• Director

    Trent Zulkiewicz, Will Brenninkmeyer

  • Country, Year, Length

    United States, 2020, 14:29

  • Category

    Documentary Short

  • Format

    Digital, Sony A7iii

  • Festival Year



In the semi-arid village of Malolo in Singida, Tanzania, Adija and her surrounding community rely on one water source, a single hole in the ground no larger than the size of an average puddle. From the Ground Up takes a look into Adija’s daily routine and provides a powerful understanding of the localized impact of the increasingly dire global water crisis.


Trent Zulkiewicz – Director – Carrying Tomorrow (Sound, Composer), The Lady and the Tramp (Scoring Assistant)
Will Brenninkmeyer – Director – Carrying Tomorrow (Cinematographer, Editor)
Michelle Kimura – Producer
Kate Costanza – Producer
Mallory Arthurs – Producer
Megan Ruiz – Cinematographers
Mia Latran – Cinematographers
Megan Ruiz – Editors
Will Brenninkmeyer – Editors – Carrying Tomorrow (Cinematographer, Editor)
Adija – Key Cast
Crystal Brau – Sound Team
Andra Cain – Sound Team
Avery Smith – Multimedia Director
Olivia Badalamenti – Multimedia Producer
Corbin Meier – Multimedia Team
Stelious Kroudis – Multimedia Team
Kathleen Connor – Multimedia Team
Maggie Mengel – Multimedia Team
Pia Nomen – Multimedia Team
Taylor Washington – Multimedia Team
Max Davidoff-Grey – Composers
Kiera Quinn – Fundraising
Ben Kraninger – Fundraising
Brad de Jesus – Production Manager
Kate Costanza – Line Producers
Sureatha Longstreet – Line Producers
Nema Etebar – Creative Consultant
Amari Johnson – Group Facilitator
Lydia Namayani – Translators
Jonas Almani – Translators
Derek Ongeri – Translators
Latisha Nkonya – Translators
Victor Mubelwa Kaleshu – Translators

Director Statement

This film is so much more than a documentary. It is an intimate and immersive experience that can and should evoke a sense of injustice and global responsibility in each and every viewer. When we first sat down to talk about our individual goals and aspirations for this story, it became very clear that each of us wanted to create something personal, something that would allow the audience not just to become aware of an issue but to engage with it actively, to question its causes, and to be impacted by its reality on a deep, personal level.

The two weeks we spent on the ground were challenging. Trying to squeeze all of the stories we heard and all of the elements of the water crisis into one fifteen-minute short documentary was a constant worry. We chose to focus on one woman, Adija, and walk with her personal experience and insight into the water crisis she lives through every day. We consider ourselves unbelievably lucky to have been able to meet and listen to her almost every day during our time in Tanzania. Bringing her life, light, and story to the world is an honor and a privilege. This film has consumed both of our lives for the majority of the past year, and we are looking forward to showing it to as many people as humanly possible.

Director Biography

Both Will and Trent have a passion for creative and impactful storytelling. This film is their second documentary together and highlights the localized reality of the global water crisis.