An anti-fracking concert and protest film

Dear Gov posterPowder on mountain slopes. Rivers running steady and strong. Alpine meadows filled with summer flowers. Crowds of happy people, in town for the festivals, fill every bed and restaurant. And opposition to fracking or any other carbon-based energy source, instead of long-term viable climate solutions. In these parts, those are good things.

So, it is a foregone conclusion that the tribe gathered in town for the 35th annual Mountainfilm in Telluride will love Jon Bowermaster’s latest doc: “Dear Governor Cuomo,” 70-minutes of eye and ear candy for a cause. After all, the theme of Mountainfilm 2013 event is climate solutions.

About “Dear Governor Cuomo”:

The story of the anti-fracking campaign Bowermaster and his creative collaborator and live-in partner Natalie Merchant mounted, an initiative that led to the concert (and film) began one evening last May when stars gathered on Governor Cuomo’s doorstep and called for a ban on hydraulic-fracturing or fracking.

The event now recorded for posterity, dubbed “New Yorkers Against Fracking,” was assembled in less than a month. After just two rehearsals, it was show time. The stars of the night included Merchant, actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, environmental biologist Sanda Steingraber (returning to town for Mountainfilm) and a long list of musicians including Joan Osborne, Dan Zanes, the Felice Brothers, Citizen Cope, Medeski Martin & Wood, all of whom call the Empire State their home. The concern: how up to 95,000 natural gas wells may affect their land, air and water.

“Dear Governor Cuomo – described as a unique blend of “The Last Waltz” and “An Inconvenient Truth” – was written and directed by Bowermaster and filmed under the direction of Academy Award-winning doc maker Alex Gibney.

About Jon Bowermaster:

John Bowermaster

John Bowermaster

Jon Bowermaster, born in Normal, Illinois, June 1954, is an award-winning journalist, author, filmmaker, adventurer and six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council. He built a reputation as an ocean expert. Now he is also a passionate anti-fracking adherent, no big surprise considering the fact one of director’s last big films was about pollution caused by energy companies.”SoLA: Louisiana Water Stories” documented the corruption and oversights that transformed the state into a dumping site for the collateral damage that results from oil drilling. Begun two years earlier, that film focused on the lives of Southern Louisianians whose lives depend on the sea. The doc was punctuated by the BP spill in the Gulf, making it even more relevant.

In “Dear Governor Cuomo,” Bowermaster takes a carrot rather than a stick approach: Instead of condemning Cuomo as black hat, the approach is “a smart guy like you should want to join our side.” White hats of the world unite.

In conclusion:

Is Bowermaster’s film objective? Nope. Was it meant to be. No again. Bowermaster is a man on a mission. The other side, the gas companies, has outspent the anti-frackers 100 times over to tell their story. Objectivity is not the point. Consciousness-raising and grassroots actions is.

Paul Hawken is sitting on the sidelines smiling.

To learn more about Jon Bowermaster and why oppose fracking, click the “play” button and listen to our chat.

(You can also imbed this LINK  to preview the educational film set to some knockout music.)

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