One month ago, we invited organizations and grassroots groups that are impacted by natural resource extraction, climate change or are tapping into renewable energy solutions to apply for one of fourteen mini-grants to support their Reel Power Film Festival (RPFF). Thanks to all that helped us spread the word. We received an incredible response. We are very excited to provide these films to organizations that will use them to advance their outstanding efforts.

The following four projects are the recipients of the first tier grants. For these organizations Working Films’ Reel Power will co-host the event and help to bring in one filmmaker and one organizer to participate in screening event and encourage cross-pollination of grassroots organizing strategy:

Frack Free Catskills, Saugerties NY
Frack Free Catskills is a local group that is fighting fracking in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Communities, as well as NY State. They are organizing a conference that will bring together those who are engaged in movements to oppose extreme extractive energies including coal, gas, nukes, and tars sands in order for different communities to gain strength and inspiration from being connected to others in similar struggles in NY and around the country. The RPFF will be part of their conference.

Green Paw Aggies, NC A&T Greensboro NC
Green Paw Aggies is a new organization at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a historically black college and university, that is working to engaging students in the green movement and helping to make the sustainability efforts in the Triad more inclusive. For the RPFF they will engage their student government association, student activists, and local residents in current issues of fracking and climate change and sustainability efforts.

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC)
: Union College, Barbourville KY
KFTC is a 30-year-old grassroots, multi-issue organization that includes a focus on stopping mountaintop removal, transitioning to cleaner and safer forms of energy that create new jobs, and pushing for leaders who represent ordinary people instead of powerful interests. They have members in 100 of Kentucky’s 120 counties and 11 local chapters across the state, with new alliances at Union College, where the RPFF will focus on how communities have organized in different areas around the state.

Routt County Frack, Oak Creek CO
This organization is not only working on issues surrounding the threat of the fracking boom in the Yampa River Valley and Routt County, CO, they are also working with various groups throughout Colorado to promote solar and renewable energy development in Northwestern Colorado. The RPFF will engage audiences in a community-rights approach to fighting extractive industries as well as presenting on the viability and necessity of renewable energies in Routt County.

The following ten are the recipients of the mini-grant where we will support their efforts in planning the events in their communities, helping them to leverage local resources and networks:

Clean Water for North Carolina, Rockingham and Stokes Counties NC
Clean Water for NC works to promote clean, safe water and environments and empowered, just communities for all North Carolinians. They are currently fighting to keep fracking illegal in NC by hosting screenings, workshops and info sessions in cooperation with diverse local organizations and in potentially impacted areas. The RPFF will expand their efforts into the Dan River Basin to expose the impacts that fracking has had on communities in other states, and plug them into ways they can actively get involved to add their voices to the current legislative debate.

Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of MS, Starkville MS
Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of MS is a relatively new organization that provides opportunities to learn, experience first-hand, and find new ways in improving their lives through sustainable choices. They host an annual Sustainable Living Conference and produce an annual journal, monthly newsletter and host workshops throughout the state from home solar panel installation or biodiesel conversions to organic gardening and permaculture and have hosted the state’s first Farm to School initiative. The RPFF will be held in conjunction with the Farm on Wheels project; a school bus that is converted to run on waste vegetable oil or bio-diesel and solar power that is used to teach about renewable energy and sustainable agriculture at schools and events throughout Mississippi.

Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, Boston MA
Mass Energy Consumers Alliance is a 30-year old nonprofit organization dedicated to making energy more affordable and environmentally sustainable where they offer clean energy solutions to consumers and advocate on behalf of pro-consumer, pro-environment policies. The RPFF will engage audiences in their work to support the development of community-based wind and solar projects, as well as their efforts to make the state coal-free.

New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light, Albuquerque NM
New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light works with nearly 200 faith communities throughout the state with current efforts to oppose new coal-fired power plants and natural gas fracking in the state; as well as assisting faith communities to become sustainable and energy efficient by planting community gardens, installing CFLs and weatherization materials, updating furnaces, cooling systems and appliances to more energy-efficient models, and to identify funding sources for solar installations. The RPFF will be part of their effort to engage audiences in taking the next tangible step towards sustainability.

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC), Fayetteville WV
OVEC is a statewide organization works to end to mountaintop removal and other coal industry abuses and they have expanded their work as fracking has begun in WV. This on the ground organization goes door to door in the community, helps people file complaints, and more importantly supports them in talking to their neighbors about the issues and how to take public action in opposition to it. The RPFF will be part of the work in communities under an expanding strip mine aiming to empower and demonstrate to people that they are not alone, and that around the world, people like them are fighting back.

Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology, Fayetteville AR
The Omni Center is a community-based grassroots organization working to create a just and sustainable world. They are located on the Fayetteville Shale, a natural gas formation that is undergoing heavy fracking and their state was in national news last year because of earthquakes that were shown to be caused by disposal of fracking waste in injection wells. The RPFF will be part of the community’s Earth Day events.

Preston CARES (Citizens’ Alliance for Resources and Environmental Safety), Kingwood WV
Preston CARES is a grassroots organization in north-central West Virginia fighting the development of a waste separation facility and industrial landfill for hydraulic fracturing waste as well as the threat of the expansion of fracking into their community. The RPFF will support their efforts to engage the residents of Preston County on landowner rights, the technology behind hydraulic fracturing, the public health risks associated with fracking, the impacts of gas development on the land and water and how they can get involved.

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS), Wise VA
SAMS’s works to stop the destruction of local communities by irresponsible surface coal mining, to improve the quality of life in the coalfields of southwest Virginia, and to help build sustainable communities. They will use the RPFF to engage more people in their efforts including water testing, health surveys, economic development, along with lobbying and outreach promoting renewable energy solutions as well as just and sustainable practices.

Sustainable Tompkins, Ithaca NY
Sustainable Tompkins is a citizen-based organization that is a leader in laying the groundwork for the transition to a resilient local economy where they have focused on energy efficiency, climate protection, green purchasing, sustainable community development, green collar jobs, sustainable enterprise, greening heath care, and economic/ecological justice. Their initiatives are on the leading edge, identifying gaps in knowledge and the infrastructure of new systems for sustainable living. The RPFF will be part of their effort to support the regional battles against fracking as well as positive stories of those building a better future based on truly sustainable communities.

The Texas Drought Project, San Antonio TX
The Texas Drought Project works to involve Texans in climate change issues through the lens of their diminishing water resources. They work throughout the state of Texas, putting on conferences and town halls, workshops, and informational tours. Their current focus has included fracking in the Barnett shale and the Eagle Ford shale as well as current efforts to stop the Keystone Pipeline, which would be routed through some of the state’s most sensitive water supplies. The RPFF would include residents of the shale communities highlighting their struggles as well as proponents of more sustainable energy production to engage audiences in the realities of extraction and viable alternatives.

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