.
Artist Dana Smith’s studio is in the Mission district of San Francisco. Her photographically based work is best illustrated by the collage book 32 Big Pictures. In 2004 Dana Smith founded a fine arts digital press for the purpose of creating limited edition artwork. The project is called Dana Dana Dana and can be seen in its entirety online. Dana and Mark McCloud created “LSD Barbie” in 1993, and in 2003 started The Blotter Barn, an ongoing project to document Mark’s extensive collection of blotter papers. Dana has also worked extensively in digital video. She has created many short videos and has also worked professionally on many broadcast video projects.
After studying filmmaking at Niagara College, editor James Yates moved to Toronto where he began working as an editor on films and tv. In 2016, Yates co-edited the feature documentary All Governments Lie, from executive producer Oliver Stone, which had its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, and for which he was nominated for a 2017 Canadian Cinema Editors Award. James also edited “The Corporate Coup d’État” and “Toxic Beauty,” soon to be released by White Pine Pictures.