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Industry-Funded Truthland Film Opens in Ohio Sunday

"The truth is that Gasland is mostly hot air," the narrator of Truthland says in the trailer for the new film.

The 34-minute film includes interviews with more than a dozen energy and environmental experts, including former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger, Pennsylvania State University Professor of Geosciences Terry Engelder and Red River Watershed Management Institute Director Gary Hanson.

Truthland was funded by natural gas companies, but none of the people interviewed were paid for their time or participation, according to the filmmakers. "The only thing they were asked to do was tell the truth as best they knew it, and however they saw it," they said.

Truthland will be shown at the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus at on Sunday (June 16) as part of an Ohio Oil and Gas Association event, and it is also available online at www.truthlandmovie.com. Other screenings are scheduled in Ohio, Pennsylvania and at the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association's annual meeting in Lexington, KY, later this month.

Gasland leveled several unsubstantiated attacks against shale drilling and production practices and touched off a public relations nightmare for the oil and gas industry (see Shale Daily, Feb. 18, 2011; Jan. 26, 2011).

A Los Angeles-based independent filmmaking team recently exceeded its fundraising goal and will continue with production of a pro-fracking documentary film, FrackNation, to combat an upcoming sequel to Gasland (see Shale Daily, April 5).

Other documentary films about the shale natural gas industry and fracking include Shale Gas and America's Future, a 30-minute, made-for-TV film that was released by the American Clean Skies Foundation, a pro-natural gas industry group (see Shale Daily, Nov. 8, 2010), and Haynesville: A Nation's Hunt for an Energy Future, which was released in late 2010 (see Shale Daily, Nov. 23, 2010).

Hollywood is preparing to bring Marcellus Shale oil and natural gas drilling to the big screen with the Focus Features film Promised Land, which recently began filming in Western Pennsylvania (see Shale Daily, May 8). The film, a contemporary drama, will star Matt Damon and John Krasinski and is being directed by Gus Van Sant.