Singing in a film about Canterbury’s rivers was a special moment for one Geraldine child.
Anya Johnston was one of more than 40 people involved with Seven Rivers Walking, singing a live rendition of Water is Life for the film which analyses the state of seven Canterbury rivers and those who both protect and use them.
The 8-year-old attended the Timaru screening on Sunday screening, along with her family – and performed the song for the audience after the credits had rolled.
The home-schooled Geraldine resident learned the song through the choir at Woodbury School, which she attends once a week, and sang it solo for the film.
Her father Sven and brother Isaac (5) were also in the film, which was created by Gaylene Barnes and Kathleen Gallagher, the latter of whom attended the Timaru showing.
Mr Johnston, a former rafting guide who has guided in rivers across Europe and America, took the film crew down the Orari River for the film.
He said the family took part in the annual bird surveys along the river, and had recently been getting into rafting now the “kids were getting old enough”.
Mr Johnston has lived next to the Orari River since age 13 and is also a member of the Orari River Protection Group.
Both his children said their favourite parts of being involved in filming was rafting down the river, although Isaac also liked “playing in the river”, decked out in his bright green raincoat.
Mr Johnston said Seven Rivers showed the importance of the region’s rivers and the need to stop further intensification of the farmland near the rivers.
“It has to change.”
He hoped the further screenings, including one in Geraldine on September 10, would provide encouragement for those wanting to look after the rivers.
“Getting it to the people that need to see it is the challenge,” he said.