It was an ordinary morning. I was sipping coffee and reading my paper when a quirky little headline caught my eye. "The beaver's new brand: eco-saviour," it read. I was amused. Then intrigued. The idea that Canada's much-maligned national icon was a vastly overlooked tool for protecting the world's water resources drove me to dig deeper, ask questions--do the research. What I discovered both delighted and amazed me.
A compelling and provocative argument could be made that beavers are the custodians of the world's water resources--nothing less than ecological superheroes--a keystone species that just might save the world's water.
Ridiculous? Perhaps. Audacious? Hopefully. It strikes me that my passion for this story shares the underlying theme that informs many of my other documentaries. Take, for example, "Sleeping Tigers," the true story of a team of Japanese Canadian baseball players who, against all odds, became unstoppable champions in the racially charged world of pre-war Vancouver. Or the intensely personal tale of my father, a Canadian-born Chinese soldier who risked his life for the right to vote. I most definitely lean towards stories of unsung heroes and their struggles for recognition and respect. In the beaver, it seemed I'd found another unlikely hero for our times.
Jari Osborne is a multi-award winning documentary filmmaker and journalist with 20 years of broadcasting and production experience. Her work spans the areas of human rights, social justice and popular culture and are characterized by intelligence, humour, and deep empathy for her subjects. Her new project, Long Way Home, will follow a group of childhood friends who purchase a run down country inn with plans to take charge of their own elder care.