It would be hard to dream up a better combo for an adventure movie that raises awareness about a water crisis than filmmaker Peter McBride and climber Jake Norton. McBride's film Chasing Water won the 2011 Banff Montain Film Short award for tracking Jonathan Waterman's source-to-sea paddle down the Colorado River. Along the way, McBride documented the changes the river has undergone since he was a boy living in its watershed. Norton is in the middle of an expedition called Challenge 21, a multi-year project to climb the three highest mountains on each of the seven continents to raise awareness about the world water crisis through Water For People. He's traveled to eight of those peaks so far.
In The Water Tower, the pair is joined by Kim Havell and others for a July 2012 expedition up Mount Kenya. The 17,057-foot peak provides roughly 70 percent of the nation's fresh water supply. Aside from an electrical storm the team had to weather on the mountain, they also faced plenty of challenges on the ground. For McBride, one of those tests was whether to drink the warm blood from a recently slit goat's neck during a Samburu warrior festival. "I didn't have the courage to tell these warriors no," he says. "Keeping it together afterwards—belly gurgling—and going back to shooting was trickier than I expected."