What do you get when you cross an eccentric self-made man with a load of crap? Jack Sim.
Kew Media Group will release MR. TOILET: The World’s #2 Man, a documentary film directed, produced and written by Lily Zepeda about Jack Sim, a crusader for global sanitation. Award-winner at the 2019 Hot Docs, MR. TOILET will open at Laemmle Monica in Los Angeles on November 8 and at Village East Cinema in New York on November 22. Other cities will follow.
To strangers, Jack Sim might come across as an eccentric entrepreneur who is obsessed with toilets, but to those who know him he’s “Mr. Toilet,” a crusader for global sanitation. Born in the Singapore slums, Sim knows first-hand the agonies of not having a proper loo. Now he’s dedicating his life to a crisis no one dares talk about. Not having a place “to go” isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s a problem that impacts 2.4 billion people worldwide. In India alone, 200,000 children die each year from lack of safe sanitation, while women are regularly raped because they have to defecate in public spaces.
Jack’s kids describe him as a 12-year old trapped in a 60-year old’s body. He’s full of jokes and it can be hard to take him seriously. But, he uses humor as his weapon to fight an uphill battle against bathroom taboos. He founded the World Toilet Organization and spent the last 13 years lobbying 193 countries to raise awareness for proper sanitation. He even successfully lobbied the United Nations to create World Toilet Day (November 19) – the first International day of celebration for the toilet.
Now he is plunged into his biggest challenge yet when asked to secure 6 million toilets for the “Clean India” initiative. But with few resources and no help from the government, his epic project and reputation are in jeopardy. Jack’s once supportive staff begins to doubt him; and when his family bonds start to fray over his obsessive dedication, Mr. Toilet realizes there is a price to pay for being the world’s #2 man. But as a “su-poo-hero”, he can’t quit.
Director/Producer/Writer Lily Zepeda’s passion for exploring unconventional stories began with a career in Journalism, interviewing subjects ranging from Grammy award-winning musicians to Olympians. She went from TV production to embarking on a 5-year journey to make her first feature film, Mr Toilet: The World’s #2 Man. She was a Diversity Fellowship and Accelerator Lab grantee from Chicken & Egg Pictures as well as a Hedgebrook Lab finalist. She has also been selected to pitch at film festivals, including Big Sky, Hot Docs Sheffield and Doc NYC. Her film went on to win the Docs for School Audience Award in 2019.
ALMOST 40% OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO SAFE SANITATION
MORE PEOPLE HAVE A CELL PHONE THAN THEY DO A TOILET
ALMOST 1 MILLION CHILDREN DIE EVERY YEAR FROM DIARRHEA DUE TO LACK OF SANITATION; THAT’S 2,000 CHILDREN A DAY
OVER THE PAST 200 YEARS, TOILETS HAVE ADDED 20 YEARS TO THE LIFESPAN OF HUMANS
IN 2013 MATT DAMON STAGED A FAKE PRESS CONFERENCE ON YOUTUBE FOR WORLD TOILET DAY TO ANNOUNCE HIS “TOILET STRIKE” IN AN EFFORT TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR SANITATION
1/5 GIRLS IN INDIA DROP OUT OF SCHOOL WHEN THEY START HAVING PERIODS DUE TO THE LACK OF SAFE, PRIVATE TOILETS.
WORLD TOILET DAY IS SINGAPORE’S FIRST UN RESOLUTION TO BE ADOPTED
JACK SIM WAS NAMED ONE OF THE HEROES OF THE ENVIRONMENT FOR 2008 BY TIME MAGAZINE