The Film

Joie de Vivre

…(a working title) is a feature length documentary I am making about the role of play in modern society. This project has been cookin’ in my creative kitchen (my head) for ten years now, and I’m thrilled to say that it is finally on its way. Find us on Facebook here and Twitter @JoiedeVivreFilm!

*Joie de Vivre’s Official Website is now live: Check it out here!

Joie de Vivre is the captivating story of Play, and its astounding contributions from the days of lore to the 21st century.

A beautiful and thorough exploration of innovation and neuroscience, creativity, survival and discovery, and humanity’s enchanting pursuit of happiness.

Have you ever watched adult mammals play on the Discovery channel or even just your own pet in pure, playful bliss, looked upon children on a playground fondly or experienced the amazing, physiological effects of being in a “state of play”? If only we could bottle that feeling! Have you ever wondered where innovation comes from, or about our need for play in our relationships, our communities and our daily lives? Have you witnessed the incredible healing potential of play for yourself or a loved one, imagined the playful brains that considered building a spaceship to land on the moon (and then saw their imagination become reality!), or just wondered what it would be like if you had more time in your life to spend on play?  

What would you do with that time?

Take just a moment to think about it…

Columbia Shuttle StartThis film explores the shifting priority of PLAY in the modern world. A concept not often viewed as something of significance or very serious at all, Joie turns play upside down and inside out. It sheds light on the enormous contributions Play has made to historical and present-day technologies and discoveries, its role in brain development, innovation and creativity and its impacts on our physical, mental, economical, and personal well-being. By examining historical, scientific & cultural findings in these areas, it aims to educate and inspire healthy exploration and discussion about our current relationship with PLAY.

The filmmakers will be following 8 individual stories from Craigsville, Virginia to Ankeveen, Holland, Tokyo, Japan to Mae Sot, Thailand, Mountain View, CA to Finca Bellavista, Costa Rica – and seeing just what kind of role PLAY plays in their daily lives. Joie explores the deeper questions behind our biological drive to play, what benefits really happen when we do it and, dare we ask… “What happens when we don’t?” It will also include interviews of well-chosen experts from the fields of neuroscience, anthropology and psychology, and a countless array of other fascinating experts, from CEO’s to economists, creative industry leaders to historians and folklorists, and non-profit leaders who have dedicated their lives to this unexpected topic. All experts have invaluable information to offer to the discussion, and a most illuminating discussion it has become. (Even TED has something to say about it!)

This beautiful and playful film takes us on an adventure around the world, and explores a deeper curiosity and responsibility we have – to ourselves and the health of our species – to nurture our need (and desire) for play.

We are in full-time pre-production and fundraising stages at the moment, and getting excited for the move into production. Please check back often for more updates, and please feel free to contact me should your interest be sparked to get involved!

Interested in helping to bring this film to life?

We hope to secure a generous (and message appropriate) official sponsor soon, but in the meantime, please know that no donation is too small and that all amounts are most warmly welcomed. A filmmaker friend of mine has raised enough for his amazing film, with the majority of donations coming from kind and generous folks, who believe in the project, and have given just $25, $50 or $100! Every donation helps to bring this fascinating film closer to completion, (and of course you will have the joy of being a part of the Joie de Vivre)!

Please support a worthy project, and one that aims to bring positive change to our communities, our evolving species and to our own lives here on this beautiful planet.

Individual Levels of Giving:

Up to $500. –  You will be acknowledged in the “THANKS TO those that helped to make this film possible” in the credits of the film!

$500.-1000. – You will be acknowledge as a “DONOR” in the credits of the film, and receive your own copy of the film on DVD upon its completion!

$1001. – $5000. –  You will be acknowledged as one of our “HONORED PARAGONS OF PLAY” in the credits of the film, receive your own autographed copy of the film upon its completion, and receive 2 tickets to the film’s premier!

Interested in receiving a Producer’s credit? Contact me to find out how!

Should you like to make any donation amount, please use the convenient and secure PayPal button below.

Thank you!

Sincerest thanks,

Crystal Place

Joie de Vivre

Director, Producer


Laughter is the “Best Medicine” for Your Heart

National Institute for Play

New York Times: Taking Play Seriously

Take Back Your Time

The Health Value of Play for Kids and Adults

Right to Play Organization

New AAP Report Stresses Play for Healthy Development

Who Wins for Shortest Vacation Time in the Developed World?

An Oldie, but a Goodie

Laughter Yoga


A few thoughts on play:

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” -Plato, Greek philosopher, 427-347 BCE
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  -Albert Einstein
“We all need empty hours in our lives or we will have no time to create or dream.” -Robert Coles, American child psychologist
“Play allows us to develop alternatives to violence and despair; it helps us learn perseverance and gain optimism.” -Stuart Brown M.D., Contemporary American psychiatrist

people-play-baseball-in-his-spare-time-antique-photos“Ritual grew up in sacred play; poetry was born in play and nourished on play; music and dancing were pure play. We have to conclude, therefore, that civilization is, in its earliest phases, played. It does not come from play; it arises in and as play, and never leaves it.” 
-Johan Huizing, A Dutch historian 1872-1945
“There is for many a poverty of play.” -D.W. Winnicott, British pediatrician, 1896-1971
“The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.” -Carl Jung, Swiss psychoanalyst, 1875-1961
“Those who play rarely become brittle in the face of stress or lose the healing capacity for humor.” -Stuart Brown, M.D. Psychiatrist
“Human beings need pleasure the way they need vitamins.” -Lionel Tiger, Canadian anthropologist
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.” -Carl Jung, Swiss psychoanalyst, 1875-1961
“Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.” -Roger von Oech, American creativity guru
“To the art of working well a civilized race would add the art of playing well.” -George Santayana, Philosopher, 1863-1952

“Play has been man’s most useful preoccupation.” -Frank Caplan, Author
“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.” -Joseph Chilton Pearce, American scholar
"Couples that play together, stay together."“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” -Diane Ackerman, Contemporary American author
“The truly great advances of this generation will be made by those who can make outrageous connections, and only a mind which knows how to play can do that.” -Nagle Jackson
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer, 1803-1882