Carbon for Water

At dawn, nine-year-old Anzelma walks for miles in search of firewood, a valuable commodity, used to boil water to make it safe. One program is attempting to change this by providing 900,000 water filters to the people of Kenya’s Western Province, for free. If successful, it will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 2 million tons per year for a decade or more. It just requires changing the habits of 4.5 million people first.

180x135_carbon_for_waterAt dawn, nine-year-old Anzelma walks for miles in search of firewood. Many in her village have died from drinking dirty water, and firewood is a valuable commodity, used to boil water to make it safe. Anzelma’s small body bends under the heavy loads of wood balanced on her head, but she won’t stop. She knows her long journeys into the forest are crucial for her family’s survival.

Unsafe water claims more lives than war. In Kenya, water insecurity is a life-threatening reality, and the population is expected to leap from 40 million to 60 million in the next twenty years. Most of the country still depends on wood and charcoal for household energy, and forest cover is dwindling. At the same time, the climate is changing: rainfall is decreasing, river levels are low and water contamination is on the rise. In the fierce competition for shrinking resources, the most vulnerable are women and girls, who are responsible for finding water and fuel for their families.

One company is attempting to change this by providing 900,000 water filters to the people of Kenya’s Western Province, for free. This is the largest household water treatment program in the developing world, and it’s being financed with carbon credits earned through the reduction in use of firewood. If successful, it will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 2 million tons per year for a decade or more. But it requires changing the habits of 4.5 million people first.

CREDITS
Directed and Produced by: Evan Abramson and Carmen Elsa Lopez
Cinematography by: Evan Abramson
Written and Edited by: Evan Abramson and Carmen Elsa Lopez
Aerial footage courtesy of: HOME a movie by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Sound Mix: Alex Noyes
Assistant Editor: Leigh Anne Sides
Animation and Motion Graphics: Pixeldust Studios

Cast:
Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen
Alison Hill
Tom Morton
Anzelma Busieka
Sharon Osimbo
Bishop Titus Khamala
Dr. Richard Samson Odingo
Dr. Julius Kipng’etich
Patrick Wananda
Violet Nafula Wananda
Violet Emasinde
Evan Thomas
Dr. Shahnaaz Shariff

ABOUT THE PRODUCERS
Evan Abramson and Carmen Elsa Lopez are filmmakers, photographers and parents based in rural Northwest Connecticut. Together they write, direct, shoot, edit and produce. In 2010 they formed Cows in the Field, a production house focused on telling the stories of people whose lives are impacted by social and environmental crises around the globe — and on finding solutions.

Evan’s 2010 documentary When the Water Ends won the ‘Golden Drop’ First Prize at the International Water and Film Events at the 2012 World Water Forum, Best Short Film at the 2011 Tutti Nello Stesso Piatto Film Festival and was also nominated for a Webby, a World Press Photo Multimedia Award and an Online Journalism Award.

“Film and photography are tools that I use to express the ideals that I value, and to measure the distance between those ideals and the reality of the world that we inhabit,” says Evan. “The distance is enormous, and ever expanding: and so, this storytelling is a tireless task.”

“My desire as a storyteller is to express the complex human relationships formed by our experiences as we struggle to survive in this absurd world,” says Carmen. “Through the characters in my films I explore the dark habits that follow us from childhood and the passions and insecurities we adopt as adults.”

Prior to filmmaking, Carmen worked in journalism, marketing and as an aid worker in post-earthquake Haiti. She studied film at NYU and the School of Visual Arts and holds a B.A. in political science from The Catholic University and a certificate in international studies from Johns Hopkins University.

A self-taught filmmaker, Evan previously worked as a photojournalist, and his images have been published widely, including in The Atlantic, National Geographic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Guardian Weekend Magazine, FT Weekend, The Sunday Times and Courier Japan.

FILMMAKER CONTACT
http://carbonforwaterfilm.com
http://facebook.com/carbonforwaterfilm

AWARDS
Premiered at the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival in Toronto, winning Best International Short Film.

It has gone on to win over twenty other awards, including:
Best Environmental Short Film at the 2012 Indie Spirit Film Festival;
The Sir Edmund Hillary Award for Environmental Film at the 2012 Mountain Film Awards;
Best Short Documentary at the 2011 California International Shorts Fest;
Best in Festival Documentary, Audience Choice Award and Social Entrepreneurship Outstanding Merit Award at the 2012 The MIX International Film Festival;
Best Environmental Sustainability Film at the 2012 Reel Earth Film Festival;
The EarthVision Environmental Short Award at the 2012 Santa Cruz Film Festival;
Development and Climate Days Film Festival at COP-17: Highly Commended.

PURCHASE FILM
carmenelsalopez@gmail.com

Find Out More:
http://carbonforwater.com
How Carbon for Water Works
Enhancing Access to Clean Water

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