Working Films brought Reel Power to Power Shift, the largest national youth climate conference, which took place in Pittsburgh, PA this year. Wearing his Peaceful Uprising t-shirt, Josh Fox gave a keynote address on Friday night where he told the crowd, “There can be no democracy until we have freedom from fossil fuels.” The audience couldn’t agree more. Check out Josh’s keynote online (with the Reel Power trailer starting at 46 minutes), where he makes the interconnectedness of the issues clear and calls everyone to find their role in the movement.
Reel Power, Come Hell or High Water and Gulf Coast activists and journalists
Reel Power films were featured over the weekend. Bidder 70 was accompanied by Peaceful Uprising board advisory member and youth climate leader Lauren Wood, with the Q&A discussion focusing on Tim’s story and the larger issues of using civil disobedience as a tactic. Gasland Part II included young socially conscious rappers, the Earth Guardians to give hope after the film. Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek’s sneak peak featured a Q&A with filmmaker Leah Mahan, film subject and Gulf Coast organizer Derrick Evans, as well as Bridge the Gulf contributors Cherri Foytlin and Bryan Parras leading a conversation on environmental justice and serious grassroots organizing. We also included a sneak peak of Reel Economy film Citizen Koch that had a Q&A with expert Nick Surgey, Director of Research at the Center for Media and Democracy / ALEC Exposed to lead a discussion on money in politics. Read Come Hell or High Water’s blog about the filmmaker’s experience at Power Shift.
Derrick Evan’s KatrinaRitaVille Express FEMA trailer was freshly decorated by Power Shift participants for the march on Monday, photo by Leah Mahan
Students are now planning a Reel Power Spring Film Series on their campuses to recruit new members, host a social event with a purpose, and advance the goals of their groups. Want to host Spring Film Series in 2014? Our Campus Screening Toolkit provides a framework to help walk you through the steps.
Gasland Part II screened at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC on October 7th to a packed house! Working Films’ Reel Power initiative and Clean Water for NC coordinated this effort with the Gasland team to grow the anti-fracking movement in the state at this critical time. Below is a photo blog of the event, community, groups, conversation and action.
Clean Water for NC prepares volunteers before doors open
Working Films – Reel Power info table
Director Josh Fox with members of the Frack Free NC Alliance
Attendees signing the petition to keep NC Frack-Free!
The crowd enjoying the food trucks
Working Films’ staff before screening
Bring Reel Power films to your community! reel-power.org
Standing ovation for filmmaker Josh Fox as he plays banjo along with the credits
Gasland Part II draws an energetic audience at the Carolina Theater of Durham! Crowd says “I’m from NC, not from Gasland.” Photo by Lee Ziesche, Gasland Part II
Q&A with moderator Anna Lee of Working Films, Josh Fox of Gasland Part II, and Hope Taylor of Clean Water for NC
Sneak Peak of Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek, Sunday at 10:15 am in room 407 Q&A with filmmaker Leah Mahan, film subject/Gulf Coast organizer Derrick Evans and other contributors to BridgeTheGulfProject.org
Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek follows the painful but inspiring journey of Derrick Evans, a Boston teacher who moves home to coastal Mississippi when the graves of his ancestors are bulldozed to make way for the sprawling city of Gulfport. Over the course of a decade, Derrick and his neighbors stand up to powerful corporate interests and politicians and face ordeals including Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil disaster in their struggle for self-determination and environmental justice.
“This intimate film tells a gigantic story — about race, power and so-called development. But it is also a saga of community, resilience, resistance, and hope. It’s about everything that matters in our society.” -BILL BIGELOW, Rethinking Schools
Turkey Creek residents are descendants of emancipated slaves who settled on the Gulf Coast in the 1860s. They have been stewards of the creeks rich wetland habitat for generations, and have farmed, fished, hunted and been baptized along its banks. Today, Turkey Creek is surrounded by an airport, a Walmart, highways and an industrial canal that threaten the community and its fragile wetlands.
This is an inspirational story of how one community banded together to save their land and culture. Filmmaker Leah Mahan worked with Derrick Evans and the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health to create an interactive website and network of bloggers called Bridge the Gulf. This network links environmental justice activists, writers and others concerned about resource extraction, climate change and a sustainable future for the Gulf Coast region.
The film will be screened as part of the Reel Power film series at Power Shift today at 10:15 am in room 407 with a Q&A with filmmaker Leah Mahan and film subject/Gulf Coast organizer Derrick Evans; Bridge The Gulf Project organizer Cherri Foytlin; and T.E.J.A.S. (Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services) organizer Bryan Parras.
Come Hell or High Water premiered this month at the New Orleans Film Festival. Currently a network of Gulf Coast community leaders and national environmental and civil rights organizations are planning a series of screenings of the film at regional and national convenings of community leaders, activists, academics and philanthropists working on environmental justice, human rights and sustainable development.
Watch the film, discuss the issues and sign up to bring the film to your campus or community.
Sneak Peek of Citizen Koch on Sunday at 10:15 am, room 406
Q&A with Center for Media and Democracy / ALEC Exposed
America – They’re Coming for You Next!
That’s the warning featured in the documentaryCitizen Koch which comes from a Wisconsin state employee after her union rights were destroyed by a Republican governor funded by corporate and billionaire donors. Citizen Koch explores what the Wisconsin playbook and the U.S. Supreme Court decision that unleashed a new era of unbridled special-interest spending mean for us all. And it poses a crucial question: Who owns democracy in America?
Join us for a sneak peak screening at Power Shift on Sunday at 10:15am in room 406. The film, which is at the heart of the public television censorship scandal was directed and produced by academy award nominated filmmakers of Trouble the Water. Stick around after the screening for a Q&A with Nick Surgey, Director of Research at the Center for Media and Democracy / ALEC Exposed. According to Nick, “Through the lens of my home state of Wisconsin, Citizen Koch brilliantly details the problems of a political system awash with cash, which serves to benefit the wealthy few at the expense of the many and the environment. Its not quite Halloween, but this film is pretty scary.”
Watch the film, discuss the issues and sign up to bring the film to your campus or community. Find more about Reel Power films at Reel-Power.org and about Citizen Koch at CitizenKoch.com.
Bidder 70 Saturday, 11:30am in room 406 Q&A with Peaceful Uprising
Bidder 70 centers on an extraordinary, ingenious and effective act of civil disobedience demanding government and industry accountability. In 2008, University of Utah economics student Tim DeChristopher committed an act which would redefine patriotism in our time, igniting a spirit of civil disobedience in the name of climate justice.
The film will be screened at Power Shift as part of the Reel Power film series today at 11:30 in room 406 with a Q&A with Peaceful Uprising advisory board member Lauren Wood.
The film is being used on campuses as part of the students’ fossil fuel divestment campaigns, including Harvard where Tim DeChristopher is now attending divinity school.
Although, last week, Harvard University President, Drew Faust, justified the university’s decision not to divest from the energy industry saying: “Harvard fights climate change through its research on it; Harvard needs fossil fuels to run its campus, so isn’t divesting disingenuous? Harvard should be an academic institution, not a political one.”
Tim’s response: “Drew Faust seeks a position of neutrality in a struggle where the powerful only ask that people like her remain neutral… She touts all the great research on climate change that is done at Harvard, but she ignores the fact that the fossil fuel industry actively works to suppress or distort every one of those efforts.”
“The students’ call for divestment was a call for help by the young people who will reap the consequences of the climate crisis.” -Tim DeChristopher
Bidder 70 has earned over 20 awards at film festivals and screened in communities churches, schools and colleges motivating groups and individuals to engage in peaceful direct action to secure a livable, sustainable future. Watch the film, discuss the issues and sign up to bring the film and filmmakers to your campus, community or place of worship. Bringing Tim DeChristopher’s message of courage and commitment, Bidder 70 inspires individuals and groups to work together to create the change they want to see.
Gasland Part II, Saturday 11:30 am, room 407
Q&A with grassroots coordinator and film subject/local organizer
Last night, Gasland Part IIdirector Josh Fox told the Power Shift crowd, “There can be no democracy until we have freedom from fossil fuels.” The audience couldn’t agree more.
The film will be screened as part of the Reel Power film series today at 11:30am in room 407 with a Q&A with Gasland’s grassroots coordinator Lee Ziesche and former Pittsburgh City Councilperson and Gasland Part II and The Sky is Pink subject, Doug Shields.
In this explosive follow-up to his Oscar-nominated film Gasland, filmmaker Josh Fox uses his trademark dark humor to take a deeper, broader look at the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil, now occurring on a global level (in 32 countries worldwide).
Gasland Part II, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and broadcast on HBO, shows how the stakes have been raised on all sides in one of the most important environmental issues facing our nation today. The film argues that the gas industry’s portrayal of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil is a myth and that fracked wells inevitably leak over time, contaminating water and air, hurting families, and endangering the earth’s climate with the potent greenhouse gas, methane. In addition the film looks at how the powerful oil and gas industries are in Fox’s words “contaminating our democracy”.
From the beginning, Gasland‘s been more than just a movement to protect our environment and health. This is a movement about protecting our democracy and right to decide the future of our country. Join us today to make sure decisions are made by the people and not the fossil fuel industries. Watch the film, discuss the issues and sign up to bring the film to your campus or community.
Reel Power brings you stories from the frontline of our energy future that will get your community talking and taking action. From a woman in Kentucky fighting for her homeplace against the ravages of mountaintop removal, to a Gulf Coast community banding together to save their land and culture – Reel Power films capture the voices of individuals and the strength of communities standing up for a just and sustainable future.
Reel Power films will be featured during Power Shift. Bidder 70 and Gasland Part II will screen on Saturday at 11:30 am. On Sunday at 10:15 am we’ll show sneak peeks of Citizen Koch and Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek. Each screening will have the filmmaker or leading organizer to facilitate a discussion on the film and issues afterwards. You can also find us at the organizational fair.
Power Shift Screening Schedule Saturday at 11:30am Bidder 70 (room 406) Gasland Part II (room 407)
Sunday at 10:15am Citizen Koch (room 406) Come Hell or High Water (room 407)
Get Involved with Reel Power!
Take a bit of Power Shift back to your campus, community, or place of worship by hosting a screening of one or more of these powerful films to engage and activate your audience! Go to Reel-Power.org to choose a film, or films, and sign up to host a screening.
To jumpstart our efforts to support state-based work to address climate change, we’ve partnered with filmmaker Josh Fox, state level organizations, and local grassroots groups to host special screenings of Gasland 2 in Texas and North Carolina – two battlegrounds in the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) debate.
Image from @gaslandmovie on Twitter with tweet reading: Dear @barackobama & @governorperry we’re from Fort Worth #NotFromGasland pic.twitter.com/cImwX84Csa
The tour started in Texas, where the film filled theaters in San Antonio, Dallas, and Fort Worth. Fox moderated Q&A sessions that spotlighted subjects of the film and groups that have been organizing against fracking. “Many of the areas that face increasing drought are the same areas where fracking operations continue to use millions of gallons of water. Texas, the nation’s third-largest agricultural producer and one of the states growing in population most rapidly, cannot continue to sustain such disastrous water losses,” said Alyssa Burgin, director of the Texas Drought Project and co-host of the recent Texas screenings.
On Monday, October 7th the tour stops in North Carolina where it is co-hosted by Reel Power and Clean Water for NC, a science based environmental justice advocacy group, with the aim to grow the anti-fracking movement in NC at this critical time. There is currently a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the state that will last until 2015 while regulations are being developed.
“Public awareness about fracking—its impacts on water, air, land, and vulnerable communities—is growing fast in North Carolina,” says Hope Taylor, exec. director of Clean Water for NC, “thanks to the power of the first Gasland movie and the research and outreach of many grassroots groups. We are learning so much from the experience of communities in Pennsylvania who were promised years of prosperity and are now experiencing the “bust”, as well as water contamination and community disruption, and from folks in Texas around drilling and compressor stations where poisoned air is causing grave health concerns ignored by regulators, or in Colorado, where recent flooding has broken pipelines, and inundated well pads and condensate tanks.”
The public is invited to attend this free event, which will take place at 7:00 PM on October 7 at Durham’s Carolina Theatre at 309 W Morgan St. To reserve a free ticket, please visit https://gasland2nc.eventbrite.com/.
Reel Power is excited to announce that our films will be part of the 2013 Power Shift conference.
Power Shift is the world’s largest youth gathering and training for climate change solutions. This year more than ten thousand youth leaders from every walk of life — college students, young environmental justice leaders, DREAMers, young people of faith, young workers — will come together to learn from one another, to build and launch strategic campaigns in their own communities.
Reel Power films will be featured during Saturday and Sunday of the conference and the Reel Power filmmakers, featured subjects and key organizers will participate in post-screening Q&As. We will be screening Bidder 70, Gasland Part II, Come Hell or High Water, and Working Films’ Reel Economy film Citizen Koch. Together these films paint the bigger picture of climate change, highlight grassroots leadership and community power, as well as give audiences new avenues to explore the influence of money in politics. Here’s the program:
Director Josh Fox is headed on a Southern Grassroots Tour with Gasland 2, the recent follow-up to his 2011 Academy Award-nominated documentary Gasland.We are psyched to announce that as part of our Reel Power efforts we have teamed up with grassroots groups in Texas and North Carolina to co-host 4 stops on the tour.
“Gasland 2 features real people – ordinary Americans – whose lives have been upended by the dirty and dangerous process of fracking.” Fox said. “That’s why I’m working with environmental leaders and advocates across the country to protect our health, water, climate and landscapes and to prevent state and federal governments from allowing a path to destruction. We need to educate ourselves and our elected leaders and ban this toxic practice and move vigorously toward renewable energy.”
The film was recently broadcast on HBO and folks are keenly anticipating the release of the DVD for wide-spread community and educational screenings. “The timing and profile of the film will really help us shine the spotlight on the urgent efforts and actions by groups working on the ground,” stated Kristin Henry, who is leading the Reel Power efforts with Working Films.
Here are the details for the Texas and North Carolina Gasland 2 screenings!
SEPTEMBER 26TH San Antonio, TX
Northwest 14 Santikos Theatre
7600 I-10 West, San Antonio, TX 78230
Co-hosted by The Texas Drought Project, together with Clean Water Action Texas, Earthworks’ Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project, Solar San Antonio and Working Films’ Reel Power. Followed by Q&A with Josh Fox and organizations.
SEPTEMBER 27TH Dallas, TX
Historic Texas Theatre
231 W Jefferson Blvd Dallas, TX 75208
7:30 PM (doors 7:00 PM)
Co-hosted by The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, Working Films’ Reel Power, and The Texas Theatre. Followed by Q&A with Josh Fox and organizations.
SEPTEMBER 28TH Fort Worth, TX
6025 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76116
7:00 PM (doors 6:00 PM)
Co-hosted by Working Films’ Reel Power, Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project; Texas Drought Project; North Central Texas Communities Alliance; FWCANDO. With special appearances by Gasland subjects Deborah Rogers, Calvin Tillman and Steven Lipsky. Followed by Q&A with Josh Fox and organizations.
OCTOBER 7TH Durham, NC
7:00 PM (doors 6:00 PM)
Carolina Theater, Fletcher Hall
309 West Morgan Street, Durham, NC 27701
Co-hosted by Clean Water for NC and Working Films’ Reel Power. Followed by Q&A with Josh Fox and organizations.