Watermark is a sweeping and often piercing look at humanity’s relationship with water.
The film brings together stories from around the world about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use. It is also the second collaboration between Burtynsky and multiple-award winning filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal after Manufactured Landscapes in 2006.
Burtynsky, a native of Niagara who donated a $617,000 photo collection to Brock in 2012, will take part in a Q&A about Watermark after a screening of the film on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Landmark Cinema, Pen Centre.
His visit will mark his return to BUFS for the first time since the 2006-07 season, when he brought Manufactured Landscapes to St. Catharines.
“One of our goals with BUFS is to feature works that engage with other initiatives taking place around Brock and in the community,” says Scott Henderson, associate professor and chair of Brock’s Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film.
“And Burtynsky is a good example of this because he’s a practising artist from Niagara dealing with environmental concerns and making interesting documentaries about it,” he says. “For him to come and introduce his film and take part in a question-answer after the screening, that’s just an added bonus for our audience.”
Watermark premiered to great acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2013. In January 2014, the Toronto Film Critics’ Association named it the Best Canadian Feature of the year. Burtynsky and his collaborator Baichwal won the same $100,000 prize in 2006 for Manufactured Landscapes.
Burtynsky’s visit is facilitated by Film Circuit, a division of TIFF, which provides support to 180 film groups across Canada, including BUFS and groups in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake.
BUFS is an ongoing project of Brock’s Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film, bringing the best in international, independent and Canadian cinema to Niagara for nearly 40 years.
BUFS screenings are open to the public. Tickets to Watermark are $10 each and go on sale at the BUFS ticket table in the theatre lobby of Landmark Cinema at 6 p.m. on Feb. 26.
The BUFS winter season runs every Wednesday until April 2 (except March 12).