Water Docs – Culture Days 2019

WaterDocs Short Films with HHEFF

 For the first time ever, we are introducing a lineup of WaterDocs short film screenings, involving all things water!

Covering an action-packed program over two Culture Days, the Water Docs screenings will shed light on current issues and celebrate the beauty and strengths of our incredible oceans and water preserves.

Saturday, September 28th

Doors Open: 9:30AM

Films: 10AM – 12PM

Sunday, September 29th

Doors Open: 12:30PM

Films: 1PM – 3PM




Table Talks

  • Water Docs – Representatives will be available to answer questions and be a guide to the amazing short films being present.

Short Film Schedule

Saturday, September 28

1. Waterway Jay | Brenda Piekarski USA | 2018 | 7 min Synopsis: In 2017, Jay Gustafson launched Paddle for Progress, a two-year, 4,300- mile personal journey in response to Governor Dayton’s call for water action. Jay’s mission to reconnect humanity with one of our most precious resources took him to the most remote and least visited corners of Minnesota, as well as through nearly every major community in the state. WATERWAY JAY is the story of this one man’s journey to save water, and how we are connected to it all. TRAILER

2. Swim, Drink, Fish: FISH | Jerome Riel & Studio Sophomore CANADA | 2018 | 8.5 min Synopsis: Revel in the fresh waters of Lake Ontario as we join Chef Grant van Garmeren in a fishing trip to debunk the perception of this Great Lake’s questionable fisheries. This local short will inspire you to seek the freshness of locally sourced food and from within that journey understand the importance of preserving our habitats.TRAILER


3. Fred the Pufferfish | Joel Stutz SWITZERLAND | 2018 | 1 min Synopsis: This whimsical animation by filmmaker Joel Stutz introduces us to Fred, a pufferfish living a cozy life of luxury in his fishbowl. A colourful and playful short that will flip the world upside down in the wake of reckless human behaviour; begging us to contemplate the impact of our actions.

4. Alice’s Garden | Jenny Plevin USA | 2018 | 9.5 min | 2019 Water Docs Award Winner — Best Short Film Synopsis: Alice’s Garden, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is situated on the grounds and waterways that provided safe harbour for freedom seekers as part of the Underground Railroad. Today, these sacred grounds continue to uplift the community through urban agriculture and community engagement. In this powerful short, Alice’s Garden’s Executive Director, Venice Williams, passionately connects the grounds valuable history with its present ability to serve hundreds of families, and with the need to conserve and protect the land through innovative water solutions for future generations. ALICE’S GARDEN is a deeply illuminating and heartfelt film. TRAILER

5. The Return of Harbor Porpoises to San Francisco Bay | Jim Sugar USA | 2016 | 9.5 min Synopsis: Having abandoned San Francisco Bay in the early 1940s, the harbour porpoise have now returned, 65 years later, as a top-level predator and an indicator of the improving health of the bay. As the film explores, aggressive water health restoration, beginning with the formation of the Save the Bay Foundation in 1963, has allowed for the once dead body of water to again take on life with the return of dolphins, whales, sharks and the famed harbour porpoise. TRAILER

 6. Keeper of the Creek | Dan Goldes USA | 2018 | 4.5 min Synopsis: Joel Goldes, a park steward in his hometown of Oak Park, California, is living proof that one person can improve the health of the world around them. For the past six years, Goldes has been collecting litter, trapping invasive crayfish, reopening blocked streams, and championing for his local park at city council hearings. Even as a singular voice in the fight for the park’s viability, Goldes’ need to be helpful keeps him committed to this noble cause. KEEPER OF THE CREEK is an inspirational story about the power of one.TRAILER

7. For the Love of Salmon | Jan Vozenilek CANADA | 2018 | 8 min Synopsis: In this striking short, filmmaker Jan Vozenilek captures the determination and strength of Keely Weget-Whitney, a 25-year-old from the Stl’atl’imx First Nation (pronounced Stat-lee-um), as she embarks on a challenging 60 km swim in the frigid and racing Fraser River in British Columbia. Her goal? To bring awareness to declining salmon health and its impacts on her community and the environment. Join Keely on this empowering and representational act for all of our futures.

8. Gracie | Gracie White Eagle & Cathy Cain USA | 2016 | 5.5 min Synopsis: GRACIE is an intimate and inspiring glimpse into the world of the 14-year- old member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Gracie White Eagle, and her personal and familial experience in the youth-powered activist movement against the North Dakota Access Pipeline (NoDAPL). Gracie White Eagle is a truly talented young filmmaker, who champions for sustained youth leadership, through powerful footage of Standing Rock protests and her deep reflections on the importance and gravity this activism.

9. For the Love of the Reef | Alan E. Franks USA | 2018 | 7 min Synopsis: A swan song for the only living organism that can be seen from space, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This uplifting film takes us below the waves and shows two faces of the reef: one, vibrant in beauty and life; the other, grey and barren due to ocean acidification. Author and historian Iain McCalman reflects on the wavering health of this wonder of the world and shines light into how we may be able to shift the world toward an optimistic future. TRAILER

10. Elemental | Armand Dijcks THE NETHERLANDS | 2018 | 3.5 min Synopsis: In this experimental short, filmmaker Armand Dijcks transforms the award- winning still photography of Ray Collins into cinemagraphs, to create movement and showcase the beautiful interplay of water and light. ELEMENTAL is a beautiful and mesmerizing piece of filmmaking that will leave audiences in pure wonder. TRAILER

11. A Word to the Wise | Jordi Esgleas Marroi SPAIN | 2018 | 27 min Synopsis: This documentary introduces us to Douglas Lui Fo’oa, a husband and father from the Solomon Islands, one of the most remote places on Earth. He is our guide and as he shares his wisdom with us, we travel around some of the Islands’ amazing locations, slowly understanding the almost idyllic qualities of this archipelago and its people. Douglas tells us about the country’s origins, the role of cannibalism in tribal wars and the spiritual power of sharks and other animals. The respect for nature and the environment that his community promotes as a means to achieve happiness and a peaceful existence is a reminder of how complex issues can be so simply expressed. The result is a portrait of someone who seems to effortlessly understand the meaning of life. TRAILER

Sunday, September 29th

1. Birthplace | Sil van der Woerd & Jorik Dozy NETHERLANDS | 2018 | 14.5 min Synopsis: BIRTHPLACE tells the symbolic story of a man arriving on a perfect earth, who encounters his nemesis in the form of ocean trash.

2. The Hundred Year Old Whale | Mark Leiren-Young CANADA | 2017 | 15 min Synopsis: On January 2, 2017, it was announced that “Granny” was missing and presumed dead. Born in an era when whales were on everyone’s menu and her family members were being harpooned, then shot, then captured and put on display. “Granny” (J2) miraculously survived in the west coast waters for over a century as the world – and the world of whales – changed completely. We meet the world’s oldest killer whale and explore her past and her family’s future. TRAILER

3. Skeleton Sea | Mauritz Brekke Solberg NORWAY | 2016 | 25.5 min Synopsis: João and Xandi, two surfers in their early 50’s, have been working together for 25 years. They clean beaches, picking up trash that they use to create stunning artworks. But living as artists and idealists in Portugal makes for a hard, penurious life and one that takes a toll on their families. Even so, the two are driven by their desire to raise awareness about the ever-growing pollution in our oceans. TRAILER

12. To the Orcas, with Love | Natalie Lucier CANADA | 2017 | 56 min Synopsis: What we do to nature, we do to ourselves. A filmmaker’s relationship with orcas inspires her to restore a loving relationship with herself and this remarkable planet. Stories of personal connections with orcas, beautiful cinematography featuring BC’s resident orcas, and an evocative soundscape composed by Jeff Rona provide an uplifting contrast to the environmental challenges we face. TRAILER

- Halton Hills – Territorial Acknowledgement - We acknowledge the lands included in Halton Hills with the Credit River, Silver Creek and Black Creek running through it. We honour the countless First Peoples who walked this land and is most recently cared for by the Mississaugas of the Credit. Halton Hills is part of the Treaty 19 lands of the Ajetance Purchase of 1818 which includes Brampton and Milton. Together, we commit to respect and care for the land, waters, plants, animals, and all the wonderful elements of creation that exist around us.