Oil & Water

Event Details

Film | Sunday, Oct 15, 2017 | 4:00 PM | $7

Oil & Water

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Most people are well aware of the continuing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, but relatively few people know about the devastation beneath this rich ecosystem in Ecuador. From the early 70s to the 90s, oil companies contaminated vast swaths of pristine jungle by slopping billions of gallons of toxic waste into unlined pits. OIL & WATER portrays this environmental disaster from the unique perspectives of young people at both ends of the spectrum – Hugo Lucitante, from the indigenous Cofan tribe in Ecuador, and David Poritz, from Amherst, Massachusetts. Hugo, sent at age 10 by his tribe to get an American education, graduated from Seattle’s Bishop Blanchet High School in 2006. David first became aware of the oil catastrophe while researching a 6th-grade school project and made a commitment ever since to bring justice to the Amazon.


This screening will be General Admission and seating is first-come, first served. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Patron Services team by emailing info@blackrockcenter.org, or calling 240-912-1058. See our full list of ticketing policies here.

Interested in taking a group to see the film? Groups of ten or more get a discount. Call Patron Services at 301.528.2260 or email info@blackrockcenter.org to take advantage of this offer.

About the Directors:

Francine Strickwerda (Director/Producer/Writer/Development) is an award-winning director, writer and producer of documentary films and Web sites. She co-directed the feature film Oil & Water for PBS, as well as Busting Out, a feature documentary about the history and politics of America’s obsession with the female breast, which aired on Showtime. An expert film fundraiser and grant writer, her work has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation and the prestigious Independent Television Service (ITVS) and many others. She produced and executive edited national PBS Web sites including Don’t Buy ItVideogame Revolution and Exploring Space, and was a senior producer at HealthTalk.com. She currently runs Hullabaloo, a Seattle production company with her husband, and she has created videos for clients including the United Nations, Fortune 500 companies and the Seattle Fire Department. Francine began her career as a reporter for newspapers in Washington and Idaho. She has a degree in journalism from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.

Laurel Spellman Smith (Director/Producer/Writer/Camera) is a two-time regional Emmy Award-winning producer of national and local programs for PBS including The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and the documentary Faith & Fear: The Children of Krishna. She became an independent producer in 2003 and in addition to Oil & Watershe co-directed and produced the women’s health documentary Busting Out which aired on Showtime and the Iraq War documentary The Corporal’s Diary, seen on PBS stations, Al Jazeera English and Link TV. She is also a fan of other people’s films and is an annual juror for the News and Documentary Emmy Awards. Laurel grew up in Los Angeles and Kauai before making a home in Seattle with her husband and cat. She graduated from The Evergreen State College, where she studied film and cultural anthropology, pursuing her interest in the latter by traveling to over 100 countries. When not on the road or in the edit room, she manages a vacation rental house on a remote island in The Bahamas and is a personal dresser at Dress for Success and for her fashion-challenged filmmaker friends.

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On Screen/In Person is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts.


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