Intense experiences of people living off the grid in Canada
OFF-GRID isn't a state of mind. It isn't about being out of touch, living in a remote place, or turning off your mobile phone.
Off-grid simply means living without a connection to the electric and natural gas infrastructure.
To live off-grid, therefore, means to radically re-invent daily life in a dramatically innovative but also quite traditional way.
From 2011 to 2013, Jonathan Taggart (director) and Phillip Vannini (producer) spent two years travelling across Canada to find offgridders and visit them in their homes.
Following the ethnographic tradition, sometimes they lived with them for a short period of time.
Sometimes they followed them around as they hunted, fished, harvested, collected wood, and built their homes.
And at times they too practised living in off-grid homes and cabins.
Over two years Taggart and Vannini visited about 100 homes and interviewed about 200 off-grid Canadians, as well as many American and British expats living in Canada.
They met off-gridders in every single province and territory and, through their film, they narrated their travels and chronicled in depth the experiences, challenges, inventions, aspirations, and ways of life of some of them.
To make their travel and encounters with off-gridders possible Taggart and Vannini had to fly on dozens of planes, ride snowmobiles, paddle kayaks and canoes, don show-shoes, ride ATVs, sail ferries and small boats, drive on ice roads and city streets, and bike and trek across many regions of the country.
Their documentary film renders the intensity of that experience through the style of a travelogue.
But their film isn't just a road story.
The film was brought to Australia by new distribution and production company Fighting Chance Films, owned by Ballina-raised actor Dustin Clare.
Life Off Grid screens at Byron Pighouse Flicks from February 4. Also at Lismore's Star Court Theatre on February 7 at 2.30pm and 5.30pm.