The Center for Cultural Presentation, based in Hendersonville, NC, is launching a brand-new film all about the people who have protected the rivers of the South. Among the organizations mentioned in the film is the Paddlers Hemlock Health Action Taskforce (PHHAT), a collaborative project between the Hemlock Restoration Initiative, MountainTrue, American Whitewater, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Friends of HRI have been extended a special discounted ticket offer to view the world premieres of this film on June 20th, 22nd, and 23rd, which you can access here! This offer is only valid through Sunday, June 16th.

Read the Center’s press release below for more information about the film. You can also view the trailer here.

“The Center for Cultural Preservation, WNC’s History and Documentary Film Center, is proud to announce the release of award-winning film director David Weintraub’s new film on the ordinary people who did extraordinary things to protect southern rivers and streams.  Guardians of Our Troubled Waters, is the Center’s sixth feature film that connects people to their rich cultural and natural history.  For most of the history of our region, native peoples had a deep spiritual connection to their rivers.  The Cherokee believed that every body of water was sacred and they worked to protect the “Long Man” and his “chattering children” because they understood that what they did to their waterways, they did to themselves.  Early settlers likewise followed in the footsteps of their native brethren.  But in the Industrial Age, all bets were off.  Logging, paper mills, tanneries and other manufacturing plants dumped their effluence directly into the nearest waterway, turning pristine streams into moving cesspools.

Guardians chronicles these stories and the early heroes who stood up against the destruction fighting against toxic pollution from factories, rampant draining of wetlands and the damming of tributaries that would have forced thousands of farmers from their ancestral land.  The film focuses on three communities: Western North Carolina, East Tennessee and South Florida as well as the heroes who stood up against those who were killing our rivers including the savior of the French Broad, Wilma Dykeman, grand dame of the Everglades, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and the protectors of the Pigeon River, the Dead Pigeon River Council and many others who carry on the fight today as the eyes and ears of our waterways.

According to Director Weintraub, “So much of what we take for granted today, whitewater rafting and kayaking, fishing, drinking water and the thriving brewery community harkens back to those who refused to allow profits to come before human health and the health of river ecosystems.  These stories are vital because they remind us about who we are and why our natural resources are critical for our survival and that of our cherished wildlife.”

Guardians of Our Troubled Waters will have its world premieres on June 20 at 7:00 PM at  Blue Ridge Community College’s Thomas Auditorium, June 22 at 7:30 PM at the NC Arboretum and June 23rd at 7:30 PM at White Horse Black Mountain.  Tickets are $15 and $20 at the door and advanced reservations are strongly recommended by registering online at  or calling the Center at (828) 692-8062. Music will open each program by Cherokee performer Matthew Tooni and will be followed by a Q&A with the director.

The film is a collaboration with the Eastern Band of Cherokee, Wilma Dykeman Legacy Foundation, MountainTrue, Conserving Carolina, Friends of the Everglades and Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee. Major sponsors include the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the Community Foundation of Henderson County, the McClure Education Foundation, the Pigeon River Fund, Gaia Herbs and Prestige Subaru.

The Center for Cultural Preservation is a cultural nonprofit organization dedicated to working for mountain heritage continuity through oral history, documentary film, education and public programs. For more information about the Center contact them at (828) 692-8062 or