‘SlingShot’

‘SlingShot’

Screens at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Marvin and Betty Danto Lecture Hall at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Tickets are $10, $9 for DIA members and seniors.

When eccentric inventor Dean Kamen introduced the Segway, a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle in 2002, the auto industry wasn’t sure what to make of this futuristic device that can transport individuals with maximum efficiency and little environmental footprint.

This new documentary focuses on the inventor’s passion for the title invention, the SlingShot mobile purification unit. Without chemicals or filters it turns any unfit water (seawater, poisoned wells, river sludge) into safe, drinkable water. Kamen believes it can reduce or even eliminate waterborne disease throughout the world.

The movie not only goes into the fascinating back story of the millionaire (and son of EC comic book artist Jack Kamen), but the development of SlingShot from successful trials in rural Ghana to a recent alliance with the Coca Cola Co. to extend its reach further. It also explores Kamen’s founding of the FIRST organization, which uses competitions and other methods to get young people interested in science and technology. Michigan premiere.

AFTER THE FILM: There will be a Q&A moderated by Free Press business columnist Tom Walsh and featuring director Paul Lazarus.

Year: 2014
Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes
Rating: Unrated; nothing objectionable
Director: Paul Lazarus
Cinematographer: Sam Henriques, Phillip Hurn, Michael Sacca, Logan Schneider, David Wright
Editors: Douglas Blush, Paul Lazarus, Dirk Meenen, Edward Osei-Gyimah
Producers: Paul Lazarus, Barry Opper
Production company: White Dwarf Productions
Film festivals: Cinequest Film Festival, Virginia Film Festival, Denver International Film Festival