WorldView-supported film Unearthed will have it’s World Premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014 on 10th and 11th June, followed by screenings at Durban International Film Festival 2014 and Encounters International Film Festival 2014.
The film, directed by Jolynn Minnaar and produced by Dylan Voogt, Saskia Schiel, and Stacey Keppler, investigates “fracking” from a global perspective in order to understand what this new technology could mean for South Africa and many other countries currently considering its implementation. As the sparsely populated region of Karoo in South Africa considers introducing shale gas drilling, filmmaker Jolynn Minnaar at first keeps an open mind. After all, the community is impoverished, with very high unemployment and bleak prospects, and could do with a booming industry. Armed with nothing more than her inquisitive nature and a camera, she soon finds herself travelling to America, to the frontline of the fracking industry. What she discovers is a bleak landscape, where powerful energy companies have exploited the land, at a terrible cost to both the environment and the health of the local communities. It’s a world where ill families are either desperate to talk, or bound by nondisclosure agreements that allow the companies to control a dangerous mythology. Minaar’s journey into America’s heart of darkness is an absorbing primer on the fracking industry – and a necessary wake-up call to the rest of the world.
The film received a WorldView Development Grant at the 2013 Durban FilmMart. Director Jolynn Minnar said that winning the award went far beyond a financial contribution: “After 18 gruelling months of research, filming across South Africa, North America and the UK and participating in the polarised fracking debate, the award recognises the international significance in Unearthed’s investigation. This acknowledgement, knowing that people out there, from all corners of the globe, who are desperately seeking information on shale gas extraction and supporting our commitment to getting to the bottom of the contentious topic, is the biggest boost.”
To find out more about the film, go to the Unearthed website