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Waterlife is a 2009 documentary film and web documentary about the state of the Great Lakes.


Kevin McMahon began filming Waterlife in 2007. The film explores the beauty of the Great Lakes as well as their degradation due to water pollution.[1] The film looks at the water system from its headwaters in Lake Superior to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, accompanied by Josephine Mandamin, an Anishinabe elder from Thunder Bay, who walks along the Great Lakes each spring to protest deteriorating conditions.[2]

Waterlife is co-produced by Primitive Entertainment and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).[3] The film received the Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature at the 2009 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.[4] The United Kingdom distributor is Dogwoof Pictures.[5]

Web documentary[edit]

The interactive version of Waterlife was created by Toronto-based web and design company Jam3 and creative directors Adrian Belina and Pablo Vio for the NFB, incorporating material from the documentary film. The conception and development of the website took approximately four months. Waterlife explores different aspects of the state of the Great Lakes through 23 individual sections, incorporating text, images and sound.[6] It received the Webby Award for best web documentary (individual episode).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Keenan, Marney Rich (17 November 2010). "Film paints frightening picture of Great Lakes in jeopardy". The Detroit News. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  2. ^ Lacey, Liam (22 June 2009). "Great Lakes script could have used more filtration". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Waterlife". Collection. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Hot Docs 2009 Awards". Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. 
  5. ^ Afan, Emily Claire (19 November 2010). "Dogwoof acquires NFB docs". Playback. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  6. ^ Anderson, Kelly (31 July 2009). "Waterlife flows into the web". Playback. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Waterlife wins Webby Award for best web documentary". International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. 

External links[edit]