To most of us, sand is simply the stuff that we find on the beach when we go on holiday. We take its presence for granted, but are we right to do so? Denis Delestrac's film suggests otherwise. Sand is one of the most consumed natural resources on the planet. As a raw material, it is of huge importance to the building and construction industry -- indeed, houses, skyscrapers, bridges, airports, and pavements are all partially composed of sand. Melted and transformed into glass, it features in every window. It is also the source of silicon dioxide, a mineral found in our wines, cleaning products, cosmetics and an astounding variety of other products that we use on a daily basis.
As demand rises in an increasingly industrialised world, however, the planet's reserves of sand are coming under threat. It is estimated that three quarters of the world's beaches are in decline and likely to disappear. Such is the demand for the material that sand has even attracted the attention of the criminal fraternity, who have taken to plundering beaches and rivers for what is becoming a prized commodity. So what does the future hold as we continue to extract huge quantities of a natural resource that we seem to consider inexhaustible, and what will be the consequences for the environment? This film asks some troubling questions and we may not like the answers. More info here
Denis Delestrac made his debut in non-fiction filmmaking in 2001 and signed a number of hits including IMAX blockbuster "Mystery of the Nile" and "Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space", his first feature documentary. His latest feature documentary, "Sand Wars" is an epic eco-thriller that takes the audience around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: we are running out of sand! In his talk he explains us where sand comes from and where it ends up. Our perception is that the resource sand will always be available for us but thanks to his investigations we realize that this is not true and that sooner or later we will be running out of sand - and consequently won´t have beaches anymore.