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About The Portal

The Portal is the brainchild of Tom Cronin and Jacqui Fifer–an ex- financier turned global meditation expert and an international DJ turned director–collaborating to realise Tom’s dream of making the feature film that would inspire people across the world to shift humanity into a new era by meditating daily.

Developed between them over the course of many years, the resultant “experiential” documentary and book are a meeting of minds aimed at redefining the way we approach our inner and outer worlds.

Passionate about reducing stress and chaos in people’s lives, Tom is someone who knows first-hand the power of meditation in overcoming mental health issues and the potential the ancient practice has for personal healing and human transformation.

Committed to film, story and music as tools to shift consciousness, Jacqui loves inspiring people to move from their heads to their hearts and expand beyond the ‘possible’ to boldly meet evolutionary challenges.

Through their unusual but powerful collaboration, personal story and ancient spiritual teaching harmonise with the future of technology, collapsing the past and future into a portal of ‘now’ where an enlightened planet awaits.

SYNOPSIS

A unique cinematic experience created to inspire humankind into a new era, THE PORTAL is about the ability for inner change to bring about a powerful planetary shift.

Exploring the role crisis plays in our evolution—and the mental programs we’re born into—this experiential documentary brings to life the stories of six people who have used stillness and mindfulness to move beyond trauma. There is Ron ‘Booda’ Taylor—a retired US serviceman managing PTSD, Human Rights Expert Amandine Roche whose commitment to global peace took her on a quest for inner peace, Vietnamese refugee Due Quach who overcame developmental trauma through ‘mind hacking’, elite athlete Heather Hennessy who reinvented herself following a career-ending injury, Rabbi Ronnie Cahana who found freedom in the confines of a personal catastrophe, and neurosurgeon James R Doty MD who had to lose everything to find the meaning of life.

Supported by insights from three of the world’s foremost futurists—and a robot—the stories unfold as a beautiful, audiovisual spectacle that takes the viewer on their own mindfulness journey through the pain, joy and memory fragments of life. As THE PORTAL juxtaposes chaos with calm to provoke an emotional and psychological shift in the audience, experts Mikey Siegel, Dr Julia Mossbridge and Daniel Schmachtenberger unpack concepts that are emerging from the zeitgeist, inviting us to consider the bigger questions facing our society. How can we approach life in a new way? Is technology a tool for transformation? What does it mean to be human?

An unusual blend of technology, love, human potential, philosophy, brain hacking, stillness and inner peace, THE PORTAL—from visionary director Jacqui Fifer—is a film that humanity needs Right Now. Filming took place in a Syrian refugee camp, the USA, Canada, Australia and Indonesia over three years from 2016 to 2018 and the resulting film has such a strong emotional grip that audiences will be talking about it long after the credits finish rolling. Opening hearts and minds to a new way forward, this powerful and genre-defining approach to personal change invites all 7 billion people to make an enlightened planet possible by entering THE PORTAL.

The Creators

TOM CRONIN

EP / PRODUCER / Co-Writer

Tom spent 26 years in finance markets as one of Sydney’s leading bond and swap brokers. He discovered meditation in the early stages of his career, when the anxiety and chaos he was experiencing had hit a crisis point, and it completely transformed his world, both personally and professionally. 

Founder of The Stillness Project, a global movement to inspire one billion people to sit in stillness daily, Tom is passionate about reducing stress and chaos in people’s lives. 

His ongoing work in transformational leadership and cultivating inner peace through meditation takes him around the world hosting retreats, mentoring, presenting keynote talks, teaching and creating The Portal film-book experience, all part of his commitment to the current planetary shift.

Tom is the author of six previous books for adults:, Insights, The Path To Peace: A Guide To Living With Ease In a Rapidly Changing World, Spirit & Soul: Exploring The Seven States Of Consciousness, Faster Deeper Sleep: The Ultimate Guide To A Daily Recharge, Faster Deeper Calm: How To Live Without Anxiety and Panic. He is also the author of the children’s book Missy Moo Meditates.

Jacqui Fifer

DIRECTOR / PRODUCER / Co-Writer

Jacqui is a passionate filmmaker and writer who is committed to film, story and music as tools to shift consciousness. Fascinated with human development, she understands the importance of meeting evolutionary challenges and loves inspiring people to move from their heads to their hearts. 

Following an international career as a successful DJ, Jacqui embarked on an extensive career in the film industry, which has taken her from line producing to directing, leading teams from development through to post and visual effects on several feature films. 

Known for her pursuit of authenticity and fearlessness in the face of big visions, Jacqui produced the multi-award-winning dramatic feature, Concealed (2017) and was a key player in such films as Better Watch Out (2016), The Osiris Child (2016) and Infini (2015). While based in Spain, she co-directed the 2012 and 2013 “Dona i Cinema” (Women and Film) festival in Spain.

For Jacqui, life is work is joy is life—there is no separation, and she brings this philosophy of seamlessness and union to everything she does. What emerges is a unique marrying of sound, words, pictures and heart that moves the soul. The Portal is her first feature documentary.

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Featured in the Movie and Book

Amandine Roche

Founder Amanuddin Foundation,
Human Rights Expert

For 15 years, human rights expert Amandine Roche committed her life to building global peace through democratization, women’s empowerment and civic education. In the course of her work for the United Nations she was exposed to extreme environments and the daily threat of attack, kidnap and murder.

Meditation and yoga gave her a tool to cope with the atrocities she had witnessed and to regain her tranquility. Amandine now teaches these same tools to help humanitarian workers and refugees living and working in similar circumstances that she had to achieve inner peace as the foundation for global peace-building.

In 2011 she founded the Amanuddin Foundation in Kabul and subsequently launched The Inner Peace Corps, to implement a program for international peacekeepers. Amandine is the author of several books, including a diary of her experiences in Afghanistan Le vol des colombes.

DANIEL SCHMACHTENBERGER

Evolutionary Philosopher,
Global Systems Strategist

Daniel Schmachtenberger is an evolutionary philosopher and social engineer. As a thought-leader and advocate for social change, his work centres on civilisation design, developing economic and governmental systems that incentivize life-enhancing behavior, decentralize problem solving, and foster conscious participation. Schmachtenberger’s upbringing in the Transcendental Meditation community of Fairfield, Iowa, lies at the foundations of his quest to find the shortest route to a dramatically redesigned world system that will support the highest quality of life for all.

Daniel is founder of Neurohacker Collective, where he is focused on developing processes and technologies for advancing medicine and human optimization.

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MIKEY SIEGEL

Robotics Engineer, Transformative
Technology Developer

Mikey Siegel started his journey as an engineer, working in the area of Human Robot Interaction at the MIT Media Lab. Mikey has since become a pioneer in his field, working at the intersection of technology and wellbeing. His goal is to understand and enhance human happiness from an engineering perspective.

A lecturer at Stanford University, Siegel believes that we can change the world from the inside out. He seeks to explore the ways in which technology can help humankind towards a more mindful and peaceful existence. He is the Founder of Consciousness Hacking and the Transformative Technology Conference.

DR JULIA MOSSBRIDGE

Cognitive Neuroscientist
and Futurist, Loving AI Principal
Investigator

Dr Julia Mossbridge is a futurist trained in cognitive neuroscience whose focus is on teaching and learning about love and time. In addition to her work as founder and research director of Mossbridge Institute, LLC, she holds various positions including Visiting Scholar in the Psychology Department at Northwestern University, and Fellow
at the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Dr Mossbridge is currently engaged in three love-centred projects, including the Loving AI project, in which she collaborates with robotics industry leaders and fellow scientists to guide the evolution of a benevolent artificial intelligence.

Dr Mossbridge believes that by using technology to model for us our best selves, we have the potential to break destructive cycles within one generation. The ultimate goal – to create a society of unconditional love. For her, meditation and technology are not endpoints… but gateways.

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Heather Hennessy

Former National Track Athlete and National Fox Sports Presenter

In her youth Heather Hennessy forged her identity on the track, using speed and physical power as an emotional outlet and the antidote to a dysfunctional home life. Heather was an 800-meter national champion. She achieved her goal of being number one in the country, including getting a full scholarship to USC. But in her late teens, her aspirations as a professional athlete were destroyed in one ill-judged, split-second decision where she ignored her intuition.

Heather’s life since has been a lesson in reinvention, yet immersing herself in meditation practice has been pivotal to her finally achieving a strong connection to her deeper, more intuitive self. For Heather, it was the journey from forced stillness to intentional stillness that provided a pathway to strengthening her inner voice and ceasing the cycles of people-pleasing and fear that led her to pursue physical strength over inner strength.

A former Fox Sports television broadcaster, Heather now works to inspire women and children to find their power by listening to their intuition. She will be using her writing and coaching to help guide and empower people in their healing journey so they can learn to trust their intuition and live a life that is true to themselves and authentic to who they are on the inside.

RON ‘BOODA’ TAYLOR

Retired US Army Sergeant

Exposed to drugs, violence and crime during a streetwise childhood in Texas, Ron ‘Booda’ Taylor signed up to the military in an attempt to escape the gang life he had been drawn into. He went on several tours of duty, ending up in geospatial intelligence where he was part of the drone combat ‘kill chain’.

After a 25-year military career, Booda joined a program for veterans undergoing medical retirement due to traumatic brain injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the program, meditation lessons were offered as a complement to traditional therapy and medication.

Booda’s efforts to make stillness an everyday part of his life are proving an effective tool in his struggle to reconnect with his lost humanity and reintegrate into civilian society. He has since started telling his own story in the hope that he can help kids from similarly challenging backgrounds to embark on a better path.

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DUE QUACH

Social Entrepreneur,
Founder and Author, Calm Clarity

A “boat baby” refugee from Vietnam, poverty and the harsh realities of life as an immigrant child in a rough Philadelphia neighbourhood fueled Due Quach’s ambition to chase the American Dream. Ultimately struggling to find meaning in corporate success and wealth, she embarked on a personal quest to understand “real happiness” by integrating findings from Western neuroscience with insights from Eastern wisdom traditions.

The Harvard College graduate has since developed a neuroscience-based approach to mindful leadership training which provides a set of mind-hacking tools and skills that enable people and organizations to break self-limiting patterns to realize their full potential and make a positive impact on the world. Inspired by her own challenges as a first-generation college student, she creates social impact by delivering this training to people experiencing toxic stress, trauma, and poverty. As the founding chair of the NGO Collective Success Network she partners with companies to support and mentor low-income first-generation college students and to foster greater socioeconomic inclusion and diversity.

Due is the author of Calm Clarity: How to Use Science to Rewire Your Brain for Greater Wisdom, Fulfillment and Joy.

JAMES R DOTY M.D.

Neurosurgeon, Neuroscientist,
Founder and Director – CCARE

A Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University, James R Doty M.D. (Jim) is an entrepreneur, inventor and philanthropist. He has been at the cutting edge of medical technology development in a number of areas including non-invasive cancer treatment using a novel radiation device. Central to his work is his research demonstrating that a compassionate lifestyle has a profound positive effect on one’s mental and physical health while improving the lives of those around them.

Through a chance encounter at a young age Jim discovered the power of meditation and visualisation to help him navigate a way out of a childhood of poverty and psychological hardship. After amassing great wealth in the dot-com boom, he went bankrupt in the crash of the late 90s. Losing everything was the catalyst for him to start seeking a life of true abundance.

Jim is author of the New York Times bestseller Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and Secrets of the Heart translated into 36 languages. He is the Senior Editor of The Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science.

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RONNIE CAHANA

Rabbi

As a spiritual man, husband and father, Rabbi Ronnie Cahana likens stillness to an enforced slowing of the passage of time that allows for a deeper enjoyment of the present. In his words he feels like a Chagall man floating above the nighttime rooftops as he uses the hours of stillness and meditation to explore the realm beyond physical form.

It is in stillness that Ronnie is able to fully appreciate the ability for love to transcend the tangible world and, through the art of his photographer daughter Kitra, his story has become an open invitation for people to question their preconceptions around that concept. He delights in the curiosity of new beginnings and his message is that “anything is a miracle if you want it to be”.

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