What springs-lovers can watch while social distancing
This 13-minute short documentary won best short documentary at the Toronto Shorts in 2017 and was made by Delaney Buffett, daughter of Jimmy Buffett, and an all-female crew. A look behind the scenes at the Weeki Wachee mermaid show, it's a fun watch for the whole family, and perfect for lifting your spirits. Available for free if you have Amazon Prime, available to rent if you don't. (Click the image to go there.)
THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
You may know already that the water scenes of this classic sci-fi thriller were filmed at and in Wakulla Springs (parts of the sequels were also filmed at Silver Springs). But maybe you just haven't gotten around to actually SEEING it yet. Now's the time! It's fun to watch, but it's also fun to read up on the film's history and delightful trivia. Available for rent on Amazon or YouTube (click the image for a link).
OUT OF THE MIST: A SILVER RIVER STORY
This absolute delight was made by Mark Emery, Ocala-based, Emmy-award-winning, National Geographic filmmaker. It presents the significance of Silver Springs through the eyes of four African-American glass bottom boat drivers with a combined 200 years of experience on the river. Three of the four boat drivers are African-American and through their eyes we experience the history of segregation at the springs as well as the changing ecology. This is a recent production, completed in late 2019, and highly recommended. Click the image for a presentation provided by the IHMC's (The Institute for Human & Machine Cognition) evening lecture series. This link includes about 15 minutes of discussion with Mark Emery about the making of the film followed by the appx 45-minute film itself.
WATER'S JOURNEY: HIDDEN RIVERS OF FLORIDA
Should we go so far as to say this one is required viewing for all springs enthusiasts? Absolutely.
Created by the late Wes Skiles and shown on PBS across the nation, this is perhaps the finest explanation of Florida's karst geography and the Floridan aquifer available. If you have kids at home missing science class and they haven't seen this one yet, it's time. If YOU haven't seen it, it's time.
Some of the harrowing cave diving scenes are simply unforgettable. Clicking the image will take you to part 1 of the free YouTube version, which is broken into 3 parts. The Florida Springs Institute, our science-based sister organization, has the DVD for sale in their SHOP (and like many non-profits that depend on now-canceled fundraising events, they could use your support.)
RIVER BE DAMMED
This short (about 15 minutes) film by Matt Keene examines one of the most important environmental stories in Florida. The damage done by, and the damage that remains from, the failed cross-Florida barge canal project. More than forty years after the project was abandoned, the dam put in place on the Ocklawaha still remains. Without a clear or defined purpose, it continues to drown more than 20 springs, flood acres of forest, and prevent natural systems from operating as they should. Find out why we join other environmental groups in urging our state government to finally free the Ocklawaha River.
OTHER SPRINGS FILMS AVAILABLE:
Eric Hutcheson has been mapping underwater cave systems for decades. In this film he takes you on a journey through Silver Springs cave system and gives you the feeling of being there yourself. Which is good because not many of us actually want to be in the tight situations you'll see in this film!
40 minutes. A journey into the history, beauty, and threats faced by the Florida Springs and their connection to the Floridan Aquifer.
Commissioned by the Gainesville Orchestra, this video is simply beautiful underwater images and music, meant to inspire.
A 7-minute video by Eric Flagg that takes you along the entire route of the Ichetucknee, from its above-ground beginnings in the basin to the confluence with the Santa Fe.
By Matt Keene, 40 minutes. An artist must come to grips with the impending loss of her subject matter: a collection of majestic freshwater springs exposed only for a short time before being smothered and forgotten beneath waters held back by an aging and purposeless dam.