Winona film festival's decision to cancel pro-fracking documentary stirs controversy

Categories: Environment
"FrackNation" was set to be shown along with the anti-fracking documentary "Gasland 2."
The Winona Frozen River Film Festival's decision to cancel a showing of a film sympathetic to the fracking industry a week before this weekend's event has the controversial documentary's director crying foul.

SEE ALSO: Red Wing Mayor Dennis Egan resigns amid frac sand lobbying controversy

Speaking of the festival organizers, one of the directors of "FrackNation," Phelim McAleer, said, "Their environmentalism is based on a lot of emotion and fear and when someone challenges them they get emotional and fearful."

But festival director Crystal Hegge says McAleer has "launched a smear campaign to gain publicity for this film."

She told us the main reason festival officials decided to can the screening of "FrackNation" wasn't because they disagree with the film's insinuations. Instead, she said it was because McAleer and his co-directors refused to send somebody to Winona for an accompanying question-and-answer session unless they were compensated with $10,000 "plus an honorarium for travel and expenses."

"We can't afford that," Hegge said. "We're a small film festival."

According to the documentary's website, "In 'FrackNation' journalist Phelim McAleer faces threats, cops and bogus lawsuits questioning green extremists for the truth about fracking."

"McAleer uncovers fracking facts suppressed by environmental activists, and he talks with rural Americans whose livelihoods are at risk if fracking is banned," the site continues. "Emotions run high but the truth runs deep."

Though Hegge said the "FrackNation" screening was canceled over the dispute about sending a representative to Winona, she also took the opportunity to blast the documentary.

(For more, click to page two.)

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midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

Since these arty film festival types are 99.99% left wing extremists there is no surprise here. A few of my high school friends turned out to be these type of people and they're fun to hang out with once in awhile but their politics have no basis in reality. Like the promoter of fracknation says, they're all emotion and fear. These people must think their computers and smart phones are made and powered by fairy dust. Their film projector came out of a mine, I wonder if they think about that.

midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@Bonnie5576@midwestexplorer81No they should have ran the film without the fracknation people there as they allegedly agreed to. I don't believe either side in the dispute totally. Obviously politics are involved. If the Film Festival people wanted to present both sides of the fracking arguments they could have done so. It's much easier to cancel the movie they don't like over a petty dispute though and not have to deal with an opposing argument. We wouldn't want anybody at a film fest to have to think seriously about an issue, it could cause confusion about what we're supposed to believe I guess. 

mingtran topcommenter

Ha. Poor guy

midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@Drewey I can tell you're not smart very easily. You would simply explain your counterpoint if you were interested in a real debate. You're more interested in putting somebody down trying to boost your own ego. LOL

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