MR. TOILET: The World's #2 Man

A film by Lily Zepeda
2019, 88 minutes
No. 247

MR. TOILET: The World's #2 Man
To a stranger, he’s a guy obsessed with toilets, but to those who know him, he’s “Mr. Toilet,” a crusader for global sanitation. Born in the Singapore slums, Jack Sim knows firsthand the agonies of not having a proper loo. Now he’s dedicating his life to a crisis no one dares talk about: Shit.

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 – 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, he wonders if he’s finally met his match.

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.

Official Selection, Hot Docs Film Festival
Winner, Student Choice Award, Hot Docs Film Festival
Official Selection, DocNYC Film Festival
Official Selection, Denver International Film Festival
Official Selection, BendFilm Festival

“A compassionate and inspiring portrait of tireless world sanitation crusader, Jack Sim… an engagingly honest profile of a driven man and his prodigious movement.” – LA Times

“Illuminating. An eye-opening new documentary that chronicles the unconventional work of an activist tackling global sanitation.”– The Daily Beast

Mr. Toilet reveals how bathroom humor can change the world. Jack Sim might shock people, but he’s raising awareness about sanitation issues on a global scale.” – The Wrap

“I was kind of knocked back on my heels by the film.” – Unsee Films

“Zepeda’s portrait of world toilet organization founder Jack Sim finds the subtle tension behind unapologetically crass character.” – Toronto Now