A Time Capsule of Hopes

If you could send a message of encouragement to your future self, what would you say?  

I hope you win Bake Off!  

I hope you made that once-in-a-lifetime trip. 

I hope you learned to throw a pot, speak Japanese, change a tyre. 

I hope you kept dancing, no matter what. 

The festival this year has the motto “We hope this finds you well”, so our filmmakers in residence are about to embark on a visual journey with library users to express what wellness and happiness looks like for them, now and in the future. 

Laura Degnan is an established and talented filmmaker from Middlesbrough, who has worked with everyone from poets to men’s health groups to create beautiful, insightful films. We’re excited to welcome her and her mentee Chris Bradburn, who between them will both document this year’s festival and produce a creative short film to premiere at our opening night. 

Laura says “I’m looking forward to working alongside Chris as he continues to grow as a filmmaker and an editor. I can’t wait to learn more about the people of Teesside: about the things they love doing now and the ways in which they’d like to see those things develop in the future. And if we can see them sharing their talents – singing or painting or telling terrible jokes or who knows what else? – even better! 

Laura and Chris will involve as wide a cross-section of Teesside library users as possible, from parents and babies attending Rhyme Time sessions, to local history group members with knowledge and passion for the local area, to people who just pop in every now and again to use the computers.  

Are you a library user? Then you could be part of this film! Laura and Chris will spend time in local libraries filming people’s video messages to their future selves – but don’t worry if you’re camera-shy, you can also simply write a message and donate it to our message board which will then be featured on film. 

How to be part of the Time Capsule of Hopes 

1. Write a message or letter to your future self, telling yourself what you hope you have achieved or what you hope your life is like in the future. Do whatever you want to make the message stand out – glitter pen, coloured paper, stickers, doodles, collaged pictures from magazines. Give that message to your local library and say it’s for Crossing the Tees Book Festival, or post it to

Crossing the Tees Book Festival c/o ARC,
60 Dovecot Street, Stockton
TS19 1LL.

Make sure you write your name and address on the back, so we can invite you to the film premiere! 

2. Record your message on your phone, either as a short video or as a voice recorder file, and email it to info@crossingthetees.org with the subject line Time Capsule of Hopes.

3. To do a short video message with Laura and Chris in an actual library! You can email us and we’ll let you know where our filmmakers will be, and when. 

Deadline for sending in your messages for the Time Capsule of Hopes is Monday 2nd May 2022 

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6 - 21 June 2024