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University of Toledo Professor Holly Hey Receives National Public Broadcasting Distribution Contract of Documentary Film to air on WNED, Buffalo PBS

Posted Jul 25th, 2018 by Angela Riddel  Category: Community Interest, Education, General News, Health, Other, Toledo.com

 

Toledo, OH, July 18th, 2018 – The National Educational Telecommunications Association (“NETA”) has contracted with Professor Holly Hey, Head of the Film/Video program at the University of Toledo for exclusive public television distribution rights of Hey’s film “Crossing Water – Flint Michigan – 2017,” a documentary about the ongoing water crisis in Flint, MI. Hey worked with the non-profit service organization Crossing Water to highlight the continuing needs and challenges facing the residents of Flint and the social service volunteers who help them. The film will broadcast regionally for the first time on WNED Buffalo, NY on Saturday August 11 at 5 p.m. Katherine Larsen senior director of Radio/TV programming for WNED says Hey’s film is a, “great program on an ongoing issue. Clean water is vital to our communities, especially in the Great Lakes region.”

Flint, Michigan made national news in 2014 when the city’s emergency manager switched the source of the city’s water, plaguing residents with a host of immediate and toxic problems, including: deadly bacteria, outbreaks, and deaths from Legionnaires’ disease, and the widespread presence of lead in the city’s drinking water.

In the film, Hey highlights the work of Crossing Water, a nonprofit organization that brings together social workers and other volunteers to bring water, services, and access to resources to the hardest hit residents of Flint. Hey weaves together multiple stories of Crossing Water volunteers, staff, and Flint residents, creating a portrait of what it is like to live within an ongoing systemic disaster. Crossing Water Executive Director Michael Hood called the film “a sobering story of the Flint water crisis.”

Hey believes that all Americans should care about Flint because it’s a crisis that is indicative of the future for many US communities. According to CNN, over 5,300 municipalities around the country are in violation of lead rules. Hey says, “eventually systems will fail in any community, systems essential to human life like water and power. We can’t ignore that we are all vulnerable to such collapse, wherever we live in America.”

Short Description
A short documentary about a small, independent service organization assisting Flint, Michigan residents in combatting the city’s water crisis which began in 2014 when the municipal water supply was poisoned with lead.

Long Description
Flint, Michigan, USA, 2017. Three years after the city’s water supply was poisoned by lead and deadly bacteria, a local grandmother (Vanessa Terrell) with guardianship of her granddaughter, was told by city officials to remove the contamination, “boil the water.” Weeks after drinking and bathing in the lead-contaminated water, Vanessa and other Flint residents learn that boiling the water would make the lead levels significantly higher. Vanessa finds reliable crisis assistance from Crossing Water, a small independent social service organization helping Flint residents most in need to get clean water and other vital supplies. Vanessa soon becomes a valued member of the Crossing Water team, assisting her community and educating the social workers who assist her about the day to day realities of living in a poverty-stricken city with a poisoned municipal water system. As the social working volunteers deploy into the field as members of Crossing Water’s Rapid Response Teams, they witness first hand, the economic blight in Flint and the human suffering it has caused. In typical social work agencies, social workers are left alone to process the suffering they see, and ultimately assimilate it into their psyches. Crossing Water co-founders Michael Hood and Laurie Carpenter have created a different kind of social work agency that offers its social workers a collective space to unpack the experiences they absorb in the field so that they may continue on with their social work practice.

Holly Hey – Director and Co-Producer
Holly Hey currently heads the Film/Video program at the University of Toledo within the College of Arts and Letters and Department of Theatre and Film. Holly makes documentaries and experimental films that focus on social justice and the invisibility/visibility of marginalized peoples. Holly’s documentary, Rat Stories was distributed by the National Educational Telecommunications Association, and her experimental documentary, the dum dum capitol of the world received major funding from LEF New England Moving Image Fund. Professor Hey received an MFA in filmmaking from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993 and a BFA in photography from Ohio University in 1990. She currently lives in Luckey, Ohio with her wife and son.

Lee Fearnside – Co-Producer
Lee Fearnside is an artist, photographer and film producer. She earned an MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design, an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University, and a BA from Smith College. Her photographic work has been exhibited in galleries in New England, the Midwest and in national juried shows. Her videos have been screened at film festivals in Boston, Oregon, Toronto, Chicago, and San Francisco, and films she produced have screened at the Queens World Film Festival, Big Muddy Film Festival, Canada International Film Festival, Mirror Mountain Film Festival and Food and Farm Film Festival, among others.

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Angela Riddel - The University of Toledo

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