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THE GREATEST HIPPIE STORY NEVER TOLD
I thought we were going to create a new society,
a new way of life, a new way of doing things,
a new way of living together,
getting along in a peaceful world.
"Olompali: A Hippie Odyssey" is the story an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary times, whose life is forever changed by the social upheaval going on around him.
Embracing the spirit of the counterculture revolution during the Summer of Love, wealthy Marin County businessman Don McCoy transforms his life from conservative entrepreneur to beneficent hippie dropout, using his family inheritance to lease Rancho Olompali, a 700-acre estate north of San Francisco, to start a commune. He invites a couple dozen like-minded friends and families to join him in his dream of creating a community where they can live without monetary concerns in an atmosphere of love, peace and freedom. The group becomes known throughout the Bay Area as the Chosen Family - Marin’s archetypal entry into the legend and lore of the Sixties hippie commune movement.
Dubbed by the press as “The White House of Hippiedom,” Olompali quickly becomes a hip mecca, welcoming local counterculture luminaries like Janis Joplin, acid-guru Timothy Leary, and the Grateful Dead, who lived at Olompali for a brief stint in 1966. But the family's quest for nirvana is short-lived, and their blissful first year is followed by unforeseeable tragedies that turn McCoy’s utopian dreams to ashes.
Narrated by Peter Coyote and featuring classic songs from the San Francisco psychedelic era, "Olompali: A Hippie Odyssey" explores the idealism of the hippie movement and its enduring message of peace and love.
USA / Color / 87 minutes / English
Gregg Gibbs is a filmmaker, artist, and writer. His feature-length documentary The Treasures of Long Gone John premiered at SXSW Film Festival 2006 and was an official selection at festivals including Leeds, Melbourne, and MOMA, New York. Other documentary projects include I, Gauguin which premiered at the Calgary Film Festival 2011, and Gone Again, which premiered at the Olympia Film Festival 2014. He continues to investigate the intersection of art and culture in an ongoing series of short films and articles for Juxtapoz Magazine, including a profile on Cheech Marin’s art collection and interviews with Joe Coleman and Neil Young.
Maura McCoy brings over 25 years of experience in the commercial production industry to her role of documentary producer, having worked with many top directors on hundreds of national commercials and ad campaigns, She has produced several ffilms in collaboration with Gibbs, including I, Gauguin and Gone Again. Olompali: A Hippie Odyssey fulfills her lifelong dream to chronicle her father’s life and her own experiences at Olompali.
Peter Coyote is one of the most prolific and recognizable narrators in the industry. The voice of Ken Burns’ acclaimed 2017 PBS series The Vietnam War, Coyote received the 2015 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Narrator for his work on Burns' The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. As an actor, Coyote has appeared in dozens of films, including E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Erin Brockovich. During the late-60s he was an active participant in the Bay Area counterculture scene, a co-founder of the Diggers, and visited the Chosen Family at Olompali.
An experienced and intuitive composer with a wide range of credits covering nearly every genre imaginable, Russell has composed and performed the scores for shows such as the Emmy-winning Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution for ABC. He scored the award-winning documentary Kelly in 2012, and composes for long-form scripted and documentary projects in the moments between television shows and commercials. He’s the co-founder of the HATCH Ostinato Project, a program that matches composers and music professionals with students with the goal of empowering kids to "find their voice” and boost self-confidence.
TYLER C. JOHNSON
Tyler C. Johnson is a San Francisco Bay Area-based cinematographer. He began his filmmaking career shooting documentary and narrative independent short films, and has since expanded to feature films, TV series and commercial work with interests in experimental and nature photography.
Lucas Celler moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and worked with director Jeff Feuerzeig as associate producer and assistant editor on Feuerzeig’s acclaimed documentary Author: The JT LeRoy Story. He earned his first feature editing credit on Shirkers, a documentary by director Sandi Tan which had its premiere at Sundance 2018.