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'Waterproof'- a dive into East Hampton's crusade to create a safe swimming environment



Water, the life-giving force on which the entire world relies for survival, can sometimes turn into a dangerous antagonist, one capable of killing you in an instance, as the residents of East Hampton found out. With “Waterproof” Director Ross Kauffman and Producer Maeera Mougin set out to make a well-paced film showing the power of a community united towards creating a safer beach for everyone and clearly delivered on their filmmaking goal.


The film takes the viewer on a journey to a picturesque part of Long Island, New York that boasts a stunning coastline and not surprisingly an annual visitor influx approximately four times larger than the number of local residents.


Through interviews and cold facts, “Waterproof” explores the lives of East Hampton residents and how a not-so-isolated incident in 2010 triggered a response that forever changed their approach to water safety.


The film highlights the drowning death of Leslie Sgaglione, who died on its sunny beaches on August 8, 2010. Saddened and shocked by Sgaglione's death, the village ventures on a quest to safeguard against further drowning accidents, with the local community and the town council initiating various measures to ensure that this type of incident never recurs.


Watching this documentary, it is impossible not to be intrigued by the camerawork and cinematographic elements in the film; both play a critical role in telling the story of the film and help depict the raw emotional nature of its content by simulating instances of drowning through various well devised camera angles. Several moving interviews bring to the limelight how such tragedies occur, with well-placed close-up shots enabling the viewer to see the pained expressions in the faces of some of the interviewees, as they recount their harrowing experiences.


The excellent cinematography, combined with the notably smooth sound editing helps “Waterproof” deliver both a powerful message to other beach communities around the world and a film truly worth diving into.