- Jon Bowermaster
- Mark Ruffalo, Melissa Leo, Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne, Sandra Steingraber, Citizen Cope, Medeski Martin and Wood and The Felice Brothers
On a rainy night in May, a unique coalition of musicians, scientists and activists gathered in Albany on the governor’s front door step, calling for a ban on hydraulic-fracturing. With the news that Governor Andrew Cuomo might lift the moratorium on fracking in New York anyday, the event was assembled in less than a month. Two rehearsals in twenty-four hours, and it was show time.
The goal of the extremely varied participants, many of whom had never met before this night, was to explain in clear terms the threats of fracking and to motivate people to rise up against the practice using song. 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 documentary film maker Alex Gibney. The stars of the night included actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, environmental biologist Sandra Steingraber and a long list of musicians that included Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne, Dan Zanes, the Felice Brothers, Citizen Cope, Medeski Martin & Wood, the Horse Flies, and many more.
The concert, rally, and now the film have strong ties to Ithaca and the Finger Lakes. Local author, biologist, and Heinz Award Winner, Sandra Steingraber, was a key contributor to this project, and is featured in the film, as are local musical favorites, the Horse Flies. In addition, the concert featured in this film was produced by the Ithaca based water protection organization, The Finger Lakes Clean Waters Initiative.
Bowermaster is a six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council, writer and filmmaker. Jon's most recent documentaries are Terra Antarctica, Rediscovering the Seventh Continent; What Would Darwin Think? Man v. Nature in the Galapagos; and the prize-winning SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories. His first 3D film—Wild Antarctica—is due in Spring 2013.
The film premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival on October 11 and has begun a statewide tour of theaters, universities and high schools.