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In The Sh*t Panel

Barnes Film Festival

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Tickets for this event are free but should still be booked at the book now link on this page


“In The Shit” - Can we solve the UK water crisis before it’s too late?


Every year the UK water industry pumps more than 4.2 billion litres of raw sewage into rivers and coastal waters. In October 2020, 2 billion litres was dumped into the Thames at Isleworth in the space of just two days. Over 250 times every year, Beverley Brook carries raw sewage outflows through nature reserves, sites of special scientific interest, Wimbledon and Putney Commons and Richmond Park, before emptying into the Thames less than a half a mile from Riverside Studios. The UK water crisis is real and right on our doorstep.


Water pollution is a major contributor to ecosystem collapse - it’s one of our frontlines on climate change, so how is this still allowed to happen on such a massive scale in the UK? How can the UK profess to be a global leader in the fight against climate change when we can’t even deal with our own shit? Join our panellists as we discuss the scale of the problem, how we got here, and what we should be doing to solve it.


How big is the problem?


How did it get this bad?

Corruption, distraction, privatisation.

What are the solutions?

Community campaigning. Cooperation across party lines. Accountability and enforcement. Systems change. Nationalisation.


In attendance:

Sarah Olney

Sarah Jane Olney is a British Liberal Democrat politician and former accountant who has served as Member of Parliament for Richmond Park since 2019, and previously from 2016 to 2017. Olney has served as the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Transport and for Business and Industrial Strategy since January 2020.


Steve Smith

Steve is a BAFTA award winning television director and has taken the creative lead on numerous projects to help create some of the UK’s most popular television programmes. With over 30 years production experience in which he’s directed, produced and executive produced shows, working on a wide range of programmes across a number of genres. He is the former Chair of Directors UK and a BAFTA Albert Ambassador and environmental production consultant teaching sustainable activities in all aspects of programme-making.


Tom Loan

Tom is an independent filmmaker whose work focuses on local impacts of systemic problems. Current projects include Fishtown, a short documentary about life in Brixham, South Devon, in the wake of Brexit, Covid and the biggest house price boom anywhere in the UK, and Asking for a Friend, a revolutionary factual series about sex and relationships. His new film, Overflowing, investigates the scale of the national water pollution crisis from sea to source.


Poppy Mason-Watts

Poppy Mason-Watts  is VP, Marketing & Communications at WaterBear. WaterBear are the first interactive streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet and provides access to award-winning and inspirational content that empowers members to dive deeper, learn more and take action.

Barnes Film Festival
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