Rivercide, a live investigative documentary on the shocking state of Britain’s rivers, will be streamed live at 19.00 this evening (14 July), with a call to action for viewers to help save their local river.
The documentary is directed by Grierson-winner Franny Armstrong (McLibel, The Age of Stupid) and hosted by leading environmental journalist George Monbiot (author of Feral and Out of the Wreckage, and presenter of Apocalypse Cow).
Singer Charlotte Church is collaborating with poet Owen Sheers to compose an original song for Rivercide, which Charlotte will perform live on the show.
A pioneering format
In what the team believes is the world’s first live investigative documentary, Rivercide will combine the best of the live stream formats that we’ve all become familiar with during lockdown, and take them to the next level in a pioneering new format.
This is gutsy environmental investigative journalism that will report the facts and won’t shy away from delivering hard truths.
Production is led by BAFTA-nominated investigative producer Nicola Cutcher (Syria’s Disappeared: The Case Against Assad), whose work spans Panorama and Newsnight.
Director Franny Armstrong is known as one of the pioneers of crowd-funding; her film Age of Stupid raised £900,000 from 330 funders five years before Kickstarter launched.
Franny is also known as an innovator of independent film distribution techniques, described by film analyst Jon Reiss as representing ‘the future of film, film culture and film distribution and marketing’.
‘Rivercide is the antithesis of those deathly Zoom calls we’ve all had to endure this last year. Yes, it’s using the same technology, but in spirit it’s the anarchic offspring of Springwatch and Challenge Anneka.
‘You’d be hard pressed to find a single person in this country who actively wants dirty rivers. And yet every single one of the rivers, lakes and streams that’s monitored in England is now polluted. How can that be? That’s the mystery which Rivercide is setting out to solve – live, in real time.”
‘It’s madness that we live in a time of cars that drive themselves and fitbits for dogs and yet we put raw sewage into our rivers and allow 20 million chickens to poo into a single river catchment.
‘After a year of lockdown, we’re now a nation of wild swimmers and nature lovers – just imagine how much more fun we’d all be having if our rivers were safe and healthy again, both for wildlife and for people?’
Restoring Britain’s rivers
George Monbiot will challenge politicians and confront polluters, and he’ll also show how we can turn the situation around and help to restore Britain’s rivers to the natural wonders they ought to be.
The live film will also shine a light on the campaigners working tirelessly to turn the fate of our rivers around.
Having crowdfunded the costs of production to enable editorial independence, Rivercide has also crowdsourced intelligence on the state of Britain’s rivers, investigating all forms of river pollution.