Documentary film carries strong message and will be shown at prestigious Kendal Film Festival

‘MAJI’, a new documentary debuting this week at the Kendal Film Festival, shines a light on the scale of the global water crisis through the lens of the international fundraising challenges of Leo Gripari – an ultra-runner and entrepreneur committed to raising awareness of the world’s greatest biodiversity challenges.

Around the world, water scarcity is a harsh reality for many people. The UN predicts that between two and three billion people worldwide experience water shortages and that 26% of the world’s population do not have safe drinking water. Water scarcity will be high on the agenda at COP28 this month.

MAJI, which means water in Swahili, directed by Charli Doherty and presented by TGB Films and Biscuit Bunker in association with West One Entertainment, lays bare the unseen consequences of the water crisis. The documentary has been selected as a standalone film screening by the Kendal Film Festival,

Gripari is a passionate believer in the power of adventure to drive change and, through his challenges, he seeks to inspire others in the fight to protect endangered ecosystems. As we watch his journey unfold, the viewer meets experts, local communities and groups fighting to protect and conserve water. From the ecological impact of melting glaciers in Iceland to the social, cultural, and political ramifications of water scarcity and degradation in Nepal and Jordan, Maji weaves together personal narratives and expert insights to create a captivating exploration of this shared global issue.

MAJI develops through a dynamic and engaging approach that combines adventure, travel and education, to captivate viewers and increase understanding of the global scale of the world’s water crisis. The story builds to a 50km ultra-marathon around Lake Mutanda in Uganda that sees Gripari spurred on to complete his final challenge by the local community. It is a moment that highlights the need for community and collective action to solve the ongoing water crisis, and humanises the lives of those most affected by it.

Charli Doherty, Maji’s director comments: “Maji ultimately serves as a platform to unite the voices of people from all walks of life. It brings together the knowledge, experiences, and emotions of people we’ve encountered along our journey, highlighting the importance of collective action and global solidarity. We hope to inspire audiences to recognise that the water crisis is not someone else’s problem; it’s our collective responsibility.”

Gripari adds: “Embarking on this adventure was life changing: what started as a way for me to raise money for conservation projects, became so much more. I am so glad that we are able to communicate the scale of the world’s water crisis through this documentary. I hope that it will provide people with a greater sense of the urgency of the crisis and help drive collective action on the issue.”

Each year, Kendal Mountain Film Festival in the Lake District gives exclusive access to the world’s greatest outdoor feature films, previously debuting iconic documentaries including Free Solo, 14 Peaks and Hard Grit.

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