A Los Angeles-based husband-wife independent filmmaking team said Tuesday they have exceeded their fundraising goal and will continue with production of a pro-hydraulic fracturing (fracking) documentary film, FrackNation, to combat an upcoming sequel to the Oscar-nominated anti-fracking film Gasland by activist Josh Fox. The couple, however, will continue to fundraise for their project, they said.
More than $185,000 in pledges from 2,700 individuals was collected in two months through an Internet funding group called Kickstarter, according to filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, who work out of Marina del Rey, CA. With their fundraising exceeding its $150,000 goal, the pair said they hope to release FrackNation later this year.
McAleer, like his wife an Irish ex patriot and journalist/filmmaker, called the fundraising success "remarkable," given the fact that Kickstarter usually helps "crowdfund" for pro-environmental and anti-fossil fuel documentaries.
In February, McAleer and McElhinney announced the fund drive, saying they are independent of any industry funding, unlike Gasland (see Shale Daily, Feb. 10). The pair attributed their motivation for the project to "journalistic censorship." McAleer questioned Fox at a screening of Gasland, during which Fox admitted people in the film could light their tap water long before fracking was introduced.
"The 'lighting water' scene is one of the famous parts of Gasland, and it led to many of the scares surrounding the process," McElhinney and McAleer said.
In a video clip posted on their website, McAleer and another collaborator, Magda Segieda, thank supporters for their funding pledges but said to produce a film that can compete with a second Gasland film more funding is required, so they will continue attempting to raise at least several hundred thousand more dollars. Fox reportedly has a commitment of $750,000 for his sequel.
The two filmmakers and Segieda have specialized in challenging the environmental movement in films such as Not Evil Just Wrong (2009) on climate change, and Mine Your Own Business (2006) about the mining industry and environmentalists. McAleer is a former foreign correspondent for the Financial Times.