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Exceptional feature-length documentary “Budiž voda!“ charts the creation of a unique invention called S.A.W.E.R., designed to bring fresh water to even the driest places on the planet at almost zero cost. Miloslav Šmídmajer is producing the film about the project, which currently adorns the Czech pavilion at the EXPO exhibition in Dubai and it will come to Czech cinemas in a month, on 11 November 2021.

A documentary about a Czech invention called S.A.W.E.R. (Solar-Air-Water-Earth-Resource) describes the events that influence, change and determine the Czech participation in EXPO 2020. The film about a two-year battle with circumstances presents seven brave Czech scientists who decided to make a device that can extract water from the air on a daily basis and with which the creation of oases in the desert can be considered.
The film charts the construction of S.A.W.E.R., its testing in the laboratory and then in desert conditions. It is set in the wider context of the problem of water scarcity in many areas of the world. The Czech invention uses the sun to extract liquid water from the air to feed the earth - it can extract up to 200 litres of water a day from extremely arid air!
"Jiří František Potužník, the commissioner of the Czech participation in the EXPO, came up with the idea for the Czech pavilion project to improve the desert, since the world exhibition is being held on the Arabian Peninsula. Engineers Zmrhal, Matuška and Šourek, under the roof of the UCEEB (University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings) invented a so-called adsorption unit that can produce water from desert air even at extremely low humidity without burning thousands of megawatts and consuming thousands of litres of diesel. It can make do with sunlight alone. So it makes water from nothing," explained Miloslav Šmídmajer, the film's producer. "Docent Vosátka then figured out how to grow plants in the desert sand using only organic nutrients in the greenhouses in Průhonice Park. The architects Jan Tůma and Jindřich Ráftl devised a building to house this entire technological process. The pavilion's facade is dominated by thousands of bent, openwork tubes, through which the most important fluid on Earth - water - will flow" added the producer, who shot the last shots of the film in the first days of October this year, when EXPO opened its doors.
The basis of S.A.W.E.R is an adsorption unit housed in a specially designed container. Vladimír Zmrhal, Tomáš Matuška and Bořivoj Šourek decided to test S.A.W.E.R. ahead of time in the UAE, in one of the driest places on the planet. Right on a farm in the middle of the desert, where the influential general Saif Mubarak Fadel Al Mazrouei has several hundred camels. "If all goes well, if the camels get a drink, general, by the way the president of the Bin Fadel Group from Abu Dhabi, will buy the S.A.W.E.R. system from the Czech Republic and he will probably not be alone," explained Šmídmajer.
The whole development process, trial and error, was mainly a battle for time, fought by the scientists, while Jiří Potužník fought with the contractors who were to build the pavilion itself. When he was forced to change construction company and ran into deadline slips, it was a thrilling story, at the end of which we wish for a happy ending in the form of an invention that almost the whole world will need. And even some interested parties are already signing up and dreaming of how S.A.W.E.can help, for example, to replenish the water in the Dead Sea...
Dramatic peripeties around the creation and functioning of the invention and its display were followed by director Karel Žalud, an experienced documentary filmmaker whose last film, Locked World, won the main prize at the IDFF Jihlava. Years ago, he even dealt with the topic of EXPO and made a series EXPO in Czech for Czech Television.
Director Karel Žalud brings a small personal story with each of the scientists in the film. Most notably with Jiří Potužník and energy expert Tomáš Matuška. "The most important thing that attracts me about the documentary is that in this unreliable, confusing world which is more concerned with prestige and media gestures, a group of people have come together and with natural activity, simply and simply, they are striving for a good and useful cause. And if I didn't make a film about them, they would do it anyway," explained Mr. Žalud of his fascination with the subject. He collaborated on the film with cinematographer Prokop Souček and sound engineer Ivan Horák.
The documentary was produced in cooperation between Bio Illusion and Czech Television and the Office of the Commissioner General of the Czech Republic's participation in the Universal World Expo. It was also supported by the State Cinematography Fund. The general partner is Komerční banka which supports projects with a perspective of sustainability. The film will be released in cinemas on 11 November 2021 by the distribution company CinemArt.

Mgr. Jiří František Potužník - Czech Commissioner
Ing. Vladimír Zmrhal - air engineer
Doc. Ing. Tomáš Matuška - power engineer
Ing. Bořivoj Šourek - power engineer doc. RNDr. Miroslav Vosátka - biologist
Arch. Jan Tůma
Arch. Jindřich Ráftl

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