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The Living Thames: Screening & Q&A

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Join the premiere of this film as part of Barnes Film Festival followed by a Q&A with members of the production team and Thames environmentalists.

Introduced by Sir David Attenborough, and presented by independent environmentalist Chris Baines, The Living Thames is an odyssey along the river as it meanders through London and flows out to sea, exploring its ever-changing ecology. The film tells a hidden story. Although millions of people know the Thames, Britain’s most famous river, it is widely misunderstood and remains a mystery.

Sixty years ago the Thames was severely polluted. So much so, in 1957 researchers at the Natural History Museum in London declared it 'biologically dead.’ This perception lingers, with many still seeing it as dead and dirty.

The reality, however, is very different. In recent decades, thanks to the dedicated work of many, the Thames has recovered dramatically to become one of the cleanest inner-city rivers in Europe, supporting dolphins, seals and more than 126 species of fish. During his journey, from the upper tidal reach to the sea, Chris discovers how this remarkable transformation came about, and just how much life there is, in and around the Thames.

People he meets include conservationists working to save London’s iconic eels, wardens tending breeding waders on the Kent marshes, and scientists learning how harbour porpoises use the estuary. Their stories show the wonder of the Thames and its importance for connectivity, biodiversity, wildlife and migrating species.

Q&A Panel Members:

Steve Colclough, aquatic consultant
Fiona Haughey, Thames archaeologist
Dorothy Leiper, producer, director and editor
Amy Pryor, estuarine scientist and co-producer
Marie Tueje, sound designer

Film credits:

Director of Photography: Clive Gill
Lighting Cameraman: Tom Webster
Location Sound: Cormac Tohill
Sound Design: Marie Tueje
Music: Isin Eray
Produced, directed & edited by: Dorothy Leiper
Co-produced by: Amy Pryor, Thames Estuary Partnership

The Living Thames is a not-for-profit film. All proceeds from ticket sales will go towards future distribution, such as producing DVDs to give to schools in proximity to the Thames.