On Saturday, Josh Fox took home an Emmy for Outstanding Direction for Nonfiction Programming for Gasland, his widely acclaimed documentary on the destructive practice of natural gas fracking. Gasland was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar earlier this year, but lost to Inside Job. HBO is now airing Gasland, making it eligible for TV as well as film honors. The award came as part of the Creative Arts Emmys, broadcast a week before the “Primetime” Emmys.
“President Obama, I hope you are paying attention,” Fox said when he went on stage to accept his award. “We cannot allow America to turn into a gas field.”
Josh Fox made a splash at Sundance in 2010 with Gasland and its portrayal of the regular folks getting fracked over by the natural gas industry — including Fox himself, who mobilized to make the film after being offered $100,000 to lease his land for exploration. Even if you haven’t seen the whole film, you’ve probably seen a clip of the flaming faucet in a home where hydraulic fracturing had contaminated the drinking water. (Or if you missed it, watch below.) Images like these helped Gasland push fracking into the public consciousness.
Even the natural gas industry acknowledges the film’s success: “What we’ve seen in the last few years, and I hope it’s peaking, is a completely heightened public awareness around hydraulic fracturing and an increase in active opposition,” Tisha Conoly Schuller, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said recently. “I hate to credit the movie Gasland, but it’s really changed the conversation.”
When Big Anything admits you’re making their job harder, you must be doing something right.