Each year, the Frozen River Film Festival searches for film which fits the WSU academic theme.
The film “Dear Governor Cuomo” met the criteria for this year’s Civic Engagement theme and will be shown Thursday, January 23, at 6:30 in Somsen auditorium. National Geographic Explorer and filmmaker Jon Bowermaster will deliver a keynote address after the film.
On a rainy night in May of 2012, a coalition of musicians, scientists and activists gathered in Albany on the governor’s front doorstep, calling for a ban on hydraulic-fracturing.
With the news that Governor Andrew Cuomo might lift the moratorium on fracking in New York any day, the event was assembled in less than a month. Two rehearsals in 24 hours and it was showtime!
The goal of the varied participants, many of whom had never met before this night, was to explain in clear terms the environmental, economic and health risks of fracking and to motivate people to rise up against the practice using a unique blend of music and message. The cord that bound them all was that they were first and foremost New Yorkers: New Yorkers Against Fracking.
The film that resulted from the night – a unique blend of “The Last Waltz” and “An Inconvenient Truth” – was written and directed by Jon Bowermaster and filmed under the direction of Academy Award winning doc-maker Alex Gibney. The stars of the night included actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, environmental biologist Sandra Steingraber and a long list of fabulous musicians that included Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne, Dan Zanes, the Felice Brothers, Citizen Cope, Medeski Martin & Wood and many more.
On Wednesday evening, January 22, you can see another Jon Bowermaster film, “SoLa: Louisiana Water Stories” at SE Tech auditorium 205 at 5:30, Q&A with Jon following the film.
Everywhere you look in Southern Louisiana there’s water – rivers, bayous, swamps, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico. And everyone in Cajun Country has a water story, or two or three or more. Its waterways support the biggest economies in Louisiana – an oil and gas industry, fishing business, tourism and recreational sports. They are also home to some insidious polluters: The same oil and gas industry, 200 petrochemical plants along a 100-mile-long stretch of the Mississippi known “Cancer Alley,” the world’s largest Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. At the same time SoLa is home to one of America’s most vital and unique cultures; if everyone who lives there has a water story they can also most likely play the fiddle, waltz, cook an etouffe and hunt and fish.
Tickets for films can be purchased at the door or at Chapter 2 Books, 121 W. 3rd St, Winona.
More information at www.frozenriver.org