Phew! Hit the ground running a week ago, to finalise all the film footage from two weeks in Bangalore, India. Five all-nighters, and we have finished all the footage…
The event? Representing our film FIRE WATER: Australia’s Industrial Fluoridation Disgrace at the 6th International Voices from the Waters film festival – yes, a whole festival dedicated to fresh water around the planet.
Both Daniel Zalec (Researcher/Writer) and myself, Jaya Chela Drolma (Producer/Director) were very blessed to attend this very important film festival, due to the generosity and support of over 40 fiscal angels from the Australian and International community. A sincere and heartfelt, ‘Thank you’ to all our donors for getting us over the line, and into India.
After a somewhat stressful and challenging journey to arrive in Bangalore on time (I nearly didn’t get out of the country, due to a slight error in the booking of my ticket – best just know I’m very grateful to an important person within the ranks of Virgin airlines who pulled some swift strings at Sydney airport – eleventh hour, fifty-ninth minute, fifty-ninth second type stuff whilst the plane was held on the tarmac !), we arrived to balmy monsoon weather and a very warm welcome from our film festival hosts.
The event was beautifully organised from start to finish.
The festivities were a feast of Indian hospitality. Just wonderful! We hope you ENJOY the following Youtube of the cultural festivities!
The festival director, Mr George Kutty, had really put in quality time and effort, to source brilliant films of intelligence, diversity and varied length from around the world. George’s knowledge of the issues surrounding current trends, patterns and ‘agendas’ was enormous and astute. Thank you George, for all your hard research, warmly shared insights and kindly humanity throughout the festival.
What was astonishing for both Daniel and myself, was seeing so many films revealing the same patterns of corruption by water authorities/boards. Yes, the planet’s most precious and vital resource – drinking water – is being systematically hijacked by greedy privatisation corporations. The same tactics, worldwide, are used to hoodwink the people out of their birthright – clean, safe water ie. without chemical poisons or pathogens, in plentiful supply.
But, when people-power is harnessed and focussed correctly, unity and strength achieve often impossible hurdles towards great success.
Anyhow, here is a list of my most favourite of the many films shown (hyperlinked – please click each link for individual synopsis & further details):
And the River flows on (watch how a slimy bunch of bureacrats take over a kindly humble Mexican town to build an unwanted dam – grrrrrr! Hey, but not without a fight from the locals! YAY!)
Water How Much! (not online)
Between the Crab and the Sea (not online)
Warriors of Qiugang (EVERY Australian should see this one ie. how one Chinese town took on the crooks and WON !)
One Water (one of my personal favourites – six years in the making – brilliant indeed)
The Well: Water Voices from Ethiopia (my favourite of the festival – utterly amazing).
Fire Water: Australia’s Industrial Fluoridation Disgrace (our own film was well received, and closed the festival!)
The water conference on the 29th August, 2011 was interesting indeed. With five professionals speaking on a range of subjects regarding Indian groundwater, I have typed up my GROUNDWATER CONFERENCE NOTES that I noted as best I was able to, given accents and language constraints – I hope you find them interesting; and added the footage for the Cultural Festivities (that includes some of the speakers from said conference) .
After these wonderful efforts, it was time for the Australian offering. But, unfortunately, Daniel had succumbed to a bout of Indian ‘belly’ sickness the previous night, and with a high fever, he was confined to his room. He was meant to give his speech, but was bitterly disappointed that this opportunity was out of his reach. So, it was up to me to tackle this task.
Here is the TEXT VERSION; and the YOUTUBE of Daniel’s speech, Smoke, Mirrors and Journalism: Making Fluoridation ʻUnʼ-Newsworthy and the significance of Fire Water that I gave that afternoon.
This event has touched my heart deeply. I will never be the same person again, after seeing the world interacting, fighting, poisoning, polluting, ignoring, taking for granted, or, waging wars, over water. Our birthright is, and always should be, safe, clean, water. Without which, no life can exist.
Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible. Truly, a memorable event. As an aside, Daniel and myself did take a few days break after all the stress – of preparing for this trip (with the enormous, relentless workload we have had the past eighteen months); the travel itself; the festival and conference; then being sick. We took a week of time to rest, and went to Goa. I can recommend two well serviced and very beautiful places to stay: The Alcove (a cruisey, party-styled, laid-back, fun kind of place on the beach to chill out at); and, the exquisite Marbella (a Portugese styled guesthouse) that we utterly adored. A very special mention must be made to our cherished friends at DrumJam, for their kind assistance with lending their driver to get us on the train in Bangalore, to Goa (thank you Vasundhara Das and Roberto) – at four in the morning, finding the right platform in the monsoon rains, is rather daunting!
And now, finally, I can give you the PLAYLIST TO ALL BANGALORE FILM CONTENT (Daniel’s speech is near the top; then, scroll to bottom of playlist for more Bangalore content).
Dear Reader, you are welcome to share this posting widely, to all those you may know, who are concerned with fresh water issues worldwide. The Voices from the Waters International Film Festival, is a TRAVELLING film festival. Therefore, please contact Festival Director, George Kutty at if you would like to host the event in your country/town.
And, you are welcome to watch our film
FIRE WATER: Australia’s Industrial Fluoridation Disgrace.
Then share the OFFICIAL WEBSITE link with your loved ones, family, friends and collegues.
Knowledge is Power.
Above all, look after the Waters of the World.
Warmest regards, Jaya.