Tencent/Keo Films/OoS Pictures documentary Day Zero from Emmy-winning filmmaker Kevin Sim about the impending global water shortage has secured an international distribution deal with Fremantle.

Filmed over a three-year period, the film journeys across the planet seeking those on the frontline fighting to protect the world’s most precious resource from running out.

The high-end, feature length documentary is narrated by award-winning British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Day Zero includes exclusive interviews from some of the world’s top scientists and experts, travelling across continents to explore some of the most shocking and alarming water shortage issues facing our planet today. From the Cape Town water crisis and the violent impact of deforestation in the Amazon to the catastrophic results of intensive farming in the American Mid-West.

Co-Director and Writer Kevin Sim, whose award-winning credits includes Once Upon a Time in Iran, The Secret Life of the Berlin Wall, and Four Hours in My Lai, which won an International Emmy Award for Best Documentary said: “Day Zero is a film about people who already don’t have the luxury of thinking that water scarcity is someone else’s business. In Africa, Kansas, California, Brazil – and even in space – we follow the stories of local heroes fighting back along the frontlines of a crisis that could engulf us all. Sometimes you have to start beating drums and we hope we’ve made a powerful and moving film whose message will be heard – an unashamedly demotic, down to earth film about the future of the Planet. Yes, it’s a film which carries a terrifying warning, but a film also that offers a way out – to urge human beings to explore solutions that could save our future”.

David Wallerstein, Creator and Executive Producer of the documentary and Tencent Chief eXploration Officer (CXO), commented: “When I kicked off the production of Day Zero with Keo Films, the goal was to openly understand the status of water on Earth. We needed to travel around the planet with cameras to understand the water story first-hand.  We needed to visit Cape Town as the taps were being turned off, and understand the complex factors affecting the Amazon. Human behavior and climate change are affecting our world in ways that are now becoming better understood. The movie is intended to be a first step in an ongoing dialogue about water, human behavior and climate. Importantly, we wanted to make a film that could facilitate some emotional feelings towards the significance of life on Earth – the beauty and the fragility – and also the significance of the challenge to protect it.”

Kari Lia, Executive Producer of the documentary, said: “Day Zero presented us with a once-in-a lifetime challenge – to fearlessly tell the truth about climate change without sugar coating it for audiences. Our mission was to empower the viewer not only to understand the reasons behind the drought in critical regions but walk away with a deeper comprehension of the world we live in today.”

Jens Richter, CEO International, Fremantle, said: “Water Scarcity is one of the biggest climate issues facing mankind. It is a truly global issue and we are proud to be partnering with the award-winning and hugely talented teams at Keo Films and Tencent to spread this urgent global message. Day Zero is a powerful, masterfully produced film that serves as a wake-up call for us all, but will also inspire audiences around the world that there is still time to act and save our planet”.

The film was co-directed by Virginia Quinn (Africa’s Great Civilizations, Mankind: The Story of All of Us). Will Pugh (McQueen) was director of photography and Marcy Cox was the Producer for Keo Films.

Jon Creamer