Once Within a Time
(51 minutes) is presented by Steven Soderbergh and Alexander Rodnyansky. It is an IRE / opticnerve™ production, written and directed by Godfrey Reggio, co-directed by Jon Kane, with original music composed by Philip Glass, Sussan Deyhim additional music / the mother muse. Reggio has been working on the film for nine years, and it was completed over 500+ days in 2020 - 2022.    Click here for full credits >>

Reggio describes his newest film as "a bardic event where children resist their destiny. It is, in a sense, a rebus...[because] the language, the signs, the symbols of our day, no longer describe the world that we inhabit. It is an effort to be at once linear and non-linear at exactly the same time, clear and ambiguous exactly at the same time, in the language that every creature on the planet, human animals, and other animals all understand. Through the audacity of the visualization, it reinvigorates the language, taking well-known myths from all ages and turning them on their heads. It is a clarion call to resistance and a call to hope. Hope is not something that is in the mind, it is something real— it is to act. In the end, it asks the evocative question: which age is this, the sunset or the dawn? This age is indeed a liminal zone. A threshold to our vivid unknown."

Here's how Author and Neuroscience Educator, Ellen Petry Leanse, summarized her experience seeing the film for the first time: "I'm still reeling...it feels like my brain was re-wiring as I watched. My work is in applied neuroscience, and the themes, visuals, and wordlessness – I loved the wordlessness – hit me as decidedly right hemisphere, and my belief is that the world needs a whole lot more right hemisphere these days. There's a tap-in to the vastness and perhaps pure source of it all that emerged in the film – I felt like it channeled the collective consciousness and the 'knowing' that we drown out with 'knowledge.' Knowledge and knowing are very different things."

Reggio received the Santa Fe International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award on Oct. 22, 2022.  


Godfrey Reggio discussing his newest film, Once Within a Time.


Godfrey Reggio (b. 1940) is an American creator of a unique experimental cinematic poetry. He is widely known throughout the world for his wordless filmography, especially the pre-eminent trilogy of Koyaanisqatsi: "Life Out of Balance"; Powaqqatsi: "Life in Transition"; and Naqoyqatsi: "Life as War." They reveal a humanist philosophy about our planet, the encroachment of technology on nature, ancient cultures, and the splendor that disappears as a result. They chronicle the impact of the modernizing world on our physical and psychological environment. 2022 marks 40 years since the release of Koyaanisqatsi. In 2018, Harvard University received Godfrey’s archives - 3 tons of papers, documents, and ephemera which they are in the process of making accessible to the public through the Houghton Library.  His films are in the Harvard Film Archives as well as the Archives of Bologna, and the British National Archives.

Click here to read An Appreciation of Godfrey Reggio >>


The Institute for Regional Education (IRE), and its supporting organization, The Fund for Change, are New Mexico Non-Profit Corporations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charities.

Over nearly 50 years, by the continuing skin of their teeth, these organizations have supported the creation of the unique cinematic art of Godfrey Reggio. While his well-known ascetic and austere personal lifestyle has been supported by these two nonprofits producing his films, he himself has retained no financial benefit from his filmography. As is well known to all his friends and admirers he lives somewhat like one of those desert fathers with a self-denying indifference to money or commerce. As a current instance, he has no equity or potential financial interest in his most recent film, Once Within A Time which belongs to his producers.

Now in his 82d year, yet full of youthful ideas, he presently lives in personally straitened circumstances and once again is almost entirely dependent on some future creative sustenance from the IRE, which itself depends entirely on the generosity of charitable contributions. And it has always been fairly obvious that the IRE remains relatively inexperienced in the matter of non-professional fund raising.

Thus, after so many years, at this moment, the IRE’s financial wherewithal is simply too meager and inadequate to sustain its own continued existence without a new phase of support. The painful gravity of this situation explains this effort of Godfrey’s friends and admirers to solicit provision of grateful benefactions to the IRE on behalf of his continuing filmmaking.

Institute for Regional Education (IRE)
Fund for Change

P.O. Box 2404, Santa Fe, NM 87504
(505) 988-9800

photo: Sussan Deyhim