of the Water has kids talking about oilsands pollution
A documentary on children in Fort Chipewyan and their concerns
about oilsands pollution has made it onto a short list for an award
at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.
short documentary, called Keepers of the Water, features several
children aged nine to 12 talking about what they think the industry
is doing to their water supply and their health. The film is competing
with four others for fan votes to determine best emerging filmmaker.
Voting closes at the end of Wednesday.
of the children in the film, Robyn Courtoreille, 12, said Monday
she is happy the film is a finalist because it will help spread
the message of what her community is facing.
important to me and mostly my community because right now our water
is infected with oil."
Fort Chipewyan community has long expressed concerns about water
quality and contamination. That concern increased in February 2009
when the Alberta Cancer Board released a report that found higher
rates of blood and lymphatic cancers and soft-tissue cancers.
film came out of a competition run by the film festival's "talent
lab," which gave filmmakers a video camera, $500 and asked
them to create something original on the subject of water.
Liberona, who directed the four-minute Fort Chipewyan documentary,
said her research on water issues in Canada quickly led her to the
doing some further research on the oilsands, I realized the irony
there is they are using our freshwater resources for that extraction
process but then are also creating these mammoth-sized tailings
ponds that are leaking back into our groundwater."
a 35-year-old Torontonian, said she believed this was an emergency
situation and had to find a way to tell the story in a new way.
I was reading, it really got me right at my heart. I realized it
was our children who will really inherit all our mistakes we're
making now and will inherit our water, or what's left of it."
found a group of children in the community who had already decided
to protest against water pollution. "I really wanted to let
them speak and let their voice be heard because often we forget
that we're just borrowing this land from our children."
a daughter of Chilean political refugees, was in the community for
10 days in January.
of the issues Courtoreille thinks is important is the fact she isn't
allowed to eat fish from the area. "My mom and dad say it's
not safe right now. I don't really like it because I really love
hopes the film will inspire improvements.
Environment maintains there has been no increase in concentrations
of contaminants as oilsands development has progressed.
view the documentary she created with the children go to https://tiff.cment.net/step1.html#.
Voting also takes place at this site.
award for best emerging filmmaker will be presented at the film
festival in September.