Announcing the WINNERS of the 2019 WATERtown Film Fest!
Congratulations to everyone!


Grand Jury Award for Best Film – The Great Route

Best Narrative Film – Haleema

Honorable Mention, Documentary Film – Water Warriors

Honorable Mention, Narrative Film – Petit Bassin

Join us at the Plumbing Museum for an inaugural Film Festival on June 27-28, 2019 created to increase public awareness of the environmental, social, and cultural importance of water.  This is an opportunity to view exceptional works from around the world in a historic museum. Documentary, animated, experimental, and narrative films of one to 30 minutes will be screened during this two-day event. We encourage you to reserve your tickets in ADVANCE as space is limited. Click here to make reservations.

2019 Festival Schedule:


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Session 1: 6:30 – 7:30 PM


Haleema (17:30 min)

Directed by Boris Schaarschmidt

Germany – narrative

Blistering heat in the desert of Sudan. A pregnant mother and her two young children are on the search for water and safety from the ruthless Janjaweed militia. When the brother is too weak to continue, Haleema is sent by her mother to find water. A dangerous journey full of hope and despair begins.

A Tale of Two Cities (12:37 min)

Directed by Miranda Fox

Berkeley, CA – documentary

A Tale of Two Cities tells the story of citizens from two very different Michigan communities—picturesque, small town Evart and gritty, industrial Flint— that have found their futures inextricably linked by a threat to the one thing that all life requires: water. In our third short documentary, we explore the growing threat of water privatization and what happens when government runs a critical function, like providing clean drinking water, as if it were a business.

City Splash (4:20 min)

Directed by Samantha Bruce, Zach Ben-Amots, and Seth Myer

Cambridge, MA – documentary

The Charles River Conservancy offers residents the opportunity to swim in the Charles at the fifth annual City Splash event. Until recently the Charles River has been unsafe for swimming, but improvements made by businesses, residents, and cities all over the region have made recreational and competitive swimming possible (with the caveat that swimmers enter the water from a floating dock rather than wade in from the shore). This event took place at the Fiedler Dock along the Esplanade on July 18, 2017.

Bass by Kayak: (30 min)

Directed by Beau Miles

Australia – documentary

Bass by Kayak follows a small expedition party crossing from the Australian mainland to Tasmania in sea kayaks. Close to 400 people have made the crossing in the modern era, and Aboriginal Australians did it during the last ice age in canoes. For the seafarer, linking together the perfectly spaced islands feels like a rite of passage. Adventure filmmaker/outdoor education lecturer Beau Miles narrates the expedition as the first ever feature film of the crossing via sea kayaks. There is chafe, a storm, bad cooking and an emerging mate-ship between men that barely knew each other before departure.


Session 2: 7:45-8:45 PM


Special preview: Outer Banks (3:11 min)

Directed by Eugene Muzykin

Every spring Outer Banks, North Carolina attracts kiteboarders from as far as Canada. Warm, consistent winds provide ideal conditions for this wind sport. A group of local Boston kite boarders called Masskiting made the trip this year. Warm weather, adrenaline filled tricks, and hanging out together was a good combination for having a fun time. This film provides a glimpse into the lifestyle and beauty of this sport.

Plankton (5:12 min)

Directed by Gustaf Lindström

United Kingdom – experimental

In Plankton we get a glimpse of the ideas and aspirations that float around at the bottom of the food chain. Don’t we all want to become something big one day?

The Reservoir (7:45 min)

Directed by Olivia Krochko

Oxford, CT – documentary

Short documentary about the Naugatuck State Forest located in Connecticut.

For the Love of Salmon: (8 min)

Directed by Jan Vozenilek

Canada – documentary

Under a haze of wildfire smoke and with her ancestors watching from above, Keely Weget-Whitney steps into the frigid and fast-moving waters of the Fraser River with one goal in mind: make people care. Join the 25-year-old member of the Stl’atl’imx First Nation as she embarks on a 60 kilometre swim to bring awareness to the depleting number of salmon and its impacts on her culture and the environment. “I just feel that if I care, a young Indigenous Stl’atl’imx mother, people will reflect on that, and they’ll say why am I not caring, what can I do for a change?” As she battles the strong current and her own self doubt, Keely encourages us all to come together to make change.

Daaham-Thirst (4:59 min)

Directed by Gangadhar Panday

India – narrative

Daaham is a short film that reminds us of every individual’s responsibility to protect and preserve the beauty and grandeur of nature. The film sincerely attempts to inspire us to save every drop of water for the future generations.

Downstream (11:58 min)

Directed by Casey Beck

Sonoma, CA – documentary

Following years of intensive fertilizer use on farms, more than half of Iowa’s waterways do not meet federal quality standards. Now, an unlikely coalition is calling for stricter controls to clean up the drinking water sources for millions of the state’s residents.

Petit Bassin (18:07 min)

Directed by  Louise Pagès

France – narrative

Just like every summer, Titouan must drain his hometown old swimming pool. But this time, no cleaning required: the venue is closing and demolition vehicles are on their way. Like every summer, water leaves the pool giving body to Ondine, a ghost-like teenager who awaits love. And Titouan can’t make her leave.

Friday, June 28,2019

Session 3: 6:30-7:30 PM 


Sea (1:00 min)

Directed by Hristina Belousova

Uzbekistan – experimental

If you’re thinking long of the sea, then the sea comes to you!

Big World (13:00 min)

Directed by Anya Miller

Seattle, WA – narrative

As parents, how do we teach our kids that there is a world beyond social media, standardized tests and soccer practice? In April 2018, Eddie Bauer athlete David Morton and his seven-year-old son Thorne embarked on a week-long stand-up-paddleboard journey down the Karnali and Bheri Rivers in Western Nepal. David makes his living guiding some of the world’s most incredible peaks and Nepal is like a second home. He wanted to deepen Thorne’s understanding of the world beyond their Seattle neighborhood. Engaging with this world helps us grow. “There’s a basic paradox to parenting,” says David. “You have to keep your kids safe, but you have to teach them to take risks and follow curiosity. Life is undeniably richer with a little bit of daring.”

CityView- Water Conservation (4:45 min)

Directed by Sean Effel

Cambridge, MA – documentary

Tonia Magras and Sam Corda take a tour of an underground water storage facility for the City of Cambridge, a location that few individuals ever have the chance to see. Sam describes some of the ways that residents of any city can engage in water conservation techniques. Produced by Sean Effel, Jordy Brazo, the City of Cambridge, and Cambridge Community Television.

Buried Treasure (11:13 min)

Directed by Alex Fabry

Middleton, CT – narrative

13 year old Phoebe goes to the beach. There, she searches for treasure hoping to find something that will impress her friends.

Water Warriors (22:00 min)

Directed by Michael Premo

Brooklyn, NY – documentary

Water Warriors is the story of a community’s resistance against the oil and natural gas industry. When an energy company began searching for natural gas in New Brunswick, Canada, indigenous and white families united to drive out the company in a campaign to protect their water and way of life.

Session 4: 7:45-8:45 PM


Junk Paddle (11:18 min)

Directed by Beau Miles

Australia – documentary

We can buy a paddle, or wood to make a paddle… But what about making one from Junk? Collecting rubbish wood between my train station and my office, this is the story of a junk-made-paddle.

Trade Life – Uniting for Flint (6:47 min)

Directed by Mark Rattelle

Flint, MI – documentary

Meet the plumbers and pipe fitters of UA Local 370 in Flint, Michigan. Harold Harington, Jeff Peake, Marcus Eubanks and the members of the United Association in Michigan donate their time and resources to help people in need. Plumbers protect the health of the nation, and in Flint, health was in jeopardy.

Drowning in Thought (2:17 min)

Directed by Rachel St. Pierre

Lynn, MA – experimental

A film about how both thoughts and water flow peacefully as one.

Wetlands (9:36 min)

Directed by Rob McAllister

Sacramento, CA – documentary

California’s Chinook salmon population is crashing. Governmental agencies, environmentalists and others are scrambling to find answers to reverse this potentially catastrophic outcome. Meanwhile, there may be a solution just beyond the riverbank. Discover how farmers, scientists and conservationists are using Northern California’s rice fields to create not only habitat for wild birds but to now help save the salmon.

Fisherman (1:40 min)

Directed by Afshin Ziaeian Alipour

Iran – experimental

The Great Route (10:35 min)

Directed by Maximilian Stolarow

Germany – narrative

An incredible SUP trip along the west coast of Greenland to show the effects of global warming in the high north. Stand up paddler Michael Walther, photographer Daniell Bohnhof and filmmaker Maximilian Stolarow were on the trail of the inuit ancestors. Following their “The Great Route” from Aasiaat to Ilulissat to find out more about the life on the rough island in the past and in the present. Apart from icebergs, neverending days and minus 15 degrees, they met the inspiring Valdemar Petersen, a 84 y.o hunter and poet. Their trip along “The Great Route” shows, that we have to act, to protect this unique northern region and of course our whole planet!