Academy Award winner Paul Haggis (Crash) will executive produce a new documentary on the contaminated water scandal in Flint, Michigan. Deadline was the first to report the news. Haggis will partner with Michael Nozik through their Highway 61 Films, alongside Flint native and publicist Howard Bragman. Alex Olsen, Patrick Letterii and Glen Zipper will produce. William Hart is attached to direct. Steven Leckhart (All Things Must Pass) wrote the documentary.
Flint’s unsafe water has been affecting the approximately 100,000 residents there since 2014. At that time, local officials had switched water sources from Lake Huron to the Flint River in an effort to cut costs; however, the water had not been treated with corrosive inhibitors, allowing lead contamination. Some have been charged with a cover-up and criminal behavior as a result.
Bragman said, “To me this is not something that is just a tragic news story — it’s real and it’s affecting my family, my friends, people I love. This is not an isolated story for fiscally challenged Rust Belt cities; it’s the ‘canary in the coalmine’ for other cities.”
Hart, a journalist, covered the story for Yahoo News earlier this year. In a statement, he said, “Once I learned of the depth of the problem and the extent of the cover-up, I was compelled to take a closer look and tell this story in the way it deserved to be told.” The documentary will include interviews with LeeAnne Walters, the woman who exposed the crisis, and Dr. Marc Edwards, who has been working on behalf of Flint’s cause for a year.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the documentary will hit the festival circuit next year.