Already Free
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When you connect with your True Self, you connect with
everything in the universe and with your destiny.
— Dorrie

Dorrie and Norberto

Ordinary people living thousands of miles apart, independently discover an innovative form of Qigong that offers the promise of health, inner peace and true freedom. The practice transforms them in dramatic and profound ways, deeply touching everyone in their lives.


The Story…


ALREADY FREE documents the profound awakening of Dorrie van Roij-Houtappels and Norberto Rodrigues. Though living thousands of miles apart, they travel the same path to enlightenment – a life cultivation path, Ren Xue. The practice transforms their lives and opens them to the true freedom of mind and heart that is the ultimate promise of most spiritual traditions.

Dorrie, an inquisitive thinker and mother of two, currently living in Auckland, New Zealand, explores the meaning of life as she faces depression, doubt and fear.

Norberto, a spiritual seeker and young martial artist living in Lisbon, Portugal, finds himself facing permanent disability and constant pain through severe injury to his back.

Each struggles with a doubt that crippled them in the past, but through dedication, a willful openness to the realities of life and complete surrender, they find a deep trust that reveals their true freedom.

The viewer is invited into this world through intimate interviews, beautiful cinematography and revealing animation that tell a story that is beyond words. These portraits introduce us to doubtful but loving family members, surprisingly astute teenage children, and thankful students. We see two normal people who have reached a higher state of being and inner peace that fundamentally alters the way they feel, think and live. The effect of Dorrie and Norberto’s transformation on those around them is perhaps the most remarkable revelation of the film.

For the viewer, close-up studies of the Qigong movements are a compelling invitation to experience the quiet depth of these slow, thoughtful practices. We are drawn into the deep sense of energized calm that is Dorrie and Norberto’s inner experience and which is, they tell us, the natural state of all humans. In the end, this film is an offering, gently inviting all of us to understand that we are, in fact, Already Free.


Our Team




Kim has been making award-winning independent documentary films for over 35 years. Her tastes are eclectic and she has covered a wide range of subjects from Buckaroos in Nevada, to Sudanese refugees, to war veterans, to Buddhist nuns in Myanmar, and now, “higher states of consciousness” in two Qigong students from Portugal and New Zealand. Her films, A GREAT WONDER, THE HIGHLY EXALTED, COWBOY POETS, A THOUSAND MOTHERS, THE WELCOME, among others have won numerous film festival awards, and have been broadcast nationally and internationally, on POV, PBS, National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, and the BBC.,,




Sally Hinds has been having more fun, and working harder than ever, since her so-called “retirement” in 2012.  Previously, she enjoyed a wide-ranging career in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, as an administrator and project manager.  She put her master’s degree in psychology to good use while heading up a staff of 80, overseeing contracts up to $100 million, and directing international projects.
Currently, Sally is president of Ren Xue of the Americas, treasurer of Ren Xue International, treasurer of Friends of RXI, and president of Desert Dove, a non-profit organization that takes Argentine tango into retirement communities and senior centers. In Ren Xue training events and retreats, Sally has coordinated operations for live sound, video live-streaming, and video editing. This is her first experience in film production.


Bill Weber


Bill is a San Francisco-based documentary editor and director. He directed and edited the documentary feature THE COCKETTES which premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and 2002 Berlinale. Bill co-directed and edited the documentary feature WE WERE HERE, which played at the 2011 Sundance and Berlinale festivals, and TO BE TAKEI, which premiered at Sundance in 2014.

As an editor, Bill’s work includes A REVOLUTION IN FOUR SEASONS, 2016 HotDocs, Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer, 2015 Berlinale, THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR, 2013 Telluride Film Festival and 2014 Berlinale, and the Oscar nominated documentary short film, THE FINAL INCH. He also edited the award-winning documentaries LAST LETTERS HOME and THE ALZHEIMER'S PROJECT. Bill was recently invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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Vicente franco


Highly accomplished and much-loved director of photography and director, Vicente Franco brings to the project his Spanish optimism, plus his three decades of experience in directing, producing, editing and cinematography. Vicente was a 2003 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary and Emmy nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography for DAUGHTER OF DANANG, and winner of the Sundance Film Festival 2002 Grand Jury Prize. Vicente was also the director of photography on three other Academy Award nominees: THE BARBER OF BIRMINGHAM (2012), THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2010), and FREEDOM IN MY MIND (1994).  Vicente won the Silver Apple/Latin American Studies Association for his film, CUBA VA: the Challenge of the Next Generation and to round off his excess of accolades, is also a Peabody winner. Vicente’s hundreds of cinematography credits include the PBS series Latino Americans, and Latin Music USAThe Storm that Swept Mexico, Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, In Defense of Food, Orozco Man of Fire, Archeology of Memory: Villa GrimaldiThe Fight in the FieldsThe Good War as well as Summer of Love, which he co-produced and co-directed for the PBS/American Experience.



Original Music

Todd Boekelheide is an American film composer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, best known for his work scoring documentary films. He won an Academy Award for Best Sound for AMADEUS, and was nominated for another in the same category.

Disher Music & Sound

Sound Mix



May Is a UK-based animator and artist. Her work in the category of documentary short includes: JUAN DE LAS BRUJAS, THE SIN OF BEING A WOMAN, and I HAVE A MESSAGE FOR YOU.


RICHARD FLYNN - new zealand

RAY DAY - united states


Location Sound




The Film will be completed in late October. Stay tuned for updates.


Host a Screening


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