World Water Day doc screening tonight

Humber film professor is a part of the Canadian documentary Water on the Table, which addresses the socio-economic issues surrounding the potentially scarce natural resource

Russell Piffer
News Reporter

Water on the Table, a documentary worked on by Humber film instructor Garrett Kerr, will play an important part in World Water Day events.

“The thrust of that film was trying to make water a right, and not a commodity, which would protect it from commercial interests,” said Kerr, the film’s supervising sound editor.

Water on the Table follows Canadian activist Maude Barlow during her time as United Nations water adviser in 2008 and 2009, when she campaigned to have water declared a human right, said the film’s director, Liz Marshall.

“In parts of the U.S. there is a water crisis and they’re looking north to our water and trying to figure out how they can tap into it,” Marshall said. “That whole issue of water export and our shared ecosystem is addressed in the film.”

After 15 years in commercial film and television, Kerr said he wanted “to get involved in projects that had more of a social impact.”

When Marshall approached him about the film, he said he offered to do the work for free, but she insisted on paying.

Kerr said working on the film raised his awareness of water as a social and economic issue.

“If you think peak oil is going to be a problem, wait until we hit peak water,” he said, repeating a maxim heard often during production. “There’d be a certain sort of chaos that would come with the loss of gasoline as a resource, but I think it would pale in comparison to what would happen to society, and civility, if water were to become a scarce resource, which it is quickly becoming.”

Water on the Table will be screened tonight at 7 p.m. for World Water Day by environmental group Ecologos at the Ralph Thornton Community Centre in Riverdale.

Later this evening, Marshall will receive an award from the Made in Toronto (MINT) film festival at the Royal Ontario Museum, said the festival’s executive director Glen Alan, a Humber vocals graduate.

Water on the Table was the first film to be screened at MINT when we started in March 2011,” Alan said.

He said MINT screens locally made, socially conscious films each month.

Its World Water Day event will feature Spoil, a documentary about the proposed Enbridge pipeline’s threat to B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest.

There will also be live music, a World Wildlife Fund photo exhibit of the Great Bear Rainforest and “a lambasting attack on the bottled water industry” from a local comedian.

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