Our Blue World Premiers on Earth Day with Support from WEF

Liam Neeson narrates movie exploring the water wisdom of our ancestors
By Brave Blue World, Technology and Innovation, Wastewater News

A powerful new film exploring humanity’s profound relationship with water launches on Earth Day, 22 April 2024 in New York City. Produced by the team that brought the award-winning documentary, Brave Blue World to audiences globally, Our Blue World reveals how human agency, ingenuity and community spirit can help rebalance the planet’s water systems.

Actor Liam Neeson voices the narration for Our Blue World, and the stories are told from the perspective of people who have had transformational journeys around water. The movie also looks back to engineering marvels that sustained civilizations for thousands of years, and explores the many ways modern countries are managing water and what they can learn from their ancestors.

Speaking ahead of the film’s release, Neeson said, “It’s incredible, they had it all figured out, we are just rediscovering the water wisdom of our ancestors.”

Paul O’Callaghan, executive producer of Our Blue World explains, “Our Earth is in trouble, and water is the vehicle through which the effects of climate change will be felt. Extreme droughts, floods, fires, loss of biodiversity, pollution and global warming are on the increase.

Our Blue World will show that through a small shift in consciousness and practice we can bring enormous positive change and rebalance and regenerate life on earth. The greatest challenge we face in solving the global water crisis is getting people to value water.”

Personal Connection

Our Blue World, which is directed by celebrated Irish filmmaker, Ruán Magan, starts with the fundamental idea that – as humans – we already treasure water in many ways. O’Callaghan says the idea for Our Blue World came about while thinking of ways to connect people with the value of water at a very personal level.

“The film stretches out that canvas to include society, culture, mythology, and spirituality. By telling stories that are emotional, relatable, and universal, our goal is to guide viewers to feel a deep personal and cultural identification with water,” he says.

“We were delighted and honoured when we received the message that Bono had suggested Your Blue Room for the film. It is one of his all-time favourite U2 songs and a beautiful meditation. The symbolism of Your Blue Room as a metaphor for the planet, Our Blue World, a small intimate place where we all live, influenced the film in many ways, including the choice of the opening David Bowie song which mirrors this image.” adds Paul O’Callaghan.

Filming  began in the Andean mountains of Peru with the amunas – a system of ancient, pre-Incan water canals and retention technology. Built by the Wari people, the amunas are being rediscovered and restored today to help bring water into the megacity of Lima.

The story – connecting ancient wisdom and indigenous knowledge with the need for water today – is told by Don Gregorio Rios, a local community advocate and member of the Amunas Brigade. It centers around a colorful festival where people come together to dance, sing and bless and celebrate water, a precious resource in their community.

Reimagining Landscapes

The journey continues around the world – to China, where ‘sponge cities’ are mitigating flooding, by transforming cities from grey to green and reimaging the urban landscape. Then to Burundi in East Africa, where hundreds of solar-powered pumps are bringing clean groundwater to over 2.5 million people.

Looking to the future, the filmmakers say, climate change will mainly be felt through extremes of water: too much and too little. The movie asks how we will adapt to a changing water environment, including innovation in products, appliances and techniques that make a resilient, low-carbon water future possible.

“Our ancestors lived in harmony with water,” says O’Callaghan. “They knew that water always wins. Our Blue World will demonstrate how relearning the wisdom of our ancestors, and fusing it with modern science and technology, we can transform this world for the better.”

Production of Our Blue World has been led by the Brave Blue World Foundation and Brave Blue World Studios, with the support from partners the Water Environment Federation (WEF), Backus, brewer Cusqueña, Procter & Gamble, investment specialist Sciens Water, Grundfos and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Impact partners are the non-profit water.org, start-up accelerator ImagineH2O, beverage company AB InBev and Yokogawa.

Supported by WEF

“The 31,000 members of WEF are committed to the stewardship of water, our most precious resource. Building the water workforce and advancing the circular economy for water are our top priorities. We’re proud of our long-standing partnership with Brave Blue World Studios and believe that this film will inspire the next generation of water workers to develop innovative new solutions to protect water resources,” said John Ikeda, Chief Mission Officer of the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

“We are thankful for the opportunity to contribute to this film and to advocate alongside its producers and fellow contributors for the importance of global access to safe water, one of life’s most essential resources,” said Gary White, CEO and co-founder of Water.org and WaterEquity.

Scott Bryan, president of Imagine H2O, said, “As rivers and cultures intertwine, a message of hope emerges: this film unveils the wisdom and possibilities we need to manage water in a changing climate.”

Grundfos Group Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ulrik Gernow said, “As a leading global pump and water solutions company, we are excited to embark on this journey with Brave Blue World Studios. This partnership reaffirms our dedication to addressing the world’s water challenges and to mobilize a movement for a more sustainable and water-secure future for generations to come.

As a society, we need to recognize that water holds incredible value for the future of our world but our relationship with water is out of balance and we aim to inspire change to take good care of this precious resource.”

Virginie Helias, Chief Sustainability Officer at P&G said, “Water is essential for making and using our products, used by 5 billion worldwide. Our brands are developing innovations that empower people to save water at home while using our products without compromising on performance. Through partnerships like the 50L Home Coalition, we are also leveraging our expertise and consumer insights to create system transformative solutions to water challenges.”

Alexander Loucopoulos, Partner at Sciens Water said, ”As one of the leading investors in water infrastructure, Sciens Water is incredibly proud to be a partner in the making of this groundbreaking documentary. Alongside the Brave Blue World Foundation and all the other movie partners, Sciens Water seeks to raise awareness about global water issues and inspire action towards the multidisciplinary solutions that are ahead of us worldwide.”

WWF Global’s Freshwater Lead, Stuart Orr, said, “Our Blue World is a spectacularly beautiful reminder that water is at the heart of life on Earth and that rivers are our planet’s arteries. It showcases ancient and modern solutions to our worsening water crisis, inspiring us to scale up our efforts and, particularly, to invest in protecting and restoring healthy rivers, which are central to water and food security, tackling climate and nature crises, and driving sustainable development.”

Andre Fourie, Global Vice President of Sustainability at AB InBev says, “As brewers, we understand the precious value of water and the importance of water in shaping local economies and cultures. This documentary highlights the challenges many communities face today tackling issues of water scarcity, but it also showcases some of the solutions and the innovations that are making positive impact.

“Collaboration is at the heart of water stewardship, and we believe there are many lessons to take from the partnerships and people caring for the amunas. The amunas may be ancient, but their story is more relevant than ever.”

Steve Hayden, Industry Director at Yokogawa said: “We are honoured to be partnering with Brave Blue World Studios who are taking positive actions to draw the public’s attention to not only the challenges we face in providing safe water but also presenting creative solutions to these problems. This aligns with our company and employee ethos. Co-innovation allows us to come together and reimagine the future for our collective well-being.”

Movie Premiers

Following a premiere in New York City, Brave Blue World Studios will be running a series of premieres around the world, including at Oz Water in Melbourne, Australia; BlueTech Forum in Edinburgh, Scotland; EU Green Week in Brussels, Belgium; WEFTEC 2024 in New Orleans, USA, and Singapore International Water Week.

Schedule a Screening in California

To host a private screening of the film prior to global launch, via on-demand streaming, or learn more about our global education campaign please contact [email protected]