Father and son at the wonders of water

A documentary series about water and aquatic nature

Documentary series Worlds of Water is a fascinating journey to Finland’s water nature. The six documentaries present director Petteri Saario’s deep dive into the wonders of water with his 24-year-old son Antti. Father and son travel through historical waterways, peek underwater to the world of fish and follow tough fishermen at work. They discuss the importance of water and its enchanting forms, study the fascinating myths of water and enjoy its healing powers. Join them on a unique journey to the wonders of Finnish waters!

Petteri Saario

Documentarist Petteri Saario has explored water even in his earlier documentaries during his long career. His documentary series on archipelagos, Enclosed by Water, The Finest Lakes of Finland, The Finest Rivers of Finland and The Pearls of the Baltic Sea have all gotten high ratings. Like the earlier series, Wonders of Water also shows the uncompromising work of the documentarist and his team both above surface and underwater as well as from the air in all seasons and around the clock.

Finland is made of water – we as humans are made of water. Our whole culture, our way of being is related to water. We owe water for just about everything.

Petteri Saario

Antti Saario

24-year-old Antti was first seen with his father in the series The Finest Rivers of Finland at age 11 in 2006, when the fair-haired boy charmed viewers with his spontaneous manner. Antti, now taller than his father, has grown into an accomplished aerial and nature photographer, who enjoys nature like his father.

I have explored nature for as long as I can remember. First my father carried me on his backpack and later, when I learned to walk, by myself. I was never asked if I wanted to go out in nature. It was just a part of me growing up, as natural as brushing teeth every night.

Antti Saario

“Water has practically no colour nor taste – yet it is surprisingly complex in nature. Water is an elixir which sustains life. Practically all life there is. Like blood runs in our veins, water flows in the veins of our nature.“

Petteri Saario

Episode 1: The Wonderful Nature of Water 

The versatility of Finnish water nature is beyond comparison in the world. The first episode of Worlds of Water follows water’s journey from brooks to lakes and mighty rivers to the sea. Petteri and Antti travel from the sources of water on brooks, rapids and lakes all the way to the open sea, showing the fascinating nature of Finnish waterways. Natural waters are the veins that keep Finland alive and all life intertwines with the eternal circulation of water.

As seasons and forms of water change we meet both familiar and rarer water inhabitants, including otters, beavers, grey seals, goosanders and European dippers. Petteri and Antti even find the extremely endangered common kingfisher and an exotic visitor, the mandarin duck.

Episode 2: Water Treats

In the second documentary of Worlds of Water Petteri and Antti join fishermen around Finland. On Lake Puruvesi, younger-generation professional fisherman Paavo Pekkinen catches vendace and at Korpilahti Marja Komppa and Ari Seppälä process roach into genuine gourmet products.

Teemu Uotila catches European crayfish and at Torne River’s Kukkola rapids they fish for salmon and whitefish by an age-old fishing method, netting, in the summer and in winter, ice-fishers catch delicious burbots. Eels migrating along River Vääksy end up in eel boxes, giving scientists invaluable information about this mysterious fish – and finally, continue to freedom toward the Sargasso Sea 6,000 kilometers away. The documentary also looks at fishing from a fish perspective underwater. What does a vendace seine look like under ice? And how can we show an eel in its own environment?

It's easy to imagine a gate to other worlds in a spring. In the folklores the spring has been thought of being a dwelling place of spirits and a gateway into worlds below us. In fact, this belief captures something essential: from the bottom of the spring a network of water veins lead us to the heart of Mother Earth."

Antti Saario

Episode 3: A Dive to Finland

Anyone diving in Finland is often presented with questions. Is there anything to see in the murky waters? Granted, the diving conditions in Finland are quite different from the clear and warm southern waters with magnificent corals. It’s harder to find underwater beauty in the north. The effort is rewarded with underwater views you didn’t think existed.

In the documentary Petteri examines underwater life in lakes, rivers, spring ponds and the sea. On his journey to underwater worlds he is joined by underwater photographer Tiiu Tamm on Lake Valkiajärvi in Kitee, famous for its clear water, and by spear fisher Kim Jaatinen in the rockweed jungles of the Archipelago Sea. River Karvia is the scene for a dive into the fascinating life of freshwater pearl mussels.

The documentarist’s long-time diving partner Sari Orkomies often joins him under the surface. Son Antti also comes on dives, where father passes on his knowhow on underwater photography to the son.

Episode 4: Mythical Water


Besides life-preserving powers, water also has a huge symbolic role in cultures around the world and Finland is no exception. The Finland of lakes, rivers, swamps and a long coastline is a treasure chest of water myths and stories.

In the fourth episode of Worlds of Water Petteri and Antti lead us to the myths of water. Finnish story traditions have plenty to offer on birds, fish, swamps, rapids, springs or ponds. Water is holy even today. The water drops from a font bless the newborn and in the Christian Orthodox Church, consecrating water is an important part of religious ceremonies.

When you dive under the ice you encounter a mysterious world, a feeling which does not exist anywhere else. The heavenly light filtered through the ice, the turquoise water and the extensive ice deck above make you feel like you're floating in an icy cathedral."

Petteri Saario

Episode 5: Finnish Waterways

Finland and Finns owe everything to water. Finland was populated along waterways and in the old days, waterways provided passage, food and culture. And livelihood: the foundation of Finnish welfare, green gold, has also been transported by water.

In the fifth episode of Worlds of Water Petteri and Antti travel Finnish waterways to see what they look like today. The historical Rautalammi waterway in South Konnevesi has been revived since a national park was founded. Visitors to the national park want to go on water and have created a need for boat services.

Petteri and Antti explore waterways on a cruise boat, a church boat and a steamboat. They travel by muscle power, rowing, and in winter by skiing or on snowshoes.

Episode 6: Water – the Oldest Cure

Water has always had a special health-preserving importance in Finland, the land of the sauna and winter swimming, since there is water almost everywhere. Water has been used for healing, disease prevention and as a source of wellness.

It’s still common knowledge that water is good for us. Winter swimmers love the endorphin-enducing powers of cold water and summer waters tempt many for a swim trek or water running in natural waters.

In the last episode of Worlds of Water Petteri and Antti dive into the reviving and healing powers of water. What is it like to bathe in an ice sauna, where cold meets the heat? And what is it like to be treated by a professional whisker?

In Finland, water is everywhere. There is hardly a village or town with more than fifteen minutes to the closest water. Finland has 188,000 lakes, over 600 rivers, a long coastline and abundance of pure drinking water. Finns take water so granted that we don't always see its value. We owe water for just about everything."

Petteri Saario

Production team

Director: Petteri Saario
Cinematography: Petteri Saario ja Antti Saario
Script: Petteri Saario ja Sari Orkomies
Music: Perttu Hietanen, Veera Voima ja Roope Aarnio
Sound Design: Joonatan Hietanen


Media relations: sari.orkomies(at)wildfin.com

Requests for interviews: Sari Orkomies +358 50 311 2240

Link to DocArt -website

DocArt has produced the series in cooperation with Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE
and it has been supported by Freshabit LIFE IP Programme of the European Union.

Commissioning Editors: YLE/ Timo Järvi and Ilkka Saari
Production: DocArt/ Tiina Saario and Petteri Saario

Year of Production: 2020
Duration: 6 x 30 min.