Gunther joins festivalgoers at Aultsville Filmfest

Alycia Douglass

"What Lies Below" filmmaker, Lawrence Gunther addresses the audience at the 11th annual Aultsville Filmiest this Sat. Jan. 28.

CORNWALL, Ontario - Ottawa-based filmmaker, Lawrence Gunther joined festivalgoers at Aultsville Filmfest before and after the screening of his documentary, "What Lies Below."

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The film follows Gunther as he embarks on a journey across Canada to learn about concerns and hopes for local fisheries, and further investigate what is being done to protect and conserve Canada's water and traditional fisheries.

Gunther, who was registered "blind" at the age of eight, says that it was important to him that people were able to look at the issue from his vantage point.

"When you look at water, you just see the surface," said Gunther. "But I visualize through my other senses."

"What Lies Below" chronicles the experiences of 11 communities across Canada facing water and fish habitat issues.

"They're told by the people who live by the water," said Gunther. "You won't see scientists, you won't see corporations, or government officials in this documentary. This is their story, I'm just helping tell it."

Gunther says that it's only recently that our relationship with nature has become slightly toxic due to our changing lifestyles. "So we have to sort of reexamine our relationship to the water, and with the aquatic world so we're not impacting it so severely as we are now," said Gunther.

Gunther says that training the next generation to exist on better terms with nature is a critical part of the process. "We're only starting the good work," said Gunther. "We've still got a lot ahead of us."

Andrea Filion is among one of three committee members that helps organize the Aultsville Filmfest, and says that they were proud to have Gunther take part in this year's festival. "It's nice to get a community that is not only interested in film, but also in environmental causes," said Filion.

The film was produced in support of Bluefish Canada, which Gunther and producer, Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais started back in 2012.

"It's really one of the last wild grown food resources that we still harvest around the world," said Gunther. "To do it responsibly, sustainably, and to do it thoughtfully and with respect  is so important, and it's going to help us stay aware of what nature is all about."

For more information about Bluefish Canada, you can visit www.bluefishcanada.ca

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