Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:12

Premier of Thirst, a film made by Western Sydney about Western Sydney

Media Release, November 2011

Bankstown Arts Centre between 6:00 and 8:00 PM on Tuesday 15th November 2011

Thirst is the world’s first online collaborative documentary and it was made by Western Sydney community members. Thirst will premier at a red carpet event held at 6pm on Tuesday 15th November 2011 at Bankstown Art Centre.


This visually stunning documentary explores the role and meaning of water for a variety of cultures in Western Sydney. The documentary was created online by Western Sydneysiders and directed by AFI award winning documentary maker, Sascha Ettinger Epstein. 

The concept behind Thirst was an experiment to see what happens when community members are given the tools to create what they want to see in a documentary and determine how they want it portrayed, with the support of a professional production team. A website,, was created to do just that – to allow community members to dream up, shape and ultimately create their own, collective story.

Thirst was developed under the Water Stories project, a partnership between Australian Documentaries and the Institute for Sustainable Futures at University of Technology Sydney, and forms part of the ‘Water in The Landscape Program’ run by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) and funded by the NSW Environmental Trust.

“I am excited to see this unique project coming to life. Being developed by the Western Sydney community, Thirst is a very special film and both the process of Water Stories and the end product Thirst are a wonderful way to draw attention to the importance of water assets in our local communities.” WSROC President, Clr Alison McLaren says.

The project, which commenced in June 2011, allowed anyone living in Western Sydney the chance to work on the documentary – no prior knowledge or experience was required.

Community members were encouraged to submit ideas for what the documentary should show and how it should be presented through the online site CrowdTV. Community members were then able to vote for their favourite documentary ideas, blog and add to discussions and work with professional producers, all the while contributing to a powerful story about water in their landscape.

The idea for the overall theme of the documentary - water and culture as the lifeblood of our planet - was chosen by public vote in pre-production. The most creative ideas and the most active participants have been named on the credits of this ground breaking community project.

“It is a very new and exciting concept, as we, the production team, have little control over the directions the documentary will take; it is all run through the CrowdTV website, Facebook and Twitter,” Kylee Ingram, founder of Australian Documentaries says.

The event takes place at Bankstown Arts Centre, 5 Olympic Parade, Bankstown, between 6 and 8 PM, Tuesday 15 November, 2011.

More information on the documentary and the process:

More information about Water in The Landscape:



Media Enquiries: Karin Bishop, WSROC deputy CEO, 0417 239 539


Last modified on Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:26

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