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MUD\WTR Captures the Mushroom Movement in New Short Film Featuring Mycologist William-Padilla Brown

Mycologist William Padilla-Brown Admires a Specimen of Fungi in the Puerto Rican Jungle.

Mycologist William Padilla-Brown Admires a Specimen

A new release from MUD\FILMS—MUD\WTR's in-house production studio—follows a citizen scientist on an expedition to discover meaningful contributions to mycology.

I’m overjoyed to be able to be a model of independent research and citizen science.”
— William Padilla-Brown

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, September 30, 2022 / -- MUD\WTR announces the release of The Fungal Fortunes of William Padilla-Brown by MUD\FILMS, a short film set in the rainforest of Puerto Rico that follows a self-taught mycologist on a quest to uncover unknown mushroom species. William Padilla-Brown embarks on a visually, mentally and spiritually captivating journey through the El Yunque National Forest, accompanied by ethnobotanist/cinematographer Anthony Basil Rodriguez, William’s wife and frequent collaborator Lydia Gibb, sound mixer Wesley Grant and MUD\FILMS director Chris Keener.

“I’m excited because this film highlights my paternal homeland of Puerto Rico in a time when the island is in need of more support. I’m also overjoyed to be able to be a model of independent research and citizen science,” says Will. “To combat the rapidly decreasing biodiversity of our planet, more genetic work is needed as poor treatment continues to prevail.”

Will’s passion and eagerness to identify, classify and record new species for mushroom science jump off the screen, inviting viewers to participate in each discovery vicariously. Through Will’s skilled eyes, the film captures nature's subtleties and promotes a deeper understanding of its processes.

“If you don’t see Will as an inspiration, you’re not paying attention. He’s got an infectious energy, and curiosity for the natural world that I see as the antidote for an out-of-touch world,” says Chris Keener, the film’s director and head of MUD\FILMS. “I hope that viewers are as magnetized by Will as I am, and begin to think hopefully about the limitless potential of the underappreciated fungi.”

Much like MUD\WTR, Will is passionate about redefining the narrative surrounding mushrooms and spreading fungi’s potential to more people. Having grown up in the town of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Will is particularly passionate about promoting ecological literacy among underserved populations and communities. He believes that growing your own food is a way out of poverty for many marginalized populations, and a great way to connect community resources, often facilitating re-appropriation of underutilized land.

On Sept. 30, MUD\WTR will host the world premiere of The Fungal Fortunes of William Padilla-Brown at its Santa Monica, Calif. headquarters. The film will be paired with a breathwork experience facilitated by MUD\WTR’s Chris Keener, a hands-on mushroom-growing workshop led by Will himself, and a Q&A session moderated by MUD\WTR's Kyle Thiermann.

In an effort to aid those affected by Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico, MUD\WTR will use the event to donate to hurricane relief efforts and will invite attendees to contribute, as well.

Recently given the honor of Vimeo Staff Pick for its short film Haloa, MUD\FILMS shares stories that cultivate depth and vulnerability, and improve how we rise, rest and heal. MUD\FILMS highlights positive human rituals, chronicles the evolution of mental health, and teaches beneficial daily practices to those in pursuit of a life well-lived. In a noisy world, MUD\FILMS aims to provide a bastion of positive and actionable content, while building a supportive community around it.

MUD\WTR is a ritual-building company that started with a mission to change the way people wake up and start their days. Its flagship product, :rise, is a lower-caffeine coffee alternative made from adaptogenic mushrooms, masala chai and cacao. With :rest, the nighttime blend launched in 2021, MUD\WTR encourages consumers to revolutionize their evening ritual, emphasizing the importance of sleep along the way. Through storytelling across its podcast, films and journalistic platform, Trends w/ Benefits, the brand empowers people to think—and live—differently.

William Padilla-Brown, citizen scientist & mycologist
Anthony Basil Rodriguez, ethnobotanist & cinematographer
Chris Keener, director & head of MUD\FILMS
Dr. Mary Pardee, functional medicine doctor and MUD\WTR’s health advisor

**Images Available Upon Request**

Elizabeth Limbach
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The Fungal Fortunes of William Padilla-Brown