Being Change

Being Change is the life story of an Australian environmental visionary, Alexandra Seddon, whose mantra is 'conservation, community and education'. Born of Russian aristocratic heritage, Alexandra has invested her entire inheritance in securing wilderness and providing sanctuary for others, with a life’s work now recognised as globally significant. In her homeland of southeast Australia, her legacy includes a 77 hectare bird wetland, a native animal park and educational centre, a flying fox sanctuary, and a community farm. Alexandra has survived her own trauma to become a leader in her community, with countless beings owing their lives to her efforts including victims of abuse, troubled youth, orphaned wombats and rescued kangaroos. Combining cinema-verite with lyrical collage work produced by Alexandra herself, the film is a stylised, emotive portrait which appeals to a wide audience. Being Change is about self-empowerment and hope; a living example of Mahatma Gandhi's "be the change you wish to see in the world".

  • Toni Houston
    Director
    Multiple. CV provided on request.
  • Toni Houston
    Writer
    Multiple. CV provided on request.
  • Toni Houston
    Producer
  • Alexandra Seddon (principal)
    Key Cast
    NA
  • Peter Nicholson (husband and partner)
    Key Cast
    NA
  • Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Mike Kelly
    Key Cast
    High profile federal politician, appearances across all media.
  • Director South East Arts Andrew Gray
    Key Cast
    NA
  • Cowsnest Community member Zoe Hope Zanelli
    Key Cast
    NA
  • NPWS Regional mgr Steve Dovey
    Key Cast
    NA
  • Federation of Rangers George Malolakis
    Key Cast
    NA
  • Bega Bend Eco Community founder Jenny Spinks
    Key Cast
    NA
  • Cowsnest Community member Leo Bunyan
    Key Cast
    NA
  • Panboola Wetlands & Heritage Project Robyn Kesby
    Key Cast
    NA
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Feature, Television
  • Genres:
    Environment, conservation, education, documentary
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 12 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 4, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
    Australia
  • Country of Filming:
    Australia
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Australian premiere
    Merimbula
    Australia
    November 7, 2016
    Picture Show Man Cinema
  • Kinema Cinema
    Narooma
    Australia
    December 17, 2016
    Community screenings - one week
  • Opening Night Gala
    Bairnsdale
    Australia
    March 10, 2017
    Riviera Film Festival
Distribution Information
  • None attached at present
Director Biography - Toni Houston

Toni Houston has been working in television and documentary production for over 25 years, with broadcast and professional credits across many roles, including scriptwriter, editor, director, segment producer, and cinematographer.

With a passion for social documentary and natural history, she has worked in-house for major Australian broadcasters including the Nine Network and the ABC Natural History Unit, as well as independent documentary companies. This includes scriptwriter/director of the documentary special Atlanta’s Child (commissioned by Channel 7’s World Around Us), and writer/director/editor of the first High Definition feature length film about Antarctica, entitled Antarctica Dreaming (independent worldwide distribution) and scriptwriter/editor on the 6 part series Underwater Edens (David Hannan Productions and the Smithsonian Channel USA).

She was director/editor of the multi-media project, AQUA, chronicling the plight of the Great Barrier Reef, which premiered in Canberra’s Parliament House and was the only Australian event included in the Official Cultural Program of the COP15 Climate Change Conference, Copenhagen. Toni also worked for five years travelling the world for the National Geographic Lindblad Explorer as on-board filmmaker, and is a published and award winning fiction writer and journalist.

Being Change was released as a 71min feature film in November 2016, and is currently touring. Australia's ABC television channel commissioned a 27min version for its primetime program Compass, which aired in May 2017. For both versions, Toni has producer, director, camera and editor credits.

Toni is currently co-producing another documentary with the ABC’s Australian Story program, focusing on the life and legacy of Yuin Aboriginal elder Uncle Ossie Cruse, which is the culmination of three years filming.

She is currently based on Nth Stradbroke Island, Qld, engaged as editor and director for Plankton Productions, developing programming for Emmy award-winning marine cinematographer and producer David Hannan.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Being Change is a call-to-action documentary, which presents a unique model for individuals to make a measurable difference to their world.

I was first inspired to make the film after encountering Alexandra at her native animal park, Potoroo Palace. She appeared like a vision; silver hair scooped in a bun, blue eyes twinkling, walking slowly towards a stunned group of children with a giant python wrapped around her body. Soon afterwards she was awarded an Australia Day Ambassadorship for our region, and decided - with much prompting from her husband - to finally record her story.

The journey began as a private commission, intended for just her family and friends. But community engagement inspired a cinema premiere, which attracted record audience numbers and necessitated a second week of screenings (see articles). Since that premiere, the film has continued to inspire wherever it has screened (see Facebook).

I hope Being Change is accepted by festivals worldwide, to ensure Alexandra's model is considered and more widely adopted. Investing private funds to secure wilderness could be the vital key in preserving our planet. We no longer have time to wait for political parties and policies to make a difference. It has to be done urgently, person by person.

Alexandra Seddon shows us how.