Oil and Water
Directed by: Laurel Spellman Smith & Francine Strickwerda
Grant: I Believe in You Grant
Oil & Water is the coming of age story of two boys as each confronts one of the worst environmental disasters in history. Shot over 4 years so far, the film is an astonishing and inspiring David and Goliath story.
Hugo Lucitante is a native Ecuadorian of the Cofan Tribe whose homeland is the epicenter of the contamination. Fearing extinction, the Cofan made a desperate decision to send Hugo, then 10, to the U.S. to be educated in hopes that he could someday lead his people to a better future. A decade later, Hugo returns to Ecuador, armed only with his high school diploma. David Poritz is an American child prodigy who learned of the disaster in the 6th grade. He has since dedicated his life to changing the oil industry. The two boys meet when David leads his high school classmates on a tour of the 18 billion gallons of oil waste Texaco left in the jungle. We follow the boys on this journey, and then back to the U.S. as their lives get more complicated. Hugo struggles to help his tribe, while David launches the world’s first company to certify fair trade oil.