Swarovski's 'Waterschool' Documentary Premieres in L.A.

Waterschool - publicity - H 2018
Le Studio Photography

The UCLA School of Theater Film and Television teamed with the Swarovski Group to produce a film that showcased the work of the Swarovski Waterschool, a foundation dedicated to educating children all over the world about the importance of clean water.

At a panel discussion Tuesday, UCLA TFT Dean Teri Schwartz told the audience why Waterschool marked a major milestone for the storied film school.

“This is the first feature film and feature documentary that our UCLA TFT has made in the history of our school ... It’s all about the power of education and specifically water education, to empower young people and to transform their lives, the lives of their families and their communities," Schwartz said.

To make the film, Lucy Walker, who served as a Distinguished Mentor on the project, worked with a team of seven UCLA TFT graduate filmmaking students and they traveled the world, visiting five different continents to document the stories of young girls who were working to improve their communities by participating in the Waterschool.

Walker couldn’t be more effusive in praising the young filmmakers, who admitted to difficulties they faced producing their first film outside of a controlled classroom environment.

“So I’m just sitting here glowing with pride and excitement for you all,” Walker told the filmmakers. “Because I don’t even know if you realize how, in talking to a couple of you, I was like 'no, no you don’t understand.' This is an incredible credit to go out into the world with and an incredible learning experience.”

The five girls profiled in the film all lived alongside major rivers, such as the Nile, the Amazon and the Mississippi, and the filmmakers follow them as they try to educate themselves and the people around them about the importance of protecting clean water sources.

The music was created by the award-winning composer Alex Wurman, who spoke about his inspiration for creating the film’s score.

“The next thing I noticed was these amazing girls who were so bright and they’re game. So I felt a very positive thing, although the movie terrifies me. I felt like my role was to connect us continually to the presence of the water and our relationship to it and to enable these girls as much as possible to do what they’re doing."

The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and has also been screened at the Davos World Economic Forum.