Still from H2Oil
Still from H2Oil
 

H2Oil

by Shannon Walsh
If you see one documentary on the Alberta tar sands, make sure it's this one.
2009  ·  1h12m  ·  Canada
English
About the Film

Ever wonder where American gets most of its oil? If you thought it was Saudi Arabia or Iraq you are wrong. America’s biggest oil supplier has quickly become Canada’s oil sands.

Located under Alberta’s pristine boreal forests, the process of oil sands extraction uses up to 4 barrels of fresh water to produce only one barrel of crude oil. It goes without saying that water — its depletion, exploitation, privatization and contamination — has become the most important issue to face humanity in this century. At the same time, the war for oil is well underway across the globe. A struggle is increasingly being fought between water and oil, not only over them. Alberta’s oil sands are at the centre of this tension. As the province rushes towards a large-scale extraction, the social, ecological and human impacts are hitting a crisis point. In only a few short years the continent will be a crisscross of pipelines, reaching from the arctic all the way to the southern US, leaving toxic water basins the size of Lake Ontario, and surface-mines as large as Florida.

H2Oil follows a voyage of discovery, heartbreak and politicization in the stories of those attempting to defend water in Alberta against tar sands expansion. Unlikely alliances are built and lives are changed as they come up against the largest industrial project in human history. Ultimately we ask what is more important, oil or water? And what will be our response? With hope and courage H2Oil tells the story of one of the most significant, and destructive projects of our time.

Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

Festivals and Awards
2009
Hot Docs
2009
Durban International Film Festival
Climate Change is Coming to Town Film Festival
2009
Cinefest International Film Festival
2009
Atlantic International Film Festival
Park Lane 4 Calgary International Film Festival
Edmonton International Film Festival
Vancouver International Film Festival
Rome International Film Festival
In the Press
Review
Social Doc
Co-director
Alan Kohl
Producer
Sergeo Kirby, Sarah Spring, Candice Soave and Noelle Sobara
Production Manager
Laurel Sprengelmeyer
Research
Shannon Walsh, Holly Dressel, Laurel Sprengelmeyer, Tim Groves, Catherine McCandless, Amy Miller and Tim McSorley
Consultants
Peter Wintonick and Sylvie Krasker
Writer
Shannon Walsh
Film Related
About the Director

Shannon Walsh

Shannon Walsh is a filmmaker, writer and Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia. She is writer and director of the feature documentaries Jeppe on a Friday (2013), St-Henri, the 26th of August (2011), and H2Oil (2009). She finished her first short non-fiction 360 VR, Disappearance: Hong Kong Stories, in 2017. In 2018, her first fiction feature script, Unidentified Minor, was a top 10 finalist at the Cinequest Screenplay Competition. In 2017, the script also won Best Low-Budget Screenplay at the 15th Female Eye Film Festival, was shortlisted for the CBC-TIFF Diverse screenwriting award, a quarterfinalist in the Shore Scripts competition, as well as an official selection into competition at the 2017 Oaxaca Film Festival. It was also selected for the Women in the Director’s Chair “Story & Development” lab, the Stowe Story Lab, and the WIFTV mentorship as part of the Whistler Film Festival. Unidentified Minor was shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab twice.

Walsh’s films have been theatrically released in Canada, the UK, and South Africa, and played in over 60 film festivals worldwide such as Hot Docs, Visions du Réel, Beijing, La Rochelle, Rome, Paris Cinéma, Durban, Bergen and others. Her documentaries have been broadcast nationally and internationally on Netflix, CBC, Discovery, Al Jazeera, Fox Africa, SABC, Télé-Quebéc, Global, and Canal-D, as well as in museum spaces, including the 56th Venice Biennale and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Her work has been supported by the National Film Board of Canada, Telefilm, SODEC, Vision du SudEst, CALQ, the Gauteng Film Commission, and Canada Council for the Arts, amongst others.

Photo credit: La Presse

 
Other films by Shannon Walsh

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