The complete Who Owns Water is locked and loaded. Find it online for immediate download ::
Get ready to sit back and relax. We’ll have a complete version within a couple weeks. Then it will be available for download online. We’ll keep moving it through the film festival circuit and sharing screenings through our partners in the watershed and around the country. Partners like Patagonia, Riverkeeper organizations, MountainFilm, Georgia River Network, and others.
For now, here’s a short list of upcoming screenings:
April 5, 1pm : Georgia River Network “Weekend for Rivers” , Atlanta, GA
April 9, 5:30pm : Pace Academy, Atlanta, GA
May 2 : LaGrange, GA Chattahoochee Riverkeeper outdoor film event
WINNER, BEST DOCUMENTARY
We showed an “early release” of the film to the 350+ good folks at the Lookout Wild Film Festival in Chattanooga, TN last weekend. The film is 98% complete so we’re extremely proud to earn recognition in our first festival submission.
Thanks to all the people who joined the festival and to Andy Johns, festival director, who was able to download our most recent film version a few hours before screening time!
A year ago right now we were floating down the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers, somewhere in the middle of Georgia. Traveling solo for two weeks, we naturally created imaginary friends. By the time Michael and I rejoined forces at the Apalachicola River, we knew the best travel companion for the lower Hooch, Flint, and Apalachicola Rivers would be Will Ferrell. Just plop him in the bow of the canoe and steer him toward the people we met along the banks. He’d be relatively anonymous down there so his genius absurdity could be free to roam.
Ferrell and Robert Redford (and Kelly Slater) have teamed up to promote a project on the Colorado River that will raise the river level and return water to the river’s delta in Mexico.
Will, you are always invited for a canoe float down the Hooch.
Our close friend and America’s pre-eminent historian, guide, steward, and painter of the Lower Mississippi River is beached on the proverbial sandbar.
This is perhaps the most bi-partisan cause in the history of the US of A ::
For the anti-government, no-tax crowd : A small business employing local people is facing an unjust tax to the tune of $41,000. The unexpected levy would force the business to close its doors. It’s a tax that, according to precedents set in other states, should not be applicable for this small business.
For the environmental, socially-progressive crowd : A small business that operates an educational and guiding program with a strict mission of connecting people to the Lower Mississippi River. They do this by bringing people to the Mississippi River in safe, hand-built canoes crafted by the business owner and local students and apprentices employed by the business. The business educates the general public through old-school, “voyageur-style” day and overnight river trips. They also train underserved Mississippi Delta youth in river guiding and life skills while paying them a fair wage.
The small business is Quapaw Canoe Company, located in Clarksdale, MS and West Helena, AR. John Ruskey is the founder and owner. He will one day go down as the John Muir of the Lower Mississippi River when, in 50 years, we look back at how he single-handedly documented, painted, mapped, and instilled an appreciation for the Mighty Mississippi in thousands of Americans.
The state of Mississippi has suddenly hit Quapaw with a tax for its last four years of operations. Ruskey had not been charging sales tax on his river trips, working under the assumption that there was no sales tax on river business, as there is not in states like Tennessee and Utah where river operators are more common. If this tax is levied on Quapaw, it will not only shut the business down, it will essentially condemn any future nature tourism businesses from operating on the river out of Mississippi. Ruskey and team, in true get-it-done fashion, have managed to put a bill before the Mississippi legislature (SB 2972 HB 1604) that would exempt nature tourism operators from river taxes.
Hopefully this will just be another chapter of the ever-evolving, inspiring legacy that is John Ruskey…
It’s all about who you know. This time last year, we hired Josh Neumann off a Craigslist post. My buddy Sam Thompson and I had started a food truck selling handmade biscuit sandwiches, and we needed some kitchen help. Josh, during our fifteen-minute coffee-shop interview, admitted to having very little kitchen experience. He was a classically-trained cellist with some free time between national tours with singer-songwriter, Brandi Carlile.
We hired Josh because he was nice and honest and smart. He could learn to make biscuits.
Josh has been touring and recording with Brandi Carlile for over eight years. They started touring in a van owned by Tim and Phil Hanseroth, twins who write songs, sing, and play guitar and bass. Now the band travels in full motor coach, occasionally playing alongside Dave Matthews and Lyle Lovett and Kris Kristofferson. A few months ago, Josh recorded in studio for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. He recently played on stage with Mary Lambert (of Macklemore’s “Same Love”).
Josh and I’ve spent hours together, standing across a metal pastry table rolling out biscuits. He started working the biscuit truck a month before Michael and I left to spend a month on the Chattahoochee-Flint-Apalachicola Rivers for this film. We talked about the film over biscuit dough at 7am on Sunday mornings. He was always open to sharing his cello with the film.
Last night, Josh and Tim met us at Brandi’s home studio to record cello for “Who Owns Water.” For a little over an hour, Josh worked his magic over the strings while Tim recorded, laying down original tracks for us to use. We’re lucky to know Josh Neumann.
Hip Hip Hooray!
We reached our Kickstarter goal today and we want to thank everyone involved for your pledge of support and for spreading the word about “Who Owns Water.” We are now on pace to complete the film later this spring and begin sharing its message around rivers, water scarcity, and finding a collaborative solution to conserve our most precious resource.
Stay tuned… more info coming as we continue to make progress.
For now… Cheers!
We like this man a lot. He’s paddled the entire Chattahoochee in a kayak. He now manages a campground at the upper end of West Point Lake. He’s fought and won anti-pollution battles for the ‘Hooch throughout the years. But he’s also got some interesting ideas on extraterrestrial activity around his campground, and we were glad he shared what he could with us…
A self-described outlaw’s timeless secret for keeping out of harm’s way.
Our “Who Owns Water” film is nearly complete (April 2014), and we need one last push of funding to pay for map illustration/motion graphics and music licensing (Blitzen Trapper, Valerie June, Denver, Connor Moore, Heartscape Landbreak, etc). Our previous Kickstarter did not reach its goal so no money was raised. See our fresh new Kickstarter and pass it around. Thanks.