A "work in progress" feature documentary
"... the filmmakers capture this spectacularly unique moment in history from a multitude of perspectives, force us out of our respective echo-chambers, and give us a better and more empathetic understanding of the world around us."
Mira Simon - Center for Independent Documentary
Inspired by one of the most turbulent periods in the recent history of the United States, the “Something in the Water” documentary project was created in the spirit of keeping democracy alive by capturing the nuances, perspectives, and experiences of Americans from all across the country.
It's the story of America set against the backdrop of a contentious 2020 Presidential election and in the midst of a global pandemic. Between October 2020 and April 2021, our project team traveled more than 16,500 miles, in three legs and interviewed 195 people in 30 states over 50 days.
When completed, this documentary will present an unbiased historical portrayal of a country struggling to understand and rationalize the ideologies that divide its people. And yet, despite the obstacles that confront it, the promise of the ‘American Dream’ is still alive and prospering, offering hope to heal the wounds of a fractured nation.
The "Something in the Water" documentary is the third collaboration between filmmakers Jeri Wachter and Joseph C. Stillman.
If you'd like to get involved, please contact email@example.com.
Joseph C. Stillman (Producer/Director) is an award-winning filmmaker, focused on human rights and social justice issues. He has spent forty-six years producing, directing, shooting, writing, and editing motion pictures and documentary films during the course of his career. His recent works include the internationally acclaimed feature documentary, "Citizen Clark... A Life of Principle," the story of former U.S. Attorney General and Human Rights activist, Ramsey Clark and "From Mills River to Babylon and Back... The Jimmy Massey Story." As an Emmy winning, Oscar nominated and Best Documentary Film Producer/Director, Stillman's projects have been seen around the globe.
Jeri Wachter (Producer) is a producer, consultant and public speaker utilizing research, communications and advocacy to educate, engage and drive positive social change. Other “works in progress” include "Rural Matters; Poverty in the Other America" a documentary addressing the impact of social and economic inequities in three counties in Upstate New York. She's a cofounder of the Workplace Equity Project, a worldwide initiative to map workplace experiences and practices, to advance equity in scholarly publishing. Previously, she cofounded William Andrew Publishing, a publisher of leading scientific works in fields such as energy, ecology and nanotechnology for twenty years.
"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced”
We are also pleased that our project was awarded a matching grant challenge by a major anonymous donor to help raise $50,000 toward the making of our film. Thanks to the generosity of those who have accepted the challenge, we are $30,000 toward our total. By making a tax-deductible donation to our fiscal sponsor, donors can double the value of their contribution. No amount is too small, and we’d appreciate you sharing the news with others who you think would be interested in our work. THE TIME IS NOW! Help raise the remaining $10,000 toward our matching grant goal. DONATE NOW to the Center for Independent Documentary.
Our documentary chronicles a critical time in America's history between October 2020 and April 2021. It raises important political and social issues that promote a better informed citizenry and tells the story about the state of our nation from many spectrums of ideological thinking, ages, and backgrounds. This much needed film is on point about topics that impact the health of our country, the preservation of our democracy, and fosters dialogue around deeply complex social issues that impact all Americans.
Thanks to everyone who has shown their support. We are honored to have your trust in the power of our work to raise voices and inspire positive social change.
Jeri Wachter and Joseph C. Stillman,
Producers, "Something in the Water" documentary
THE TIME IS NOW! Help raise the remaining $10,000 toward our matching grant goal. DONATE NOW to the Center for Independent Documentary.
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Amid a contentious election, a pandemic, and an economic downturn, Americans across our land have many concerns. From economic challenges, to political polarization, racial inequities, to healthcare hurdles, across ages, people are angry, hopeful, sad, feel betrayed, are depressed, optimistic, concerned, hurting, feel despair, and all of the above. Depending of course on what their individual and family situations and connection to history are, their viewpoints represent tremendous diversity, which is as we found, the great American experience. When we began this project, we had hoped to connect people by capturing this moment in our country’s history. While we had no pre-conceived ideas as to what people would say, we soon discovered, people were more than generous in expressing their thoughts on many subjects.
These sentiments mirrored the shared experiences that citizens, regardless of where they live, are feeling all across our land. As filmmakers, we were constantly surprised at their insight which was so thoughtful and deeply moving to us. The people we spoke to, the subjects they talked about, and the stories they relayed to us, reaffirmed what we had suspected before we began this project.
Join other organizations dedicated to finding common ground in America and double your contribution when you sponsor "Something in the Water". Thank you.
Joseph and Jeri in Las Cruces, New Mexico in March 2021.
Thank you everyone who helped to make production possible along our journey across America. We are truly humbled to have your trust in the power and importance of our project.
SPECIAL THANKS TO!
The Major’s Inn, Gilbertsville, NY; The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC;
Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), New Orleans, LA; Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Okmulgee, Oklahoma;
Bark Productions, Kansas City, MO; East Rock Creek Village, Washington, DC; Hire Art, New York, NY;
Braver Angels, USA; Chagrin Documentary Film Fest, Chagrin Falls, OH; The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL; Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN; Northland Country Club, Duluth, MN; UU Church of Fargo Moorhead, Fargo, ND; Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa, Belcourt, ND;
The Roman Theatre, Red Lodge, MT; St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Salt Lake City, UT; John Scott Real Estate, Des Moines, WA; Answer Coalition, San Francisco, CA; East Bay Media Center, Berkley, CA; Kingston 11 Cuisine, Oakland, CA; First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; J Feldman Studio, Albuquerque, NM; El Paso Community Foundation, El Paso, TX;
University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR.
Gaila Reyna-Arguell, Bob Babcock, Reginald Bullock Jr., Elizabeth & Brian Burns, April Chatham-Carpenter, Tamara Childs, Ruel Cowles, Wanda Davis, Paul Driftmier, Leigh Eckmair, Maria Farrington, Phil Farrington, JoAnn & Lee Fisher, John Feldman, Christopher Forbes, Ben & Diana Friedell, Bev Gibbons, John Gill, Terry Gomez, Patricia Griffith, Mimi Grolund, Darrell Gunter, Roberta Griffith, Cathy Hamilton, Christine Heller, Tony Hettler, Bev Hoffman, Nigel Jones, Kelly Kimball, Gloria LaRiva, Ron Lee, Kim Martinson, Peter Matthes, Robert Moreno, Diane Moseley, Shelley Moskowitz, Jim Mullowney, Kelly Noack, Eliza Oprea, Chris Peters, Richard Pineda, Adan Plascencia, Mary Ann Ponce, Andy Puritz, Ilene Resnick, Robert Rosellini, CeCe Rowe, Jordy Sargent, Betsy Scanlin, Mark Schotte, Ellie Stromberg, Joan Tubridy, Mel Vapour, Lois Alba Wachter, Beth Weinstein, Brenda Williams, Teresa Winchester, and Joe Whitworth.
We would not have gotten this far without you!
We had the pleasure to speak with Darrell Gunter in December 2020 about “Something in the Water" on his radio show Leadership with Darrell W Gunter on Seton Hall University's WSOU 89.5 FM / wsou.net and iTunes Podcast.
Update: Since this interview, we have spoken with 195 people in thirty states in 50 days and completed principal photography between October 2020-April 2021.
Do you have questions or comments about our documentary? Help support this project by getting involved.
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