UNDER WATER: Hope and Heartache On The Mississippi, 2011

In May 2011, Kent Allen, Richard Dionne and I spent five days along the Mississippi River travelling from St. Louis, Missouri to Vicksburg, Mississippi shooting a documentary film about the emotional toll on people suffering from what the media termed "The 100 Year Flood". Along the way, we came to know a remakable man from Mississippi named, Peter Thomas, who contributed some compelling footage to the film. We also encountered 3 tornadoes and ended up in Missouri, fortunately on the far side of the state, when the deadly Joplin Tornado occurred. The river was our focus but the tornadoes reminded us that mother naure has many faces.

This film is my first documentray of what I hope will be many. It will received it's first showing at Purdue University in September 2012. It is part of the Hot Water project, I've been exploring and creating with several collaborators in the US, Canada and Australia for the past 5 years.

My heartfelt thanks to long-time friend and collaborator, Kent Allen, who flew in on the spur of the moment from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and my Purdue colleague and friend, Richard Dionne, who jumped into the water with us on this wild and crazy ride down the great Mississippi. Specials thanks also to Peter Thomas of Tunica, Mississippi who provided invaluable additional video footage from his first-hand experience in the middle of the flood zone.

None of us had ever encountered the Mississippi first hand. None of us will ever forget it. As for me, I believe I will travel that river route many more times in the future. Once it gets ahold of you, I find that river doesn't want to let go.