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Production   /  Bessie Byrne

Dark Water: Battle on the Franklin

The definitive story of the fight to save Tasmania’s wild Franklin River from being dammed in the '80s.


Impact areas



  • DIRECTOR Kasimir Burgess

  • PRODUCER Chris Kamen



Dark Water is a cinematic, feature-length documentary about the seven-year campaign to save Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed Franklin River from being drowned by the construction of a huge hydroelectric dam in the early 1980s.

The film will follow the story of young Tasmanian Oliver Cassidy as he follows in the activists’ footsteps and embarks on a solo rafting pilgrimage down the Franklin. In the process, he will retrace the extraordinary story of the seven-year campaign.

Support this project

43.51% funded
  • $320,000.00

  • $139,242.00

  • June 2021

  • 77

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Phil Beeston $40.00
Pozible Campaign June 2020 (Offline) $67,425.00
Maria Harries $150.00
Anonymous $100.00
Sarah Harries $20.00
Rachael Harries $50.00
Nicholas Harries $100.00
Joanna Baevski $15,000.00
Leon Barmuta $500.00
Peter Brann $50.00
Anonymous $40.00
Kathryn Thomas $100.00
Anonymous $40.00
Ian Cresswell $500.00
Kate Kirkhope $50.00
Fleur Bound $30.00
John Hepper $200.00
Kaz Knights $50.00
Julie Bain $30.00
Jeanette Krohn $100.00
Joanna Baevski $20,000.00
John Upcher $250.00
Erin Wilson $200.00
James Anderson $250.00
Kimbra Bridges $50.00
Toney Hallahan $50.00
Lee Naish $1,000.00
Nitu Gupta $500.00
Mason Dean $50.00
Anonymous $50.00
Anonymous $250.00
Dorothy Hutton $500.00
Helen Martin $3,500.00
Gillian O’Malley $100.00
Michael McMahon $250.00
Marilou Hudson $50.00
Anonymous $1,000.00
Kathryn Thomas $100.00
Gaby Jung $20.00
Allison Garrett $10.00
Andrew Sirianni $150.00
Elissa Robins $30.00
Susan Aujard $57.00
Caroline Dean $30.00
Anonymous $100.00
Anonymous $500.00
John McLaine $100.00
Richard Cassidy $500.00
Jill Cassidy $200.00
Kate Cullity $10,000.00
Ed Bastick $70.00
Brett Kelly $50.00
Remus Schwab-Russell $3,500.00
Steph Stokes $1,000.00
Anonymous $6,000.00
Tim Marshall $50.00
Megan Genat $150.00
Meg Miklosvary $500.00
Amanda Woodward $200.00
Anonymous $250.00
Viktoria Szemes $500.00
Rose Vaughan $100.00
Sandra Cahir $200.00
Catherine Perez $100.00
peter kamen $200.00
Linda Clark $100.00
pamela kamen $200.00
Anne Layton-Bennett $50.00
Judith Abbott $100.00
Luke Altmann $100.00
Lee Matthews $50.00
Phillip Mulligan $100.00
Anonymous $50.00
Maria Rolls $100.00
Blake Laurent $1,000.00
Andrew Bowen $50.00
Anonymous $50.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

The Franklin campaign remains as Australia’s most significant environmental movement. The film will investigate why it was so successful when others have failed, and what lessons can be applied to other non-violent movements today.

This is a film that will not only help audiences understand how it’s possible to win an environmental movement, but how they can be part of that win.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

This is a film that will not only help audiences understand how it’s possible to win an environmental movement, but how they can be part of that win.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Short term: people will come out feeling empowered to take action on an issue close to their heart, be armed with pragmatic hope, support or donate to an environmental cause. Any groups combating an environmental or social issue in the community where the screening occurs may recruit new supporters. Or people who have not yet been community organisers will be armed a few more ideas and courage.

Medium term: screenings at the frontlines (Tarkine, Ardani etc) will motivate and re-empower activists dealing with the cycle of progress and setback.

Long term: increased active participation in democracy, electoral enrolments.
We live in a country with a strong democratic tradition but where that tradition is being threatened. Governments are cracking down on our democratic right to protest. Even so taking to the streets by itself is only a tactic. The greater understanding that will develop from this film will be needed if we are to keep a vibrant democracy in this country.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

With our protagonist working inside the environmental movement at the Tasmanian Conservation Trust and has strong relationships with supporters and membership of that organisation as well as partner organisation such as The Wilderness Society. The Wilderness Society has been a huge help since inception providing access to archives and research assistance.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Lean into helping to solve environmental problems instead of being paralysed by despair.

Join the local group organising for change.

Donate to an ENGO.

Ask someone who you think should run for government, to run for election, ask them a few times. Consider it yourself. We need the people in power who are going to make the decision we want to have made.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

The film will be toured and screened for community groups all over Australia and internationally. We will work with these groups to workshop how to make best use of the energy from the film and what call to action is appropriate for that group. This could be in the form of activism workshops, Q&As etc. We will be able to check in with community organisers down the track and get a sense of the greater impact and progress they are making and connect like issues together along the way.