About the Film
To a stranger, he’s quirky, but to those who know him he’s Mr. Toilet, a leader of the global sanitation revolution. He grew up in the slums of Singapore with a bucket for a toilet and knows the agonies of not having a proper loo. Using humor as his weapon, Mr. Toilet fights an uphill battle against taboos surrounding toilets asserting, “Poop culture will soon become pop culture.” His goal is to appeal to the masses by making the toilet a symbol of pride and success – just like the newest model of the iPhone. But not everyone is thrilled with his unconventional methods—unabashedly using the word sh*t or referring to himself as the 007 of toilets because it spells loo upside down. Mr. Toilet (whose real name is Jack Sim) is plunged into his biggest sh*t-uation yet when he is asked to create a model for India’s sanitation crisis and bring 6 million toilets to the state of Andhra Pradesh. After successfully creating the World Toilet Organization and convincing 193 countries to adopt an unthinkable holiday—United Nations World Toilet Day—he feels ready for this next venture. But, as a visionary from a completely different culture who inherited a boyish outlook and a seemingly clumsy approach, many conservatives and traditionalists feel threatened by Mr. Toilet’s eccentric ideas and complete overhaul of their bureaucratic process.
Why should you give a crap?
Worldwide more people have cell phones than a toilet.
Here are some sanitation soldiers on a mission to change that:
Jack Sim, AKA "Mr. Toilet"
Toilet Advocate & Founder of The World Toilet Organization
“ On Valentines Day, we should send flowers to the toilet. The toilet has served you 365 days. A very good service because you're still here. You didn’t die. I think the toilet is an unsung hero. The public toilet cleaners are unsung heroes. Because if you can't take a good dump, I think life's very miserable.. ”
Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak
Toilet Inventor & Founder of Sulabh International
“ Women really suffer the most because of an absence of toilets in rural areas. They have to go to open locations only before sunrise and after sunset. Unlike men, they simply cannot do so during the day. Apart from a vulnerability to rape, they are also prone to animal attacks and snakebites. What's more, many girls aren't even going to school because of the lack of toilets there. ”
Director of Trust Funds and Partnerships at the World Bank Group
“ In addition to the health impacts, the social and economic costs [of inadequate sanitation] are also staggering. India's economy alone loses roughly U.S. $53.8 billion per year, or the equivalent of 6 percent of GDP. In addition to health and morbidity, the losses relate to industry, like tourism and environmental costs. ”
Dr. Michael Hoffmann
Caltech Professor of Environmental Science, AKA “Pooper in Chief,” and Lead Researcher for Winning Team of the Bill & Melinda Gates Reinvent the Toilet Challenge
“No innovation in 200 years has saved more lives than the toilet."
Deputy Director Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“ Don’t get me wrong, I love our conventional crapper. But, today’s flush toilet is expensive. It has costly infrastructure with miles of pipes and sewage treatment plants. It also accounts for 40 to 60 percent of per capita water use in industrialized countries. And today, 2.4 billion people still lack access to safe sanitation and 1.5 million children die every year as a result. If we can send a man to the moon, I’m convinced we can invent a better toilet. ”
Kohler Co. is a global leader in both kitchen and bath design and technology. They are a company dedicated to improving sanitation conditions worldwide and supporting the continued research and innovation of toilets. In addition to their support of this film, Kohler has collaborated with Caltech for the past two years in the development of a photovoltaic toilet as part of the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge,” hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Our goal of creating a completely off-the-grid toileting system that is easier to transport and easier to maintain will allow us to place toilets in more locations around the world that have inadequate sanitation. And that allows us to improve the lives of more people.”
– Rob Zimmerman, Senior Manager of Sustainability Marketing at Kohler Co.
Founded in 1873 with headquarters in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies comprised of more than 30,000 associates. With more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler’s modern design and revolutionary technology create one-of-a-kind kitchen and bathroom products, engines and power systems as well as premier furniture, cabinetry and tile.
About the Team
Lily Zepeda’s passion for exploring unconventional stories began with a career in journalism, interviewing subjects ranging from Grammy award-winning musicians to scientists involved in cutting-edge environmental research. As a big believer in a non-linear career, she also branched off into unexpected paths, including teaching, TV production and working as COO of an LA-based boutique marketing firm. In 2012, Lily got wind of a competition to build the world’s best toilet happening right in her backyard at the California Institute of Technology. Having a penchant for stories about taboo or quirky things, a savvy toilet was certainly right up her alley. But what struck her most is how the toilet crisis disproportionately affects women. Without a safe, private place to go to the toilet, many women only go at night, when the risk of assault, sexual harassment or animal attacks is increased. As a storyteller and a woman who has the dignity of a proper place to go, she knew it was her responsibility to tell these stories that nobody wanted to talk about.
Lily is a finalist for the Hedgebrook Foundation Film Lab and received a Diversity Fellowship and an Accelerator Lab grant from the award-winning film organization Chicken & Egg Pictures. She has also been selected to pitch at film festivals all over the world, including Hot Docs, Sheffield & Doc NYC. Having travelled through six continents, Lily has been given the gift of a global perspective and hopes to provoke a better understanding of our shared humanity through storytelling.
An Emmy nominated writer, producer, director and editor. Together with Amanda Pope, Tchavdar Georgiev wrote, produced, and directed “The Desert of Forbidden Art,” showcased on PBS Independent Lens. The film was described by LA Times’ Kenneth Turan as a “remarkable documentary.” It was nominated for two Emmys and won the Cine Golden Eagle Jury Award and other international prizes. Georgiev directed and edited, together with Dana Berry, for National Geographic, “Finding the Next Earth” and edited “Alien Earths,” which was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy. He recently edited the two-time Emmy-nominated HBO documentary “Valentine Road” as well as “Finders Keepers” (Cinema Eye Honors Award), both of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Georgiev was one of the editors on the documentaries "We Live in Public" (Grand Jury Prize at Sundance) and "One Lucky Elephant" (Best Doc Editing Award at Woodstock Film Festival) as well as the narrative feature "Bastards" (MTV Russia Best Film Award). He recently wrote, co-produced and edited "Off The Rails" to premiere at Hot Docs and Full Frame Film Festivals.
He has also produced for PBS, History Channel, National Geographic, Amazon Studios, USA Networks and MTV.
An experienced screenwriter, producer and director for feature films in the US, Europe and Eastern Europe. Eugene Efuni is an Executive Producer of American Independence Film Festival, and an official of the US Embassy film festival in Ukraine. He has produced 6 international feature films including: “Iris Effect,” starring Anne Archer, Agnes Bruckner and Mia Kirshner; “The Second Front,” starring Craig Sheffer, Todd Field and Ron Perelman; “Mirror Wars” starring Malcolm McDowell, Armand Assante and Rutger Hauer. Recently, Efuni has produced one of the first s3D feature films shot in Eastern Europe, “Rzhevsky vs Napoleon! 3D!” which was theatrically released in Russia and Ukraine. Currently, he is developing a large budget sci-fi film project at MGM based on a cult best-selling novel “Metro 2033.”
Greta McAnany is an award-winning filmmaker and entrepreneur. McAnany graduated from USC in 2010 and over the next 3 years went on to finance and produce the feature film BITE SIZE, distributed by BOND360. The film won the Grand Jury prize at Cinequest Film Festival and was featured by Katie Couric’ on ABC. It was distributed on Netflix, Amazon, Vimeo, Pivot TV and more. McAnany is a recipient of film grants from Morgan Freeman and his Rock River Foundation, Chicken & Egg Pictures and the prestigious Thornton Foundation. After experiencing first hand the gender bias that female filmmakers in Hollywood face, McAnany co-founded X-Factor Films, a digital studio and branding platform for content and creators of millennial female entertainment. Beyond her work in film she has produced award-winning live newscasts and reported as a theatre critic for LA Stage Times, where she interviewed Oscar and Tony-winning writers, directors, and actors.
Director of Photography, India
Mrinal Desai’s last feature film, ‘Court’ was an astounding critical success winning 19 awards internationally including 2 Lions at the 2014 Venice International Film Festival, Golden Lotus for Best Film at the 2015 National Awards and Best Cinematography at the 2Morrow Film Festival, Moscow. He was second unit Cinematographer on Danny Boyle’s 2009 multi Oscar winning ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. His documentary credits include the Tribeca and Hot Docs winner for 2012, ‘The World Before Her,’ the Emmy nominated ‘Terror in Mumbai’ (BAFTA winner 2010) & ‘The Battle for Haiti’ (BAFTA winner 2011).
Director of Photography, India
Saptarshi Roy (Sappy) started fiddling with his mom's analog 12mm still camera at the age of 5 . Later as a teenager he realized that he wanted something more than capturing just a frame- it had to be an entire film. After graduating from an electronic media college, Sappy aggressively followed his passion of filmmaking. He shot numerous random videos of people, wildlife, architecture and technology for himself and his early clients. It's been more than 12 years and his clients now include Indian CNN-IBN, Star India and NDTV, Tommy Hilfiger, Ambika Pillai (Fashion Make-Up Artist), KOHLER, Kitchen Aid, Samsung, Mc. Donalds, a Hindi Food Show for EPIC channel (currently on the air), and ESPN.
Films Monique Zavistovski has edited, written, and/or produced have won awards worldwide including at Sundance, LAFF, SXSW and the Emmys. In 2006, a short film she produced and edited, The Wraith of Cobble Hill, won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at Sundance and was short-listed for the Academy Awards. More recently, Monique's work includes the PBS film "The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club" (Emmy Award Winner, Best Historical Documentary), "The Light In Her Eyes" (POV; Sundance Institute's Film Forward series), "The Diplomat" (ESPN Films; Tribeca Film Festival), "Limited Partnership" (Independent Lens; IDA's Humanitas Award Winner), "Abortion: Stories Women Tell" (HBO), and "CITY 40" (Netflix; 2017 Emmy Award Nominee).
18 / Jan / 2016Hi Flushers! As we dive head first into 2016 we wanted to take the time to say a… Read more...