Sometimes I feel there is always a looming superficiality whenever there is a film festival because it brings droves of people snapping photos of celebs on their smartphones not caring for whoever is around them – as long as they get that Instagramable shot. And we’ve all done it once or twice. But it becomes somewhat of a soul crusher when every other word out of our mouths is about the personal lives of people we know nothing about, rather than the art they put on film or the philanthropic work they do for those less fortunate. So rather than attending the gifting suites, or overwhelming myself with parties filled with people I didn’t know, it seemed more productive for a first timer to take in celebrity partnered events focused on givebacks and discussions during this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
One of the partnerships that stuck out most was a panel discussion featuring Stella Artois Global Vice President, Todd Allen, and Water.org co-founders, Matt Damon and Gary White to launch their “Buy a Lady a Drink” campaign at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The main topic centered on the current global water crisis and the steps necessary to end the long journeys many women make daily, for water. Not necessarily healthy, sanitary water. Just the access to water.
“It’s called “Buy A Lady A Drink” because the water crisis disproportionately affects women. It’s usually the women [and often the girls] in these extremely poor families that are in charge of collecting the water. Girls in these developing worlds oftentimes are missing school because they are going on these water collections,” Damon explained.
So this is how the campaign works. We (you, me, the person next you, anyone) buys this limited-edition hyperlinked chalice from Stella Artois. They (Stella Artois and Water.org) in turn, provide CLEAN drinking water for woman in a developing country for five years. Meaning a woman and her family will now have clean water to drink, cook, bathe, and clean with. And for those of you thinking, “Oh, it probably costs $100.” You’re wrong. One chalice cost $13, and if you have Amazon Prime, you won’t be charged shipping. And if you’re rebuttal is,”How often do we really use water anyway?” It’s 6:53PM and since 6:00PM, I’ve flushed the toilet, washed my hands twice, washed a plate, rinsed a sink, and wet a paper towel to wipe a smudge….so quite a bit.
“Since 1990 about two billion people have gained access to water for the first time and that’s huge. So I think we do have potential, despite where we are with this right now, to solve this problem and do it in our lifetime,” said Todd Allen.
In 2015, Stella Artois and Water.org provided five years of clean drinking water to 290,000 people in developing countries. There’s no doubt we can help them triple that number this year.