Americans are just starting to become aware of the tremendous potential of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as a method of producing oil, and especially, natural gas. Kansas has recently seen a flurry of activity in this area, and fracking is expected to provide many thousands of jobs for Kansas, along with cheaper energy.
Filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer produced the 2009 film Not Evil Just Wrong that uncovered the myths and misinformation spread by radical environmental extremists.
Now the two have looked at fracking and hope to produce a documentary film on this topic. They hope to use a new method of financing the film — crowdfunding. Following is a press release announcing this effort. The link to the funding page is FrackNation: A documentary project in Los Angeles, CA by Ann and Phelim Media LLC.
Controversial filmmakers announce crowdfunding campaign for documentary to “expose the truth about fracking”
“FrackNation” investigates the alarming and apparently misleading claims made about fracking, and looks at the benefits the process can bring to some of the poorest communities in the U.S. and across the planet.
Los Angeles (February 8, 2012) — Controversial filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer announced a crowdfunding campaign today for their new documentary, FrackNation.
The feature-length film looks at the process of fracking for natural gas, demolishing much of the scaremongering surrounding the process and featuring the millions whose lives have been positively transformed by this emerging industry. FrackNation investigates the health claims surrounding the process, and reveals the startling lack of scientific evidence to substantiate them.
Controversially, McAleer and McElhinney are fundraising for FrackNation on Kickstarter.com.
“Normally, Kickstarter projects are pro-radical environmentalism,” said McAleer. “FrackNation will be the first documentary funded through Kickstarter to challenge the environmental establishment. It will appeal to the workers and small farmers who know the truth, but never see it represented in modern documentaries.”
In a unique fundraising move, McAleer and McElhinney, a husband and wife filmmaking team, have announced that everyone who helps pay for FrackNation will become an executive producer on the film. “This will be a documentary funded by the people for the people,” said McAleer.
FrackNation comes on the heels of a new anti-fracking film is due to be released by activist filmmaker Josh Fox. Fox made Gasland, an Oscar-nominated film, which propelled fears about fracking into the public arena. Fox is now planning a HBO-funded Gasland sequel. Fox has received $750,000 to make the new documentary.
“The Hollywood/environmental establishment has wheeled out big bucks to tell its story,” said Ann McElhinney. “We’re just asking for $150,000. Ours will be a grassroots film telling real stories about real people across America and the world.”
The filmmakers say the documentary was inspired when they encountered journalistic censorship. McAleer questioned Fox at a Q&A following a screening of the film, during which Fox admitted the people could light their tap water long before fracking was introduced. The “lighting water” scene is one of the most famous parts of Gasland, and led to many of the scares surrounding the process.
“I was shocked when Fox said he this had existed in these areas decades before fracking. However, I was doubly shocked when Fox’s lawyers contacted me to take down my video of our Q&A which I posted on YouTube,” said McAleer. “Fox was trying to censor another journalist and that got me interested: What was he trying to hide?”
McAleer and McElhinney have already filmed in Pennsylvania, New York, California, Poland, and the U.K.
“FrackNation will feature small farmers, the working class and others who are benefiting from this economic boom. We will also look at the backgrounds and motives of those opposing fracking,” said McElhinney.
Contact: Mary Elizabeth Margolis