MSC also released a longer video on social media channels and is asking viewers to submit their questions about natural gas production and use. The video includes a series of clips from a variety of news programs detailing the economic benefits of developing the Marcellus Shale.

The Promised Land film pits a fictional natural gas company, which is working to purchase land rights for Marcellus Shale drilling around one small town, against a fictional environmental company, which foments in the town the now familiar debate over hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The Focus Features film stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski and was directed by Gus Van Sant. Damon and Krasinski wrote the screenplay for the film, which is based on a short story by Dave Eggers called “Gold Mist.” It was filmed in part in Western Pennsylvania last year (see Shale Daily, May 8, 2012).

Promised Land, which cost an estimated $15 million to make, didn’t draw many viewers in its first weekend of general release, making a “lackluster” $4.3 million at the box office, according to The Los Angeles Times.

While it takes a generally negative attitude toward natural gas development and fracking, Promised Land differs from 2010’s Gasland, the controversial documentary that 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).

Last year the Independent Petroleum Association of America responded to Gasland with the release of the documentary film Truthland (see Shale Daily, June 15, 2012). The 34-minute film included interviews with 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.