A documentary made by Pacific Lutheran University MediaLab students premiered to a crowd of more than 200 people at Theatre on the Square in downtown Tacoma Saturday, Nov. 12.

The film, titled “Changing Currents: Saving North America’s Rivers,” focused on problems affecting rivers in the U.S. and Canada and explored movements to preserve and restore them.

“The mission of the film is to educate the public about the importance of river health, encourage environmental stewardship and advocate for dialogue regarding effective river protections,” a press release from MediaLab stated.

The event consisted of a film screening followed by a Q&A panel with seven experts on issues impacting American rivers.

Junior Courtney Olsen said she appreciated the diversity of viewpoints on the panel.

“The documentary team did a wonderful job finding people from so many different backgrounds so the audience could have a wide variety of perspectives on how to protect rivers in North America,” she said.

While the panel explored ideas for those already invested in sustainability, the panelists did not always give much background, which left some audience members feeling lost.

Junior Grace Anderson said,“I thought the Q&A was well intentioned, but too complex for the general public. A lot of stuff went over my head.”

Members of MediaLab, a program of applied research and media production based in the PLU School of Arts and Communication, created the film. MediaLab celebrated its 10th anniversary last weekend and has produced documentaries since its beginning.

Junior Rachel Lovrovich, who is the general manager of MediaLab, was the creative director of the film and said it was a wonderful learning experience.

“My favorite part of the process was talking to people all across North America,” she said. “Each interview gave a new perspective that opened my eyes about river pollution and protection. Each person had a unique connection to their waterway and it was really inspiring.”

“It was great to see that so many people from outside of the PLU community came to the premiere,” Olsen said.  “It seemed like the film continued or started some great conversations about protecting rivers and beyond in North America.”

“I think it’s important for people to know that there are so many ways for them to be a part of these conversations, one of which is to watch this documentary if they get the chance.”

Lovrovich said MediaLab is currently accepting applications for students to join in the spring at ◼︎

Share your thoughts