Seattle Screening: The Mountaineers Club

Thursday, SEPTEMBER 25, 7pm

Seattle Program Center

7700 Sand Point Way NE

Seattle, WA 98115


Who Owns Water will be screening at Mountainfilm on Tour Seattle. An $18 ticket gets you into the multi-film three-hour show. Tickets can be found here.


Hey Mom, I can still write a letter!


I’m trying to get this letter and the model release it’s written on to this nice couple. They live in a hand-built wooden house that floats in an eddy of the Apalachicola River. John and Patricia are some of the nicest people I’ve met, having shared Busch beer and fried catfish with me on both Apalachicola River paddles (2009 and 2013). I’m sure they don’t mind being a part of our film, but for due-diligence we need to get their signature on a model release. Hopefully then Georgia Public Broadcasting will air the film later this year.

This retroactive release effort is not ideal and not recommended for future documentary projects. We could have just gotten them as we went. Oh well, who, other than famous people, fugitives, or politicians, doesn’t like getting a hand-written letter complete with self-addressed-stamp-envelope?

Just last week I got a call from a Georgia area code and the man on the line said he was calling to talk to one of the men who floated the river last year and made a movie about it. I told him that was me and my brother. He sounded surprised, saying he thought this was a big company or something that was doing the film. He wanted to know the status of the film and I told him it was complete. The nice man had seen Michael floating down the river near McIntosh Reserve, south of Atlanta. He’d asked Michael where he was going and what he was doing. Michael told him as he floated by. And that was it. The man said he’s been thinking about it ever since and wants to see the movie. He said he’d rather have a DVD copy than a download online.  So I sent him a hand-written letter, too, plus a DVD.


The Hooch on Huff

The Grand Dame of the Blogosphere showed us some love ::

Read the article here…

Big thanks to Jay Schoenberger, friend and creator of the inspiring book collection of wilderness writings, I AM COYOTE. Jay shared his column space with us for the Who Owns Water post.

Patagonia Atlanta: Screening Thursday, June 19th, 7:30pm

DVD on!

WOW_blog-post-DVDStamped, stacked, and ready to mail. First shipment goes to Kickstarter supporters – thanks for your patience! But we’ll have plenty left. For now, email us to purchase a copy ($10.99). We’ll have them available for online purchase soon.

Next screening : Patagonia Atlanta, June 19  7:30pm


Telluride post-script


Each May, documentary filmmakers and several thousand viewers arrive in Telluride, Colorado, the country’s most beautiful dead-end town. The Mountainfilm festival’s three-day program distracts the visitors from the sublime natural amphitheater of cliffs and the last snowfields resisting the spring sun. Mountainfilm brings an international buffet of documentary films and morning coffee talks with mountain luminaries such as Guns, Germs, and Steel author Jared Diamond, National Geographicphotographer Nevada Wier, and rock jock Alex Honnold. Each event feels like an intimate gathering among friends.

Memorial Day weekend marked my first visit to Mountainfilm. Or any film festival, for that matter. Who Owns Water, a film my brother Michael and I filmed and produced, was graciously accepted by the Telluride festival and supported by a 2013 Mountainfilm Commitment Grant. With print and photography backgrounds, we were a little wary of The Scene. I imagined a film line-up heavy on Cineflex drone footage of shirtless cliffhanger dudes. Or skiers shralping the gnar as rave music looped. I’m happy to report I was wrong.



To Telluride


Who Owns Water official premier next weekend at the 36th Annual Mountainfilm Telluride Film Festival. Michael and David are driving down for the action. Holler if you’ll be there…


Saturday : 3:30pm, Nugget Theater

Sunday : 12:15pm, Sheridan Opera House


Riverside Film Review #1

We hope to get a film review in The New York Times, of course, but I’m just as proud to hear the thoughts of riverside resident, Paul Holden. Paul is the man who found the Morpheus plaque while fishing below the Buford Dam.

David, so I finally got to sit down with a glass of bourbon and process the days events, and continue to plan our trip. I keep going back to your film in part because it spotlights my back yard and because I think you touched on something that has been sorely overlooked in recent years. I have been aware of the “water wars” for years and I cant remember anyone bringing to light the perspective of the people like us who interact with the river on a daily basis and who in my opinion have their collective fingers on the pulse of this river. Most of what people know or hear about our river is what is in the media and what the person with the biggest budget wants them to hear. I don’t know exactly where I stand on this issue and I live about a mile away from this river I don’t see how politicians and lobbyist who have probably never experienced and I mean really experienced it are able to keep the rivers best interest at heart.

Thanks again, Paul.

Morpheus Returns!


Dateline: Seattle, WA

phone rings
(South Carolina number)

Me: This is David.

Paul: Is this David Hanson of Who Owns Water?

Me: Yes

Paul: You don’t know me but last year I found something that I think you’re going to want.

Me: Ok…?

Paul lives near Lake Lanier. He was fishing one day below the Buford Dam and noticed a wood board with “Morpheus” written on it and yellow p-cord dragging behind. He picked it up and held onto it.

Fast forward to this morning. He and his son were scouting online for info about canoeing down the upper Hooch from Helen to Lake Lanier. They came across this photo and post from my first trip down the Hooch in 2009. Through the miracle of modern Internetting, they traced that post to the Who Owns Water film and to my phone number.

I asked Paul why he didn’t just throw it away, either at first or after all this time. Here’s what he wrote me ::

Cant really say, when I first pulled it out of the water and saw Morpheus on it I thought it was unusual and I like stuff like that. It has started many conversations for me and my two sons regarding where it came from who lost it and of course what it meant. A few months ago we were cleaning out our garage and my wife put it in the throw away pile and as I took it out I joked that she would anger the river gods if she threw it away. So circling back to your question, something just told me to hold onto it. This morning when I saw the picture and read the story I knew I had kept it for a good reason!

Paul has now downloaded and seen Who Owns Water. His email said he liked it:

Just finished the film! I thought it was awesome! I also feel very connected to rivers there is just something about them that I cant put my finger on or explain you just gotta get in the water!

Download for yourself. It’s now fully available online :: Find it here…

Film Up!


The complete Who Owns Water is locked and loaded. Contact us for details on screenings.

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

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