Beverly Hills News
Isla Urbana Wins Water Conservation Award
By Jennifer Alcaraz
Oct 28, 2012 - 2:17:47 PM

BEVERLY HILLS—On October 17, Greg Harriott was awarded a $10,000 prize for his film on responsible water use at the fifth-annual Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition. The event was sponsored by Rain Bird Corp., a supplier of irrigation services, and occurred at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. The objective of the event is to bring attention to harmful excess use of water and the need to preserve it. Animal expert Jack Hannah was in charge of hosting the event.



Greg Harriott granted Canyon News a brief interview in which he explained why he considered his film on “Isla Urbana,” (an organization in Mexico dedicated to reconstructing water ducts) a good candidate for Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition.  Greg who is an award-winning cinematographer and documentary filmmaker was contacted by his friend Dave Vargas about the non-profit group, Isla Urbana, based out of Mexico City. This group installs rainwater-harvesting systems for low-income households. He explained that it’s common that some neighborhoods lack water months at a time while there are floods during rain season. Isla Urbana, as he mentioned, takes on the assignment to mount rainwater-harvesting systems with the help of local plumbers and materials to capture, clean, and restore the rainwater.


It was this group’s work that motivated him to go to Mexico and start filming on his own. After receiving constant calls from Dave Vargas, who was The Chief Operator Officer of the organization and being informed about what they were doing, Harriott decided to embark on the filming mission. He filmed without a budget and was in charge of directing, cinematography and recording. Greg did receive help from his brother Mark Harriott (co-director on the program) to edit the documentary.  


Greg informed Canyon News he was impressed with the difference “Isla Urbana” makes in people’s lives. To him, “the idea to capture some of the water when it’s raining, and save it for when it’s dry just makes sense, and it works!” This is also why he considered the organization to be an appropriate film for the IUOW Competition, since he wanted to get message across of what the group was helping with in Mexico. He is currently working alongside his brother Mark on a documentary about water. Greg shared that his profession in filmmaking is an opportunity to communicate something with meaning to large audiences.  For more information on Greg Harriott visit his website

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