PRESENT TIME: journal of a country monastery

Berkeley, California | Film Feature

Documentary, History

John Slattery

2 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $9,081 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

83 supporters | followers

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PRESENT TIME interweaves a 70-year historical portrait of a monastery with an intimate chronicle of the everyday lives of monks. The final 15 years of the monastery are followed over five seasons, as monks continue to die and their community disappears.

In Partnership With

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

The Cistercian Order finds its historical origin in Cîteaux, a French monastery founded in 1098. This film offers a rare and intimate look inside this 900 year old tradition as it existed in this U.S/Utah monastery from its foundation to its closing.

The Story

Situated deep in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah,

a monastery was established in 1947.


In September, after 70 years, the monastery closed.


In 2002, I began a film at the Huntsville, Utah monastery.

I continued filming until 2017, when it closed.


PRESENT TIME interweaves a 70-year historical portrait of a monastery

with an intimate chronicle of the everyday lives of monks.


The final 15 years of the monastery are followed over five seasons—as monks continue to die and their community disappears.


This will be the first, and last film about life inside the Abbey.


By contributing to the completion of this film project

you will enable us to finish the editing, sound design, sound mix and DCP.


Your tax-deductible donation will allow you to receive a DVD of the film and/or a beautiful, limited-edition, hard-cover book of archive photos from the Utah monastery and other related materials.


Please read more about our campaign and the rewards below.



Your donation is tax deductible! PRESENT TIME is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions in support of PRESENT TIME are payable to IDA and are tax deductible, less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The value of goods and services being offered is noted under each donation level. If you would like to deduct the entire donation you have the option to simply decline the reward at checkout.


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $1,500

Almost all festivals and theatres now require a DCP to screen a film.

Audio Mix

Costs $1,500

Sound mixing is essential to the film.

Festivals (submissions, travel, accommodations)

Costs $1,500

Submitting a film to festivals is expensive. If selected, travel and accommodations, even more so.

Sound design

Costs $2,000

Sound design brings to the film all the many and layered sounds of the monastery.

About This Team

John Slattery is a producer and director living in Berkeley, CA.  He began work in television as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, writing and hosting a pilot for a social-issue TV series at the Moroccan National Institute of Television.


While at UCLA he received the Macgowan Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, the Drown Award for Motion Picture Production as well as the Edgar Brokaw Scholarship in Film Production—and even worked as an assistant to the French actress Isabelle Huppert!


His directing debut “Casablanca Mon Amour” had a special preview screening by the San Francisco Film Society before a world premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival. It was highlighted in the New York Times then picked up for broadcast by BBC and has now been invited to over 22 international festivals.


John’s latest feature-length documentary now in post-production has been awarded a LEF Visual Arts Grant a Utah Humanities Grant and was recently selected to be presented at the BAVC 4x10 series. He holds an MFA from the Department of Film and Digital Media at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Current Team