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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

‘Water Scouts’: local documentary to highlight courageous girls

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Should. Could. Would. Did. These four words encompass the spirit of action within Girl Scouts Troop 2715. In the past year, this group has used their curiosity about science, environmental conservation and community service to make waves in northeast Indianapolis so much so that a documentary film is in production highlighting their service. “Water Scouts” documents a grassroots endeavor that puts people of color at the forefront of environmental justice, with a diverse group of little girls as our guides downstream, disembarking to meet local environmental advocates taking unconventional approaches to conservation

According to water-scouts.org, the film is an “environmental coming-of-age story” that showcases the young girls in Troop 2715’s efforts to team up with diverse local activists in a “mission to educate, protect, and explore their neighbourhood’s natural resources” along the White River and its tributaries in and around Indianapolis.

Indianapolis native and “Water Scouts” director Anna Zanoni says they are taking a risk with this film. “Fundamentally, [‘Water Scouts’] looks to capture how Hoosiers define, reimagine and protect their idea of ‘home’.” She adds “These girls are the spirit of Indianapolis — they wholeheartedly care about their neighbors, where they live and are lending a hand to be the difference they want to see in the world.” Being from the same neighborhood as the girls in Troop 2715, Zanoni was thrilled to highlight their efforts. “If any story needs to be told, it’s this one. These young people did not ask for permission or wait for others to one day fix the problems they see. No, they got to work,” Zanoni said.

“Water Scouts” seeks to understand and present the little ways anyone can be a steward of conservation, even little girls, by showing the network of diverse people from volunteers at Mud Creek Conservancy to local history buff Sampson Deon Levingston on a mission to conserve the forgotten stories along the waterways and activist Jade Sollano, an unknown woman of color taking it upon herself and friends to clean up our local parks connected to waterways around the greater Indianapolis area. This band of unsung environmentalists of color will be met by a diverse troop of Girl Scouts, looking to learn from their agency and grit (water-scouts.org for more info on cast narrative). “Water Scouts” officially kicked off production on Earth Day 2021. The film is currently running a crowd fundraiser to raise $10,000 to produce the film, which ends June 22. So far they have raised 6% of their goal through grassroots donations of $20 or less, which speaks to the personal interest Hoosiers have in making sure their local stories are told. To help them reach their goal you can make a contribution here.

Producer of “Water Scouts” Turner Fair says, “with a community-based documentary like “Water Scouts” is, the traditional model for film funding is not an option. Nothing is being sold here. A story is being told, an important one.”

The goal is to raise enough money to be able to cover costs of production. They hope the campaign will also raise awareness and donations for all the individuals and organizations featured in the documentary itself. The film is also made possible by the financial and community support of Indiana Humanities and Kheprw Institute.

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