"Water for Mulobere" wins national documentary award, chosen for screening at California festival

Institute on the Environment–produced film documents efforts of University of Minnesota students to bring clean water to an African village

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Mary Hoff, Institute on the Environment, maryhoff@umn.edu, (612) 626-2670
Todd Reubold, Institute on the Environment, reub0002@umn.edu, (612) 624-6140
Jeff Falk, University News Service, jfalk@umn.edu, (612) 626-1720

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (04/20/2011) —Surrounded by sweaty engineering students and clamoring school children, enduring unrelenting sun, videographer Beth Anderson kept her camera on her shoulder and her eyes on the vision of improving lives as she filmed a University of Minnesota’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) team installing a safe drinking water supply in Mulobere, Uganda, during the summer of 2009.

Her reward: knowing that her work would help the EWB team share the story with others, inspiring them to use their knowledge and talents to make a difference too.

This spring, Anderson received two more rewards for her work: The documentary she produced, “Water for Mulobere,” was selected as the 2011 Engineers Without Borders-USA Film Contest Best in Show award winner in March, and in April chosen for screening at the Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Watch the full "Water for Mulobere" documentary (36:40 mins) on the IonE's YouTube page.

“Beth’s ability to capture the story of an EWB-USA travel team working together with a community is extraordinary,” said Cathy Leslie, executive director of EWB-USA.  “She has told a story that allows us to learn from the community, from the things that are challenges and helps us come to the conclusion that there are obstacles in every project that must be overcome, and with teamwork, they can.”

“Water for Mulobere” depicts the activities of a team of University of Minnesota engineering and public health students who designed, built and installed a solar-powered water supply system for a secondary and vocational school and its surrounding community in Mulobere.

“Access to safe drinking water is a life-and-death matter for many African communities,” Anderson said. "In the case of this particular community in Uganda, if a student has to spend hours each day collecting water or becomes sick after drinking unsafe water, the result is less time spent in school. I hope that by seeing the documentary, people will realize what a problem the lack of safe drinking water is around the world.”

As an Awareness Film Festival top pick, “Water for Mulobere” will be screened Friday, May 6, in Los Angeles in a shorts program that starts at 3 p.m. As Best in Show winner for EWB-USA, it will be one of 10 films to be featured in the soon to be announced EWB-USA Film Festival which will travel around the country starting in late 2011.

YouTube Watch the Water for Mulobere trailer (1:22 min) on the IonE's YouTube page.