The Reel Power Film series kicks off the New Year with the Emmy-award winning film, Split Estate – a film every American should see this year!
1) Host a House Party of Emmy-award winning Split Estate in January. You can purchase a DVD of Split Estate here. Note that bulk pricing is available if you’d like to use this film with your organization.
2) Take Action with Split Estate by contacting your state legislators to express your concern over oil and gas drilling. A list of resources to help further inform you and your representatives are available here.
3) Stay Informed of breaking news, national legislation and more action steps- including contacting the EPA- at the Split Estate website. You can also follow the action with Split Estate on Facebook and Twitter.
About Split Estate
Imagine discovering that you don’t own the mineral rights under your land, and that an energy company plans to drill for natural gas two hundred feet from your front door. Imagine having little recourse, other than accepting an unregulated industry in your backyard. Split Estate maps a tragedy in the making, as citizens in the path of a new drilling boom in the Rocky Mountain West struggle against the erosion of their civil liberties, their communities and their health.
Zeroing in on Garfield County, Colorado, and the San Juan Basin, this clarion call for accountability examines the growing environmental and social costs to an area now referred to as a “National Sacrifice Zone.”
Split Estate helped break the story of health risks associated with hydraulic fracturing to a national television audience on the Discovery Channel’s Planet Green. The film was the first of its kind to give voice to a few of the courageous families, among thousands, struggling to protect their health, civil rights, and land before the ever encroaching oil and gas industry.
Exempt from federal protections like the Clean Water Act, the oil and gas industry has left landscapes and rural communities pockmarked with abandoned homes and polluted waters. One Garfield County resident demonstrates the degree of benzene contamination in a mountain stream by setting it alight with a match. Many others, gravely ill, fight for their health and for the health of their children. Important for all Americans to see, Split Estate is especially timely given our country’s renewed interest in natural gas and the escalated drilling now proposed throughout the Marcellus Shale region of the Eastern United States and will serve as an urgent wake-up call to your community.
More Than A Movie: Connecting Communities & Creating Change
From Harvard to the EPA to living rooms, churches, community centers, and high school classrooms, Split Estate has been shown in hundreds of communities and has been at the forefront of a grassroots movement to stop reckless drilling. Citizens across the country have used the film broadly to educate their friends and neighbors, the media, and local, state, and national policy makers.
Since it’s release, Split Estate team members have been answering emails and calls from landowners, farmers and ranchers needing to understand their rights and how to protect their land; from students seeking information for projects and papers; and from women and men who are sick and needing leads to health care and support. The Split Estate Community Engagement Campaign has been innovative in it’s approach to connecting people to information and resources — and to each other.
Community organizers in battlefield states are hosting screenings and drawing upon Split Estate to raise awareness and mobilize action for clean energy and water. Check out this piece by Agit-Pop which used excerpts from the film, to help build support for the moratorium on gas drilling in the New York City watershed:
And teachers are bringing Split Estate to classrooms at the secondary and university level and to charter programs for youth-at-risk. Launching in the Spring semester of 2011, the film and related curriculum will be featured on WGBH’s Teachers’ Domain, a free digital media service for educational use from public broadcasting and its partners.
But natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing is not just a U.S. problem. In August, director Deb Anderson traveled to Sweden to support a growing grassroots movement against new natural gas development. The film has also had a presence in Tunisia, Singapore, Australia, Canada, and, most recently, the Southern Cape of South Africa where Split Estate was featured in a report about fracking on a news program called 50/50 on the South African Broadcasting Corporation Channel 2.
In addition, Split Estate has been the subject of more than 100 print, radio, and television articles and interviews, as well as hundreds of blog posts on the web. It was featured in three broadcasts of Democracy Now! focused on hydraulic fracturing and water contamination. In addition, the film has been featured on NBC Nightly News, ABC News and 60 Minutes Australia. The film’s media outreach has been instrumental in helping to inform a worldwide audience and in shaping public opinion.
Split Estate Wins an Emmy!
In September, Split Estate was honored with an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Research, at the 31st Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. Congratulations to Deb Anderson, Mitchell Marti, Matt Vest, and the entire Split Estate film team!
Join this movement by hosting a screening of Split Estate in your community this January and engage with the fight for a clean and just energy future! Visit our website for a complete listing of the films and months they are being released for the Reel Power series.