Since its establishment in 2000, Swarovski Waterschool has educated almost half-a-million young people across 2,400 schools worldwide on the significance of clean water preservation. To highlight these efforts, a team of seven UCLA TFT graduate filmmaking students travelled across five continents to capture the moving stories of several young females who live along six of the world’s major rivers – the Amazon, Mississippi, Danube, Nile, Ganges and Yangtze. Vivid, lyrical, and often poignant, the film is a reminder of how the power of education, along with the support of the business community, can transform lives and tackle the world’s pressing environmental issues.
The film, as well as the organization, comes as a fitting undertaking for Swarovski, as sustainability, preservation and most specifically, water, has always been fundamental to the company. The family-run business was founded in 1895 along the Austrian Alps and, since then, has been relying on small-scale hydro-electric power to cut and polish crystal. Continuing to conserve and cherish the earth’s water supply, Swarovski Waterschool educates those around the globe in the most pressing environmental locales about safe hygiene practices and the importance of fresh water with an innovative approach to teaching. These methods, including hands-on workshops, field trips and online resources, can be seen throughout the documentary. This results in a powerful call to arms – for teachers and educators as much as young people themselves – as the students discover how best to treasure and protect water while passing on their insights to anyone who will listen.
What emerges in the telling of ‘Waterschool’ is an inspiring and emotive message. United by a vision of hope to save the lifeblood of the planet, it becomes crystal clear that anyone can be an ambassador for water conservation, and that we all have the power to make a difference.
Nadja Swarovski, Member of Swarovski Executive Board, commented: “This project embraces principles which lie at the foundation of our philanthropic legacy – environment, female empowerment and education. The glimpses the film offers into the lives of six young women highlight some of the issues around water within different geographic regions, and will hopefully inspire communities to focus on education and enable change. I am grateful to the UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and its graduate film students for making this beautiful film about our Waterschool, under the mentorship of Dean Teri Schwartz and Lucy Walker, who have brought to bear their considerable expertise in the making of documentaries and feature films.”
Teri Schwartz, Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, commented: “It has been a great honor to partner with visionary leader Nadja Swarovski and her team to create this landmark feature documentary. I am very proud of our remarkable graduate film students, to whom Swarovski gave an unparalleled opportunity to create a film at the highest levels of creative excellence. Key to our School’s mission is providing diverse students with transformational opportunities to create stories that not only entertain, but also foster social impact. This amazing partnership with Swarovski underscores our shared belief in the power of story to enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world.”
There will be no more important resource in the future than water. By reaching young minds through its Waterschool programs, Swarovski aims to ensure that this precious source of life will be safeguarded for many generations to come.