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What happens when a major city runs out of water? A few Deep South rivers have a story to tell.

Dear Supporters:

We are reaching out via Kickstarter because the story of the Chattahoochee-Flint-Apalachicola (ACF) Rivers deserves to be told through a moving picture. The water resource issues facing the ACF are just the beginning of drought and overuse-related water shortages that could face many American rivers in the future. If you value rivers and clean water and conservation, please help us tell this story.

Mission

We will paddle from the Chattahoochee's source in the north Georgia mountains to its mouth at Apalachicola Bay, FL. In Atlanta, one week into the expedition, David will hop over to the headwaters of the Flint River and paddle its 344 miles while Michael continues down the 'Hooch. We will meet again at the confluence of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers in Lake Seminole. We will then continue, together, down the 107 miles of the Apalachicola River to cover the entire ACF Basin. The canoe expedition will take one month.

The ACF Basin, Chattahoochee River (left), Flint River (right)
The ACF Basin, Chattahoochee River (left), Flint River (right)

To inspire a collaborative solution to the ongoing water wars that threaten to destroy a classic American river. We hope that our journey and film about the river will instill an appreciation within the constituents of this vast watershed so that residents of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama will put the pressure on legislators and stakeholders to come to a sustainable, conservation-minded solution to protect the Chattahoochee-Flint-Apalachicola Rivers.

About the Film

We will make a 45-60-minute documentary film about an American river at the heart of a decades-old water war. In 2012 the Chattahoochee River of GA-AL-FL was designated as the country's first National Water Trail. Two months later it was named one of our nation's Most Endangered Rivers by American Rivers. 

The problem is simple. Atlanta and its increasing population (3.5 million now, projected to reach 6.5 million by 2050) can't find enough water. The South is prone to catastrophic droughts that nearly left the Georgia resources dry between 2006-2009. And the solution currently being offered by Georgia officials is to simply build more dams and grab more water. 

We intend to make a film that follows our canoe journey through this conflict, down the entire contested basin of the Chattahoochee, Flint, and Apalachicola Rivers. We’ll document the landscape and the people that are shaping and have been shaped by these Water Wars. Our goal is to illuminate the opportunity for conservation measures and alternative solutions that can be sustainable even as population increases and weather patterns fluctuate. Our film will ask the question, "Who owns water?"

Finally, we will share our film and the story of the Chattahoochee at film festivals, through partner organizations like the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Flint Riverkeeper, Apalachicola Riverkeeper, Southern Environmental Law Center, Georgia River Network, American Rivers, American Canoe Association, Alabama Rivers Alliance, and via social media and print media. 

Kickstarter funds will be used to support the production of the video. The canoe trip down the Chattahoochee will require some simple equipment and logistical costs - canoe equipment, occasional shuttle car drivers, food, and occasional overnight lodging to charge batteries and download files. 

But the majority of the fund will be used for production costs. We will be hiring a second videographer to shoot with us for at least ten days of the production. We'll take small airplane tours for aerial videos of the watershed, a powerful tool in telling a story from the big perspective. Finally, the Kickstarter funds will be used for post-production editing and to purchase original music to score the film.

We will be on the river(s) from March 9 to April 9. The film will be complete by September 1, 2013.

The Team:

David Hanson (writer, photographer, producer) : www.davidhanson3.com

Michael Hanson (videographer, photographer, producer) : www.michaelhansonphotography.com

Andrew Kornylak is an Atlanta-based, award-winning director and cinematographer who will be assisting us as a primary shooter at various intervals throughout the project.              www.akornphoto.com

Non-Fiscal Partners

  • Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
  • Flint Riverkeeper
  • Apalachicola Riverkeeper
  • Southern Environmental Law Center
  • Georgia River Network
  • American Canoe Association
  • American Rivers
  • Friends of Lake Eufaula
  • Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Stakeholders
  • Alabama Rivers Alliance
  • Southwings

$18,000 will afford us:

Transportation and river journey costs: 3k; Aerial flights: 2k; Post-production editing: 5k; Music rights: 3k; Film Eqpt: 3k; Kickstarter incentives and share: 2k

Images from the 2009 float that inspired this project:

Lake Lanier, the upper Hooch reservoir at the heart of the Water Wars
Lake Lanier, the upper Hooch reservoir at the heart of the Water Wars
Trash collects at a tributary below Atlanta.
Trash collects at a tributary below Atlanta.
Late night encounter with deer hunters near Hatchechubbee, AL
Late night encounter with deer hunters near Hatchechubbee, AL
Sixteen dams impede the Hooch. Three have massive locks systems dating back to when barges moved goods up and down the river. Canoes drop down via locks just like the big barges did.
Sixteen dams impede the Hooch. Three have massive locks systems dating back to when barges moved goods up and down the river. Canoes drop down via locks just like the big barges did.
Houseboats float along the edge of the Apalachicola River. Interesting people inhabit them.
Houseboats float along the edge of the Apalachicola River. Interesting people inhabit them.
Open season on wild hog in the swamps of the Apalachicola.
Open season on wild hog in the swamps of the Apalachicola.
Seafood King and Queen. The rich marine environment of Apalachicola Bay and its old oyster industry could be irrevocably ruined if the people of AL-GA-FL can't come to a sustainable solution to save the water in the ACF Basin.
Seafood King and Queen. The rich marine environment of Apalachicola Bay and its old oyster industry could be irrevocably ruined if the people of AL-GA-FL can't come to a sustainable solution to save the water in the ACF Basin.
Where the river meets the sea...
Where the river meets the sea...

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We're used to violent thunderstorms, wind, sleeping on the ground, alligators, poison ivy, mosquitoes, and hornets. Liquored-up hunters, poachers, water moccasins, e-coli, wild hogs, unleashed pit bulls, and meth labs concern us. Drought and general lack of water at the headwaters of the Flint could mean a long, muddy walk dragging the canoe.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    18 backers

    Big THANKS from us. We'll send an email and link you to our riverside blog that we'll be updating as much as possible through the trip.

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    48 backers

    Free DVD of the film. Plus Reward #1.

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $100 or more
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    32 backers

    One fine-art archival print of an image from the trip (chosen by contributor from a gallery of selects that we will post online). We'll also put your name in the film credits. Plus Rewards 1 and 2

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Limited Edition coffee table book of images and short stories from the river and the people we encounter. And your name or company name to appear in the film credits as sponsor. Plus Rewards 1, 2, and 3

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    Add $50 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $3,500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    Come paddle with us for anywhere from one to three days on the Apalachicola River. We'll provide the canoe, the food, and the river stories. The Apalachicola is the last leg of the journey and the most beautiful stretch with clean, black water, dense cypress and tupelo forests, and wide, white-sand beaches perfect for camping under the stars. Also, a chance to learn photography/videography skills in the field. Plus Rewards 1, 2, 3, and 4

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- (30 days)