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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hansen

Everyone Has a Story to Tell

“I want to find out what makes people live the way they do and I want to share that with everyone so that we may all learn and grow from each other’s experience and perspective.” This is what guides UK filmmaker James Light in general and what inspired his video series, “What’s Your Story?” in particular.

The mini-documentaries in the series open windows onto the lives of unforgettable individuals who are daring to reach out and connect with other people and their environments in positive, and uniquely empowering ways.

Light’s own story in fact, is a perfect example of a purposeful calling. A professional filmmaker and director in the industry for 15 years, his James Light Film Production company client list includes many organizations whose services help make the world a better, more joyful place, like the Toy Trust, The Kindness Offensive, TreeSisters, and Museum of Happiness. He was honored by The Independent in 2015 as one of the 100 people who make Britain a happier place to live.

“In a world of fake news and AI influences selling unnecessary products causing huge environmental and sociological damage,” Light believes, “it’s important to come back to our true selves, to share authentic stories that benefit the audience and the wider community.”

One of the many extraordinary episodes in the series that typifies the kind of people Light is drawn to introduces us to the Dutch artist and explorer Janne Willems. She’s made a habit of jotting down the happy moments of each day in a journal so she wouldn’t forget them.

When her mom grew ill and passed away, it was even more important for her to focus on the bright spots of each day, however dark it might be. The habit soon launched Willems on a mission to encourage other people to capture the essence of happiness through everyday moments. Her approach is simple yet profound. Armed with index cards, she travels the world, approaching strangers on trains, in serene parks, quiet alleyways, and bustling markets. Her request is equally straightforward: “Draw or write about a moment that touched you.”

And since 2010, Willems has collected nearly 12,000 beautiful moments from 534 people in 30 countries, each one encapsulating a fragment of joy, love, or connection.

Watch Janne’s story here:

Feel free to share this story with others!

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Oct 11, 2023

A great episode. The woman, the film maker, and this site, all combining to pass along happy, exciting, optimism in a grim world.

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