A Place in Time is an experimental documentary that seeks to capture both the diversity of life around the globe and the similarities of the human spirit by filming in many places in the world at precisely the same moment.
We sent crews to 27 different locations around the world to shoot during a six-day period in January of 2005. In some countries our crews were local professionals; in others they were actors who had traveled halfway around the world to visit a place they had never been; in others they were children who had never held – or even seen – a camera. Among the actors are Sean Astin, Colin Farrell, Ryan Gosling, Anne Hathaway, Djimon Hounsou, Wyclef Jean, Jude Law, Bai Ling, Jonny Lee Miller, Hilary Swank, Nandita Das, and Angelina Jolie, who conceived of and directed the film.
In all locations we recorded the day-to-day existence of people, places and animals. As our crews filmed what they saw around them, they prepared for the simultaneous “moment,” when everyone would turn on their cameras.
So on January 11, 2005 at 12:00 noon Greenwich Mean Time, all 27 crews, spanning the globe from Argentina to Japan, from Iceland to Antarctica, captured what was in front of their cameras for three uninterrupted minutes. The result is the penultimate scene of the film, where the juxtaposition of moments creates a spinning collage of people, colors and sounds, a sample of the broad tapestry of life that makes up any given moment on earth.
Along the way to 12:00 GMT Anne Hathaway visits a center for mentally-ill children in Cambodia. Jonny Lee Miller works with a de-Truck carrying a huge number of people, Niger mining team in Angola; Ryan Gosling learns from children who are survivors of the genocide in the Sudan while at a refugee camp in Chad; Bai Ling visits a warehouse that is home to an entire city of Roma, living in exile within their native Kosovo; Hilary Swank gives children a tour of Museo del Barrio in New York City.
As crews traveled to their destinations, they also interviewed children, asking each of them the exact same slate of questions – “What did you have to eat today?” “What do you want more than anything?” “Who is your God?” Like the “moment” itself, the children’s answers are as revealing in their similarities as in their differences.
A Place in Time is an experiment that we hope will make audiences - in this country in particular - consider themselves part of a larger world. Proceeds from A Place in Time will benefit the humanitarian organizations that helped facilitate its