When people talk about Netflix, it's often to mention the latest sitcoms raved over/binge-watched even through weekdays. Yes, there are blockbuster films, animations, and reality programs, but we can't really deny that our reliance and purpose of streaming platforms is a mind-numb; a means to escape from the conundrum of daily life.
Occasionally, there are a few stand out documentary pieces that capture our attention for bold voices and visceral videography; works that jostle the mind awake instead. It is thanks to passionate individuals who took the time and effort to tell nature's stories, keeping in check those of us too far removed from these realities. Unfortunately, the activism that these films ignite are fleeting—one moment we are the voice of the oceans and its inhabitants and the next we lack the confidence to even name all five of the world's oceans.
With no immediate outlet (and probably willpower) for us to effectively contribute change, there is and always will be a disconnect between the messages we receive and the actions that it can translate to. When that happens, finding a bridge of association from mere TV entertainment to actual living and breathing people helps.
WaterBear, a free streaming platform dedicated to sharing stories about the future of our world, is one of these said bridges. Connecting viewers of documentary works directly with the filmmakers, NGOs and charities that made them, it just launched in Singapore as part of its global rollout this month. WaterBear brings stories spanning topics of biodiversity, community, climate action and sustainable fashion to our shores, empowering all of us to dive deeper, learn more about the issues behind the programmes, and take direct action.
Founded by Ellen Windemuth, the Executive Producer of BAFTA and Oscar winning documentary My Octopus Teacher, this interactive streaming platform launched in December last year with the support of the Duke of Sussex. "We are thrilled to be expanding into Singapore bringing our breadth of content to an even larger audience, further supporting our mission to drive global impact through storytelling," she said.
They have since partnered with more than 140 charities and NGOs around the world, including WWF, Greenpeace, and Amazon Watch, and invite you to come aboard to witness more of the groundbreaking work that highlights the wonders and woes that our world faces today.
If you are looking from some recommendations to start off your deep dive, consider Ghost Fleet, Keepers Of The Forest and In Your Palm, all documentaries based in South-east Asia. Otherwise, you can go with The Breakdown, a WaterBear Original series about the climate crisis narrated by filmmaker and YouTuber Jack Harries; Mother of the Sea, a WaterBear Original short based on an Inuit myth about the importance of protecting the planet; or The True Cost, a feature documentary about fast fashion.
WaterBear is available to stream via its official app, website, and on Apple TV.