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UC Community Celebrates World Water Day, March 22


The UC-created documentary, 'Intimate Realities of Water,' highlights global water challenges. The work will be screened March 22 at the Esquire Theatre.

Date: 3/19/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Elissa Yancey
Phone: (513) 307-5944
Photos By: Provided

UC ingot  
For 24 years, leaders and activists around the globe have designated March 22 as World Water Day, a day to consider the importance of access to safe water supplies and reflect on ways to provide that access to the more than 660 million people who currently live without it.

Across the University of Cincinnati – from the College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Medicine – more than 100 researchers study global and local water challenges from scientific, technological and humanistic angles. Much, but not all, of their work takes place in labs and in field studies around the world. 

One high-profile exception is an award-winning documentary created by UC faculty that provides insights into global water challenges. “The Intimate Realities of Water” will be screened at the Esquire Theatre this World Water Day thanks to the sponsorship of the University of Cincinnati’s Office of Research and the support of the university’s cross-college Digital Media Collaborative.

“Water remains a critical issue of focus for researchers from all areas of our university, from the opening of the Great Miami Groundwater Observatory earlier this month to this important and critically acclaimed film,” said Pat Limbach, vice president of research for the University of Cincinnati and interim CEO of UC Research Institute. “While much research has been conducted in the sciences and engineering fields, this film exemplifies the impact and value of humanities and arts-based research, which has been a key component of UC’s Third Century initiatives. We’re proud of the work our colleagues did to create this testimony of the grave challenges faced by those without access to clean water, and happy to invite our larger community to learn more through their work.”

Adrian Parr, professor of environmental politics, political philosophy and cultural criticism, produced, co-directed and wrote the film, which explores the people who live in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. The director of the Taft Research Center, Parr also serves as co-chair of water access and sustainability for UNESCO. Journalism faculty Sean Hughes co-directed and edited the film, for which he also served as cinematographer, while the Department of Journalism’s Jon Hughes served as director of photography. The pair traveled with Parr to work on the film.

“This film takes viewers into a world in which clean water is a luxury,” Parr said. “It illuminates the challenges the majority of the world’s population faces simply to survive in a world where political leaders overlook and at times flat-out ignore them and their stories remain hidden to the outside world.”
Intimate Realities of Water
A poster with details of the World Water Day screening.

Since its premiere in 2016, “The Intimate Realities of Water” has been screened around the world and brought home more than a dozen prizes for its team of creators, including:

Best Picture, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, 2016
Best Female Filmmaker, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, 2016
Best First-Time Filmmaker, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, 2016
Best Documentary Director, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, 2016
Best Cultural Feature, Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, 2016
Best Writer, First-Time Filmmaker and Narration, Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, 2016
Best Documentary, United Independent Film Festival, 2016
Best Documentary, Finalist, Paris Art and Movie Awards, 2016
Directors Award, North Carolina Film Festival, 2016
Award of Merit for Female Filmmaker and Honorable Mention for Humanitarian Film, IndieFEST Film Awards, 2016

Tickets are available now and at the door for “The Intimate Realities of Water” at the Esquire Theatre in Clifton on Wed., March 22, at 7 p.m. The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with the filmmakers Parr, Hughes and Hughes.