Award-winning Tayside film-maker Anthony Baxter’s latest documentary has secured deal which will take his story of a US water contamination scandal to a global audience.
It resulted in as many as 12,000 children being exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead and was blamed for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the county that is thought to have claimed as many as 70 victims.
Baxter, who won acclaim for his 2011 film documenting the battle between Aberdeenshire residents and Donald Trump over the creation of a golf course at the future US president’s Balmedie resort, near Aberdeen, directed and co-produced Flint with the BBC.
It debuted at the Glasgow Film Festival just before the Covid-19 pandemic, but scheduled premieres in Washington DC, San Francisco and Detroit were cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.
The film is currently streaming online in the UK as part of Sheffield Doc/Fest and New York-based Cargo Films and Releasing has now confirmed it has picked up world sales rights to the documentary.
Baxter said the timing of the deal in the midst of the current global situation was significant.
“Covid-19 has brought home how much we rely on trust – in science and in the authorities – to keep us safe,” he said.
“In Flint, that trust has broken down completely, and the consequences are horrifying.
“With up to 70 lives lost and thousands of children poisoned with lead, the human cost in Flint has been enormous. Yet, residents have not been compensated for the financial, medical, and psychological impact.”
A Michigan Government report concluded “systemic racism” was a contributory factor in the crisis.
Baxter added: “It is vital that Flint’s voices are still heard, but also lessons are learned.”
The county has lost several of it community leaders during the coronavirus crisis and faces rocketing unemployment.
Mr Baxter’s Montrose Pictures company also created You’ve Been Trumped Too in 2016, following Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign from a singularly Scottish viewpoint.