A documentary, which premieres November 30, takes viewers on a popular organization’s 40-year campaign to protect the waters and people of central and eastern North Carolina.
“A Sound River” follows the history and activism of Sound Rivers, a non-profit organization that works to protect the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse river basins. The film documents the group’s beginnings around kitchen tables to court battles against industrial polluters, as told by its founders and partners and the Riverkeepers guarding the waterways that cover nearly a quarter of North Carolina.
“The organization has grown and evolved since its inception, but seeing and listening to some of the stories of the people who have been there from the start, it is clear that some things remain constant: there will always be industries and facilities and regulations and threatening interests. our waterways, but there will also always be those who care deeply about the river and their community, ready to take on these challenges, ”said Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell.
The tranquil rivers of eastern North Carolina and dramatic footage of extreme weather events triggered by climate change serve as the backdrop for a film that illustrates the high stakes of inaction while offering hope for the future, said filmmaker Rain Bennett.
“I hope to inspire action, especially from Millennials and Generation Z. I am reaching out to the hearts of the young people of North Carolina to take on the fight that Sound Rivers started ago. four decades, ”Bennett said.
“When Sound Rivers brought me on this project, I honestly had no idea how much work they had done over the past 40 years. In my preliminary research, I became so aware of the challenges they face – and we all face – and the importance of their mission.
The mission to protect the waters of eastern North Carolina began in 1980 with the establishment of the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation and the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation in 1981, two of the state’s oldest conservation organizations.
United by similar issues affecting their waterways, the two merged to become Sound Rivers in 2015. The merged group is based in Raleigh, New Bern and Washington, NC
Storytellers from both agencies have been recruited to recreate the past, while experts in climate change and environmental justice provide the science behind global problems reduced to the local scale.
“Sometimes the problems that threaten our waterways can seem overwhelming – hurricanes, climate change, deep-pocketed industrial polluters, flawed regulatory system,” Howell said.
“But I hope that seeing the work that has been done over the past 40 years, people will come away knowing it makes a difference when people come together to protect their communities and their waterways, and are inspired to act. “
For Bennett, a Washington native, the opportunity to work with Sound Rivers on the film resonates personally.
“Creating this documentary means I can do what I love, help protect a place I love and stand up for the people I love,” Bennett said.