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Rave On For The Avon

feature-length documentary film that follows a local community’s fight to save their bathing spot in unique, daring & distinctly Bristolian ways.


Water Quality



In a densely residential part of East Bristol runs a serene section of the River Avon which attracts crowds of swimmers in the summer and a regular rotation of cold-water swimmers in winter.


It offers solace and healing for those struggling with mental health issues and a free outdoor activity for local lower-income families.

River Health

Three local swimmers (Becca, Em and Eva) formed the Conham Bathing Group, a citizen-led water testing programme to help raise awareness of the poor water quality in the Avon.

The Conham Bathing Group are applying for Designated Bathing Water Status (DBWS). Officially designated Bathing Waters are the only blue spaces where water quality is regularly monitored for its effect on human health, and legal obligations are put on polluting industries to clean up their act. In the UK there are currently only 3 stretches of river, all of which have been won through local campaigns. 

Water Campaign


Rave On For The Avon will be screened throughout the UK, inviting viewers to seek out swimming spots in their local area and fight to protect them. The situation is dire but there is hope and community to be found in protecting rivers. 

We are collaborating with Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and Rivers Trust to point people to a growing movement of activism which seeks to attain 200 designated bathing waters by 2030. For more infomation please visit SAS's Protecting Wild Waters Campaign.

There is an ecological emergency in English rivers.

The human and wildlife population are at risk.

Today, in England, only 14% of rivers are in good

ecological health & none are in good chemical health.

In 2021, the environmental performance of the UK’s

water & sewage companies fell to the lowest level

on record, with little improvement since.

Wild Swimming



But the Bristol Council prohibits swimming in the river, and it’s often filled with dangerous levels of raw sewage, chemical pollution and farm run-off.


This leaves everyone with a dilemma; for all the benefits the river gives them, it could potentially cause them even greater harm

Water Quality Testing

This film features a tapestry of people who love and fight for this river, illustrating how much there is to loose if the Avon continues to face unending pollution. 


This film will deliver a sense of urgency to the Bristol Council about the critical state of the River Avon and how much locals rely on it for health and wellbeing. It is a Bristol community account that will galvanise audiences to campaign for policy change in the UK and Internationally. We screened the film recently to local Councillors in Bristol to support Conham Bathing's launch of the Thriving Avon Charter, a document created by the river guardian community laying out policy recommendations for the Avon.

Designated Water Bathing Status


We are finishing up a preview run of the film and are working hard to secure distribution for the film nationally. Sign up to our email list or follow us on Instagram to stay in the loop.

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Read about our joyful sold-out Premiere screening at PYTCH where 300 river-lovers gathered to share in this story.


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Patrick Naylor

The Outdoor Swimming Society

The team at OSS were excited to feature our campaign in their magazine, celebrating how a community came together with energy and positivity over river health.

Our film is featured in a beautiful two page spread in Bristol 24/7's Spring magazine.

We are collaborating with Bristol 24/7 to try to change local policy and encourage more swimmers in Bristol to enjoy this wonderful patch of river.

Betty Woolverton

Bristol 247

The Today Programme Radio 4

Justin Webb spoke to Director of Rave On For The Avon Charlotte Sawyer and Founder of The Conham Bathers Becca Blease on BBC Radio Four's The Today Programme which is spending the year following the Bristol Avon.

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The Outdoor

Swimming Society

“Rave On for the Avon is a beautiful new film which captures a community’s love for the Avon, their fight for Bathing Water Quality status and explores the importance of rivers in modern life – all set to a Bristol soundtrack. "
Patrick Naylor

Kendal Mountain Festival

"A sensually produced film that will truly immerse you; sink in to the stories, get deep into the issues, and rise out raving."
Claire Carter, Artistic Director Kendal Mountain Festival

Tonic of the Sea

“Such a hugely necessary and inspiring film - made at a time of grave concern for our UK waterways and the health of the wildlife and people that use them”
Katie Maggs


This is a universal story of love.

Would you like to galvanise your community around the love of rivers?

Host a screening at your local cinema.

Donate Now


This film is an independent production and a labour of love by the filmmakers involved.


Your donation will go to Eighty Sita Productions to a distribution pot that will help us to pay for

a cinema rating, PR and promotional materials. These costs are in the thousands and every little can help.


Thank you for your donation!

NEW! Thriving Avon Charter Launch
15th June Tobacco Factory


World Premiere at Kendal Mountain Festival  //  Fri 17th Nov

Bristol Premiere at PYTCH  //  Sat 23rd March 

BBC Natural History Unit Preview

at Bridgewater House  //  Thurs 18th April

Special Preview at Bristol Aquarium // Thurs 25th April 

Special Preview at Curzon Clevedon // Sat 4th May 

Community Screening with Surfers Against Sewage

Mousehole, Cornwall // Friday 10th May

Preview Screening at The UK River Summit

Morden Hall, Southwest London // Tue 21st May

Community Screening with the School of Geography and Environment

Oxford University // Tue 28th May

Community Screening with West Cumbria Rivers Trust

Alhambra Cinema, Keswick // Wed 5th June

Special Preview and

Thriving Avon Charter Launch at The Tobacco Factory // Sat 15th June

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