By Amanda Macdonald
A documentary that began as a school assignment for a group of fourth-year Ryerson film students has been submitted to and will be screened at two local film festivals.
The Dolime Dilemma: Water Proof? features the Dolime Quarry, a mine in Guelph, Ont. that extracts limestone and dolomite for building purposes, and brings the issue of water protection closer to home.
“When I was a little girl, my uncle told me we would be the generation to lose our water supply,” director Kristy Neville said. “That scared the crap out of me.”
In 2008, an Ontario Geological Survey discovered that the Dolime Quarry was removing a natural layer in soil that protects groundwater.
“I searched Wellington Water Watchers and there hadn’t been anything about the Dolime Quarry,” Neville said. “I decided I could use it for a foundation for the bigger issue, which is water protection.”
Once a topic had been chosen, the group started bouncing ideas back and forth about who would be best to contact. “Because Kristy was so driven to investigate this issue, we were all drawn to be a part of her endeavour,” said producer Jillian McKenzie.
Neville said it was difficult to find people in the industry willing to speak about the issue. “Those in the ministry, those who have jobs on the line can’t speak openly.”
Neither the Ministry of Natural Resources nor the Ministry of Environment would speak in the film.
“This Quarry thinks they’re doing something good but they don’t realize the possibility of any damage in terms of polluting the drinking water for the people of Guelph,” said McKenzie.
The documentary was funded by the students and the equipment was rented from Ryerson.
Once completed, a synopsis and stills of aerial footage were submitted to the film festivals. “You send it off and hope that they receive it well,” said Neville.
The Dolime Dilemma: Water Proof? will be playing at the COMMFFEST Global Community Film Festival this Saturday. The exact screen date for the second festival, Planet in Focus: Environmental Film Festival, will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
McKenzie said the documentary is a step towards achieving some change, especially if people work together.
“It’s really a wonderful feeling to have the opportunity to be part of a project where those involved are all focused on achieving the same goal.”