2012 FILM

DEAR GOVERNOR CUOMO

NEW YORKERS AGAINST FRACKING IN ONE VOICE

With the news in the spring of 2012 that Governor Andrew Cuomo might lift the four-year moratorium against hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New York State any day, a concert/protest was organized on his doorstep in the state capitol of Albany. The event brought together scientists, musicians, activists and actors in a scripted night onstage inviting the governor to join the anti-fracking majority in his home state.

DEAR GOVERNOR CUOMO

O

n a rainy night in May 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 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 musicians that included Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne, Dan Zanes, the Felice Brothers, Citizen Cope, Medeski Martin & Wood and many more.

The film premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival on October 12, 2012 and then toured 100+ cities across New York State. The film became a great tool for communities and activists to help spread the word that New York did not need fracking … and in December 2014 Governor Cuomo banned fracking in the state, only the second in the nation (after Vermont) to do so.

The film continues to screen due its unique combination of story and song and as an example of how grassroots activism really can make a difference.

The film also led to Oceans 8’s “Dear” series, followed soon after by “Dear Governor Brown” (as in California’s Jerry Brown) and “Dear President Obama.”

films-dearcuomo

Dear Governor Cuomo: New Yorkers Against Fracking in One Voice

Written and Directed by Jon Bowermaster
Concert Filmed by Alex Gibney
Videography by Maryse Alberti and Ronan Killeen
Edited by Chris Rahm
Featuring appearances by Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, with music by Natalie Merchant, John Medeski, Joan Osborne, Toshi Reagon, Meshell Ndegeocello, Citizen Cope, Medeski, Martin and Wood, The Felice Brothers, and Dan Zanes

Written and Directed by Jon Bowermaster
Concert Filmed by Alex Gibney
Videography by Maryse Alberti and Ronan Killeen
Edited by Chris Rahm
Featuring appearances by Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, with music by Natalie Merchant, John Medeski, Joan Osborne, Toshi Reagon, Meshell Ndegeocello, Citizen Cope, Medeski, Martin and Wood, The Felice Brothers, and Dan Zanes