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Point Park University watershed documentary to premier on WQED |

Point Park University watershed documentary to premier on WQED

Mary Pickels
Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation will host a panel discussion following screening of the new documentary, ‘Downstream,’ on Oct. 11.

The quality of Pennsylvania’s 83,000 miles of waterways — or lack thereof — is the subject of a new documentary, “Downstream,” produced by Point Park University’s School of Communication Environmental Journalism program.

The 30-minute documentary addresses the “serious threat” the quality of those waterways face, from active and abandoned coal mines to acid rain, aging infrastructure, urban development, industrial pollution, and even the impacts of seemingly mundane human activities such as lawn care, according to a news release.

The film premieres 8 p.m. Oct. 11 on WQED . Point Park University will host a screening event, followed by a panel discussion at the school’s Center for Media Innovation .

“Clean water is essential for economic development in healthy communities. Even if you don’t consider yourself an ‘environmentalist,’ water quality affects everyone because the costs associated with cleaning water ultimately trickles down to all of us,” Gina Catanzarite, the film’s writer-producer, says in the release.

A part-time faculty member in Point Park’s school of communication, Catanzarite worked on the production with Point Park graduates Glenn Syska, director of photography and editor, and Zak Boyle, second unit photographer and assistant editor.

“It’s easy to get discouraged by the sight of orange water contaminated by acid mine drainage or litter floating alongside geese. But we were also inspired by the people we met filming ‘Downstream,’ and we hope viewers will recognize how simple changes in behaviors can make a big difference and how supporting policy change in how we protect our watersheds can have a huge impact now and for future generations,” Catanzarite says.

Following its premiere, the documentary will be offered to other public television stations for air.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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