Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Living in Flow explores the power of water on mental health

The Halifax-based documentary series explores how young Atlantic Canadians see water as a tool for well-being.

The Halifax-based documentary series Living in Flow explores how young Atlantic Canadians see water as a tool for well-being.

One of only three teams selected from across Canada, and the only one from Atlantic Canada, the series is part of the Vice Media and The Telus Fund’s inaugural Take Care incubator, which funds documentary series focused on mental health and wellness of young Canadians.

Living in Flow follows six diverse Atlantic Canadians facing different mental health challenges. Each episode highlights the self-care outlets they have found through the lens of one of the most fundamental elements of sustaining life. The six episodes are now available to stream online at vice.com.

In this Q&A with series producer Britney Canzi, we find out more.

This interview has been edited.

What can audiences expect from Living in Flow?

Living in Flow is a six-episode documentary series exploring water as a tool in mental health.  Our profiles are Fawn Logan-Young, Claire Parsons, Wayne Bedecki, Musemo Handahu, Burry, and Kanaan McCabe. They are all such multi-talented, inspiring and empowered individuals.

Audiences can expect honest, authentic, and sincere conversations about addiction, identity, nature, mental health, privilege in self-care, and representation.

Where did the idea come from?

When we were brainstorming project ideas to pitch during our first team meeting, it started with our director Meaghan Wright suggesting we incorporate water into our pitch for Vice, and then our team kept adding to the concept. So much collaboration went into the project, from development to post-production.

Our writing team was composed of myself, Erin Brown taking the lead on research, Meaghan Wright, Marie Wright, Kanaan McCabe, and Walter Forsyth. We all grew up in Nova Scotia, and much of the inspiration in our lives comes from water. So it seemed like the perfect combination, and we were fortunate enough that The Telus Fund and Vice Media were also excited about the project pitch.

Did you have any difficulties finding participants to tell their stories?

There are so many inspiring Atlantic Canadians, and we were very fortunate not to have any trouble finding participants. However, I wish we could have had more episodes to feature even more participants to truly reflect all the diversity in the Maritimes.

What was your biggest challenge in making the series?

The biggest challenge would definitely be COVID. Because of COVID precautions, we kept our core production team small to limit the number of bodies in our subject’s homes during filming.

Many team members wore multiple hats. For example, I was the Covid coordinator, craft services, locations/production manager, on top of producer, and writer, so it kept me very busy the entire summer.

The outdoor shooting also had its challenges. We filmed many scenes outdoors to really showcase our province, and it can be unpredictable to try to schedule shoot days in advance without being rained out.

What will surprise audiences the most about the series?

Each episode is five minutes long, but the amount of hope and insight that pours out of the inspiring stories each profile shares about their journey with their mental health and self-care. I think every episode is unique. The entire series is very relatable, and I think the audience will feel connected with each profile.

What do you hope audiences walk away talking or thinking about after watching?

I hope audiences walk away feeling a little more empowered in their own lives dealing with their mental health and self-care. This pandemic has been traumatic, volatile, and isolating. This series is a reminder to keep going forward, that it is important to be vulnerable, and that growth comes from being uncomfortable. Still, the power of community support can truly help in the process. The series is a reminder that you are not alone, even when you feel like you are, and there is a bright light in that dark tunnel. Just hold on. 

What’s next?

For this series, we will begin applying to festivals. For myself, what’s next workwise is I am currently working on some narrative screenplays and acting projects. My long-term goal is to become a creator/showrunner of a narrative series filmed in Nova Scotia. There is so much talent and so many beautiful locations to film. I would love to bring a project to this province that creates many years of long-term work for our local film and TV community. 

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