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DOCUMENTARIES

Development   /  Jo-anne McGowan

RIVER

River – A cinematic and musical odyssey that explores the remarkable relationship between humans and rivers.

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Impact areas

ARTS

ENVIRONMENT

HEALTH & WELLBEING

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Jennifer Peedom

  • PRODUCER Jo-anne McGowan

Synopsis

DURATION: 75 MINUTES

Rivers are the arteries of our planet, and the means by which humanity continues to thrive and survive. By looking at the profound impact river systems have had in shaping human history, this film seeks to shift perceptions around the urgent threats which have been mounting towards the world’s great rivers in the last century: reckless pollution, irresponsible water wastage, and damming driven by corporate and political greed. Beyond these immediate threats to the health and quality of rivers around the world, this film seeks to change perceptions and help audiences understand the true threat of climate change - and the tipping point we have found ourselves at as a species.

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  • $800,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
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    FUNDS RAISED
  • July 2019

    PROJECT ENDS
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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Rivers are the arteries of our planet, and the means by which humanity continues to thrive and survive. By looking at the profound impact river systems have had in shaping human history, this film seeks to shift perceptions around the urgent threats which have been mounting towards the world’s great rivers in the last century: reckless pollution, irresponsible water wastage, and damming driven by corporate and political greed. Beyond these immediate threats to the health and quality of rivers around the world, this film seeks to change perceptions around rivers in our daily lives to help audiences understand the true threat of climate change - and the tipping point we have found ourselves at as a species.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

It is our vision that River will increase awareness around the mounting threats to our river systems, inspiring individuals around the world to pursue local political action to protect our rivers from pollution and mismanagement. For the developing world, this includes challenging mismanagement in the form of reckless damming and plastic pollutants; for the developed world, this includes addressing the more insidious threats of micro-pollutants and profit-driven resource mismanagement.

Outcomes

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

The short-term outcome targeted by River is to educate audiences about the significance of rivers in our collective history. Highlighting the historical journey of rivers in shaping civilisation is a powerful means to shift attitudes around the seriousness of modern threats to our river systems.
Medium-term outcomes for River would heightened understanding lead to local political action around rivers. Rivers are a global resource, and each region has its own unique battles to fight in their defence. By making the broader case for the protection of rivers we hope to inspire people to educate themselves and act at a local and regional level to protect their rivers from pollution and mismanagement.
Long-term, these changes could inspire greater environmental sustainability. As fresh water becomes scarcer in the following century, responsible management of water could even help to diffuse international military and political conflicts over scarce resources.

Stakeholders

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

As well a being a sequel to our much lauded film MOUNTAIN, RIVER is a both a stand alone vision and commentary by director Jennifer Peedom. The subject matter is meticulously researched from highly respected sources and forms a narrative that is both poetic as well as informative. There are no specific links or partnerships to other organisations as the issues raised in the film are varied and far-reaching. It is also important the film’s voice is not compromised by too many outside voices or competing interests.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

We hope that RIVER will stimulate conversations in the media, by the water-cooler and, by extension, across social media. We would like these conversations about the threats to our rivers, our water supply, pollution and climate change to inspire action. We want these conversations to be heard by governments and corporations alike but they will only be truly heard by affirmative action at a local level. We hope to give a voice to the current international surge of young Climate Action Strikers, the generation who will be most affected by inaction on climate change.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Our indicator for success will be achieving the same level of international reach as MOUNTAIN has: on the big screen, small screen, concert hall and IMAX theatres/museums. Beyond this, we would hope to see RIVER used as an international resource in schools for geography and earth sciences curricula - an example to the next generation of how powerful storytelling can directly impact the future of our fragile ecosystems. We shall know this through a combination of sold-out tours, box-office receipts, distribution reach, industry awards, festival screenings and accolades. Media coverage is an essential indicator both in the form of positive film reviews but also editorial comment with the media referencing the film in a social context. Social Media engagement is also a key platform for us with the film aspiring to start a public conversation. We are still seeing significant social media engagement for MOUNTAIN, some years after its release.

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