It was a nearly packed house at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Wednesday night.
The crowd was there for a screening of "Gasland," a documentary that takes a critical eye at the impact of drilling for shale gas. The event was also a fundraiser for the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project, an advocate for stronger environmental protections on drilling.
It's not the first documentary to critique natural gas drilling but it's the one getting the most attention. The film won a Special Jury Price at this year's Sundance Film Festival. It will air on HBO on June 21.
"We were always after something that would have national exposure," Fox said at a pre-party for the screening.
Fox devotes most of the film to his investigations of people with contaminated water in his home of northeastern Pennsylvania and in Colorado and Wyoming. He made two trips to Fort Worth but the Barnett Shale takes up less than 10 minutes of the movie.
Nonetheless, local drilling critics expressed excitement about the film and its potential for getting their concerns about natural gas drilling more attention.
"The film tonight, I think, is really going to drive home that we've got some serious problems," state Rep. Lon Burnam told the crowd at the start of the screening in introducing Fox. The Fort Worth Democrat has long called for a moratorium on drilling until questions about safety are properly investigated.
Next month's HBO screening will be a big night for the film, Fox said. He also plans to hold more screenings around the country this summer and promised a theatrical release in the fall.
You can see that unforgettable scene here in the film's trailers. :-Aman Batheja