Pure Clean Water awarded Golden Punt at Cambridge Film Festival
The Golden Punt for Best Documentary - as voted by the audience - at the Cambridge Film Festival 2023 was won by Pure Clean Water, which was written, directed and produced by Cambridge-based Tony Eva.
Released in October, Pure Clean Water describes the story of how water abstraction from the region’s chalk stream is heading for a crisis - indeed has been heading for a crisis for many years. The 62-minute documentary examines the critical issues surrounding globally rare chalk streams, water availability and the growth taking place in the Cambridge region.
The study of how the watercourse functions - along a 12-mile watercourse from the Nine Wells chalk stream near Great Shelford, along Hobson’s Conduit into the city centre - reveals multiple challenges which are described by interviews with critical stakeholders including environmentalists, University of Cambridge caretakers, water companies, historians and politicians.
It was premiered at the film festival, the third longest running film festival in the UK – with the Cambridge Independent as media partner - on October 25. The Golden Punt is decided by audience voting after the screenings at the Festival, with all films which had their UK premiere at Cambridge being eligible.
Pure Clean Water examines the critical issues surrounding chalk streams, water availability and the growth of Greater Cambridge. The documentary looks at these issues through the lens of a unique watercourse (“Hobson’s Conduit”). The documentary has relevance for increasingly dysfunctional water services throughout south-east England, as fresh water availability in areas of rapid urban growth becoming increasingly critical.
Cristina Roures, operations manager of Cambridge Film Festival - a registered charity with a mission to foster and promote film culture and education - said: “The Cambridge Film Festival is very excited to see the audience award for best documentary go to Pure Clean Water.
“Pure Clean Water was selected by the Festival programming team among the hundreds of submissions sent to the festival and we were thrilled to premiere it at the 42nd Cambridge Film Festival to two sold out screenings.
“This is a powerful and important documentary, loved by our wonderful audiences, and we are excited to see what’s next for the film.”
A delighted Tony Eva, who started working on Pure Clean Water in 2019 – reviewed here - said: “It’s a wonderful honour to have won the Golden Punt best documentary feature. I’m very grateful to the many people who have supported and championed this film, especially the wonderful Cambridge Film Festival audiences.
“I hope this award will assist the film in reaching out into communities and play a role in raising awareness about the precarious state of our water resources and precious chalk streams.”