15 July 2015
Rugby League legend, Senator Glenn Lazarus, will give audiences some insights into his stoush with Prime Minister Abbott over CSG, at a special public screening and Q&A event for the documentary FRACKMAN, next Wednesday July 22nd in Brisbane.
Journalist, Mike Munro will host the public Q&A event.
Other speakers will include Drew Hutton, President of the Lock the Gate Alliance, community leaders -- both for and against future CSG expansion -- as well as Dayne “The Frackman” Pratkzy.
The audience will also field questions and answers. Among the audience will be a representative of the rural lobby group Agforce, Daniel Phipps, who is the Agforce CSG Project Leader. Event organisers have invited representatives from the energy and resource sector to participate.
Senator Lazarus is likely to be a drawcard for what is currently a polarizing issue in Queensland, which has the largest developed gasfields in Australia. The Queensland Senator has been raising the issue of CSG in Federal Parliament, asking why the PM seems more concerned about wind farms than the impacts of gas exploration.
"I have threatened Tony Abbott to shirtfront him about this issue," Senator Lazarus said. “Tony Abbott in 2013 said that no-one should live anywhere near, or in amongst coal seam gas wells, and I think he should remind himself of that.”
The movie, Frackman, is a David versus Goliath story about a knockabout Aussie bloke, Dayne Pratzky, referred to by the media as an “accidental activist”, who takes up a fight with Big Gas. The film depicts stories of people who live in the gasfields and whose lives are affected by CSG, particularly those in the Tara-Chinchilla region.
Another Rugby League great, Darren Lockyer, is on the other side of the debate to Senator Lazarus.
Pratzky in the Courier Mail, said Roma-born Lockyer, a paid ambassador for Origin Energy’s $23 billion Australia Pacific gas project, would be “embarrassed and ashamed” once the “devastating” impacts of CSG extraction were felt.
Dayne Pratzky challenged Darren Lockyer to attend the July 22nd screening. He has said that Lockyer might one day regret putting his name to the practise of fracking for coal seam gas in Queensland.
Pratzky has re-iterated his call for the Queensland’s Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and her Government to see the controversial film.
“I think the people of Queensland would like Annastacia to take her Cabinet Ministers to see the film for some home truths about the effects of coal seam gas on Queensland,” said Dayne Pratzky.
“I would like to personally invite her to attend a screening and join me and those from both sides of the debate at a Q&A on July 22nd in Brisbane.
“Frackman’s aerial photography shows the shocking extent of the gas-fields across the Queensland landscape and there are anecdotes from affected landowners in the film. This should be seen by government to make sure decisions politicians make in the future about new CSG leases are truly in the best interests of Queenslanders. Despite the fact that the deals for CSG were done back in Anna Bligh’s government, it’s not too late to save much of Queensland from further damaging CSG activity, particularly to our aquifers and farming land.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk should encourage all Queensland politicians to see Frackman. It will help them to make better decisions about the future as it shows the other side of coal seam gas mining on Queensland, and that it is not just the financial bonanza with no down-side that we were led to believe,” said Pratzky.
Frackman is now screening in Brisbane after travelling around Australia to packed cinemas. The grass-roots campaign for Frackman, a movie-length documentary about ordinary Australians caught up in a multinational ‘gas rush’, went viral on social media, with views of the trailer on Facebook alone reaching one million in the first ten days.
Since then, Frackman has won Best Film at Byron Bay Film Festival, and Best Feature Film (Factual) at the Western Australian Screen Awards, its central character, Dayne Pratzky , has become a media superstar, and hundreds of individuals and community groups have requested to screen the film in their region using the “cinema on demand” platform Tugg that Frackman is partnering with. In Queensland the Lock the Gate Alliance is conducting many of the Tugg screenings. The trailer has been viewed in more than 30 countries, and even has some intrepid viewers in Antarctica. Thousands have joined in a lively commentary on the site.
The Queensland producer of Frackman, Trish Lake, says the documentary is very timely.
“We are seeing a spirited debate in the comments between those affected by coal seam gas, and those who work in the gas industry. But overall there are a huge number of comments from people who had no idea just how widespread the effects are of Big Gas in Australia.
“It’s a debate that is much overdue. People want to know more and they want to have a say. They don’t want to leave it to the politicians and “Big Gas” to make unilateral decisions about how energy impacts Australians’ health and their environment.”
There are Q&A screenings tonight, Wed 15th and next Wed 22nd July at Palace Centro, and a Q&A screening at Indooroopilly Event Cinemas on Wed, July 29th.
Tickets for the Palace Centro events can be bought online
Further screenings continue to roll out in cinemas throughout regional and metropolitan Australia, through an innovative “cinema on demand” campaign where audiences can book and organise screenings at local cinemas by a push of a button, through the Frackmanthemovie.com and Tugg.com.au websites.
If you're interested in organizing a screening of Frackman near you - or would like to know if a screening is already happening in your area - go to www.tugg.com.au
The film has been supported by Good Pitch Australia, Screen Australia, Screen Queensland and ScreenWest.
For further media inquiries contact: Trish Lake, +61 7 3252 4551 / 0412 189977
The producers, Trish Lake and Simon Nasht, Director-Producer, Richard Todd,￼￼￼and Dayne ‘Frackman’ Pratzky are available for interview.
Appearing in Margaret River Mail 17 May
By Matt Shand
Musician John Butler says it is time for people to hold an “intervention” about fracking in Western Australia.
Butler’s word came just minutes after he finished wowing the audience at a concert to celebrate the screening of Frackman, a film that looks at everyday people fighting against hydraulic fracturing in Queensland.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a controversial mining technique where a cocktail of water, sand and chemicals injected into wells to fracture the rock and allow more gas to flow through the well.
Mining companies state fracking is a safe practice but world wide protests have been held by residents worried about chemical leeching into their drinking water.
“In a country which has one of the driest lands in the planet it doesn't make sense that we’re going to use up water to mine and contaminate drinking water,” Butler said.
“If someone is just hurting them, then that is one thing but if they are hurting the community you need to have an intervention.”
More than a hundred people attended the screening and concert which saw Butler play a range of songs and he used the opportunity to try out a never-heard-before song he wrote about climate change.
Read the full story
The Margaret River screening of Frackman was the first of a long tour of Western Australia.Continue reading
As appeared in the Donnybrook Bridgetown Mail
FRACKMAN the Movie is coming to Balingup for a special screening on Thursday May 21. The event follows sell-out screenings in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
Frackman tells the story of accidental activist Dayne “Frackman” Pratzky and a group of ordinary Queenslanders as they battle against the $70 billion unconventional gas industry.
The observational documentary, directed and produced by Margaret River filmmaker Richard Todd, follows Pratzky’s five-year battle against the Queensland Gas Company after they demand to sink gas wells on his property.
The David and Goliath battle includes triumph, tragedy, love and conflict as Pratzky and his neighbours face off against the gas company and the coal seam gas industry.
A large swathe of Australia is now covered by unconventional gas exploration licenses or applications. The documentary seeks to spark a state-wide conversation about the risks of fracking and of WA rushing headlong into the development of a massive shale and tight gas industry.
The special screening will take place at The Balingup Town Hall at 6.30pm and will include a question and answer session with Pratzky and Todd.
Read the full story
Story by Marie C
Sure, environmental documentaries aren’t very sexy, and coal seam gas development? Even less so. But Frackman is like nothing you’ve ever seen before – and every Australian needs to know about this film. Right now.
I don’t know about you but it’s been a good four years since I attended a protest rally to make a stand against government policy. Granted, I was overseas at the time and swept up in a sea of tear gas-induced riots in reaction to austerity measures in Europe. (The Greeks know how to make themselves heard, don’t you worry about that.)
Am I advocating that kind of anarchy? Er, no. But I can’t think of another, milder time in which I partook in a little dissent to rewrite the rulebooks. When instead of feeling unhappy about the way our country was conducting itself, and ultimately giving in, I actually stood up and demanded to be heard.
Luckily there are everyday people still fighting for the rights of the rest of us.
Dayne Pratzky’s one man versus the government battle represents an unfortunate quandary for everyday Aussies: what to do when the government fronts up to your house one day and says, we’re taking over your land to put in gas wells and there’s nothing you can do about it. Say “Righty-o then” and be on your merry way? Dayne and his neighbours have unwittingly become the centre of a massive industrial landscape – the business of coal seam gas development – and they have no legal right to stop mining on their land.
“When governments fail us,” screams the tagline on the movie’s poster, “ordinary people have to become heroes”.
Coal seem gas development – what is fracking?
I don’t mind admitting I actually had no idea where the gas that turns my stovetop on ACTUALLY comes from. Zero. Is it manufactured like the gas that makes mineral water bubbly? If it’s natural, how do you catch it? Or look for it? How do you know where to find it if it’s invisible? So. Many. Questions. (It’s probably better if I just stop talking now.)
I went digging and found this handy explanation on the Australia Pacific LNG website:
To extract it, more than 30,000 wells are being sunk in the state of Queensland to reach the gas that typically lies 200m to 1000m below surface. (How did they first find out it existed that deep? How?) But herein lies the problem. Many of these locations will require a controversial process known as “fraccing”, another term for hydraulic fracturing, whereby a fluid made of water, sand and chemical additives is pumped down the well to *flush* out the gas. (*Disclaimer: that is my layman’s definition. I can’t say I understand the process much beyond that.) Environmentalists are concerned this is polluting our waterways and wreaking havoc in general.
As appeared in Australian Financial Review
Story by Yolanda Redrup
Australian cinema is set to receive a boost from a new crowdfunding site which allows users to buy tickets to niche films and have them screened in local cinemas such as Hoyts and Village.
Tugg was founded in 2012 by Americans Nicolas Gonda and Pablo Gonzalez and was launched in Australia in February after 12 months of beta testing.
The site allows users to buy tickets to local and overseas films which haven't been picked up by the cinemas, often thanks to small marketing budgets. The film is only screened if enough tickets are sold to cover the costs of the screening, which is usually between 60 and 90 tickets depending on the film.
In the United States the site has more than 500,000 users and there have been 4500 film screenings.
Of the people who visit the US site, 13.3 per cent buy a ticket to a film. In Australia this number is even higher, with a 17 per cent conversion rate.
David Doepel, managing director of Leap Frog Films and one of the people behind Tugg in Australia, said the site's high conversion rate was driven by its utilisation of word of mouth on social media to attract people to the page.
"Filmmakers spend a lot of money creating awareness about a film and spend money on a call to action to get people out on week one to see it, and then they hope word of mouth kicks in," he said.
"We've turned that on its head and started it with word of mouth. You have a trusted friend, family member or work colleague ... who sends out an email or Facebook message saying they're going to a film and that unless enough tickets sell it won't be screened."
Mr Doepel said cinema on demand is a "win/win" for cinema owners, movie producers, the public and movie distributors.
"This won't cannibalise patronage from Hollywood blockbusters; it will actually grow the market by attracting new movie goers to quieter times of the week and different kinds of films," he said.
"The strongest value proposition for a cinema is that we focus on the low-inventory times. Cinemas are just like planes: you can't sell the seats once it's gone. "
Cinemas profit from the rental costs of the movie theatres, while Tugg makes money from the ticket sales, as do the event promoters and film producers.
The average number of people at each screening in Australia is 146 and there is at least one movie screening in each state every week.
Check out TUGG screenings for Frackman in your area - http://ow.ly/MM6N8Continue reading
Imagine waking up one day, life is good, all is as it should be, and you receive a knock on the door from a stranger who tells you that your life is about to change for the worse, and there's nothing you can do about it.
Dayne Pratzky faced exactly this scenario, and is now known around the world as Frackman thanks to his involvement in the anti-Coal Seam Gas movement.
Harriet Mantell is not quite an international name but is certainly a 'local legend' for her opposition to Melbourne's controversial East West Link.
Neither of them regarded themselves as politically active before they became accidental activists, but now they say there is no going back.
Here they join Patricia Karvelas in The Drawing Room to discuss how their lives have changed for the better since their involvement with grassroots campaigns.
IPSWICH may not be on the radar of the major coal seam gas companies but that doesn't mean mining does not affect the city and its people.
According to Dayne Pratzky, star of Frackman the Movie, the coal seem gas issue has implications for the future of every Australian.
Mr Pratzky was living at Tara when his battle with the major coal seam gas companies began about six years ago.
The film, which will be screened in Ipswich in May, follows his protest against the industrialisation of residential and rural Queensland and the negative effect gas extraction is having on the natural environment, livestock and people."There were so many things that I noticed happening in my community," Mr Pratzky said.
"There was a social splitting - people who were long-time friends were broken up because they were either for or against it.
"Kids were getting sick, animals were ill and farmers were losing water. My property lost 35% of its value. Farmers were destabilised because they couldn't plan for the future - there was that constant doubt as to whether their farm would be next."
Frackman tells the story of Mr Pratzky's struggle against international gas companies, including QGC - a subsidiary of British Gas.His protest has extended across the nation and overseas, as Australia is set to become the world's biggest gas exporter.
"I want the film to encourage Ipswich people to educate themselves about what is happening to Australia," Mr Pratzky said.
"We are moving to a time in this country's history where we are risking our future.
Story by Luke Buckmaster
As appeared in The Guardian Tuesday 7 April 2015
Long-haired hippies back from the dead, blood-splotched nurses with torn uniforms and a huge horde of fellow freaky looking zombies with melting faces and ripped jawlines stumbled into Sydney’s Moonlight Cinema in February, hungry for carnage.
This was neither your average crowd nor your average screening – rather, the rambunctious premiere of Australian-made fright fest Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead. It was merely a warm-up for the big event which came one week later, on “Friday the 13th”, when thousands flocked to more than 75 cinemas across Australia to attend public screenings.
The box office haul for that evening alone was $85,000. Comparatively, last year’s West Australian-set action/drama Son of a Gun (starring Ewan McGregor) made less than $150,000 over the course of its entire theatrical run.
Fast forward a few weeks and actor-cum-documentary film-maker Damon Gameau is warming up for his first Q&A for That Sugar Film. The debut director embarked on an epic nationwide tour, addressing packed crowds and completing 64 sessions in just over three weeks. “It was a fascinating way to release the film because we got to have 64 opening nights,” Gameau says. “To get such immediate feedback on something you’ve spent years on was enormously satisfying.”
On Easter Sunday, That Sugar Film’s box office tally crossed the $1m mark. It is currently the third most successful Australian documentary feature film of all time.
That Sugar Film: how 60 days of eating ‘health food’ led to fatty liver disease Read moreWhile Gameau was extolling the dangers of sugar-laden diets, another team of film-makers were screening an anti-coal-seam gas doco called Frackman in dozens of locations across rural New South Wales. The audience were an eclectic bunch: farmers, nanas, environmentalists and everybody in between. One by one the sessions (also matched with Q&As) sold out, or came close to it. Before Frackman had opened in the city it had collected more than $100,000 from the bush.
Weave these stories together and you get an electrifying narrative for Australian cinema, which started 2015 with a kick, a bang and (in Wyrmwood’s case) several thousand litres of fake blood.
Frackman is touring nationally check session timesContinue reading
THE Frackman is making his way to Wagga.
Frackman is a documentary style film about one landholder’s struggles against coal seam gas (CSG) mining in rural Queensland.
The focus is on Dayne Pratzky who describes himself as an accidental activist fighting international gas companies. The movie, which was not originally slated for release in Wagga, has come to the city thanks to a grassroots campaign started by resident Belinda Franks.
Ms Franks said after seeing the trailer she had to find a way to see the entire movie and contacted the film’s distributors.
“Once you see the trailer, you’re kind of hooked,” she said. “Wagga always seems to miss out on other things around the state … Frackman has sold out (screenings) in Sydney.”
It will be screened on Monday at 6.30pm at Forum 6.Continue reading
Story by Anthony Sharwood
THERE’S a movie currently taking Australian cinemas by storm, and you’ve probably never even heard of it.
That’s because it’s not playing at a giant megaplex near you, but at art house cinemas here and there and at halls and theatres in towns around the country – where locals are going absolutely nuts for it.
The reason they’re going nuts? It’s about them, that’s why. It’s about ordinary Aussies protecting what belongs to them against greedy companies trying to take it all away.
The film’s star Dayne Pratzky is one of those very ordinary Aussies. A labourer on Sydney’s Lane Cove Tunnel who left school in year nine, he decided to leave the city aged 30 to try his hand on the land. He bought a property dotted with scraggly gum trees near Tara, about three hours west of Brisbane on Queensland’s Darling Downs.
Then the gas companies showed up and told him they were drilling. As Dayne narrates it in his movie Frackman:
“One day a guy drove down my driveway and said: ‘...we’re going to sink a well down the back of your place. And if you don’t like it, there’s nothing you can do about it’.”
Article appeared on news.com.au
Full story by Anthony Sharwood
THERE’S a movie currently taking Australian cinemas by storm, and you’ve probably never even heard of it.That’s because it’s not playing at a giant megaplex near you, but at art house cinemas here and there and at halls and theatres in towns around the country — where locals are going absolutely nuts for it.
The reason they’re going nuts? It’s about them, that’s why. It’s about ordinary Aussies protecting what belongs to them against greedy companies trying to take it all away.
The film’s star Dayne Pratzky is one of those very ordinary Aussies. A labourer on Sydney’s Lane Cove Tunnel who left school in year nine, he decided to leave the city aged 30 to try his hand on the land. He bought a property dotted with scraggly gum trees near Tara, about three hours west of Brisbane on Queensland’s Darling Downs.Then the gas companies showed up and told him they were drilling. As Dayne narrates it in his movie Frackman:
“One day a guy drove down my driveway and said: ‘ ... we’re going to sink a well down the back of your place. And if you don’t like it, there’s nothing you can do about it’.”
Read the full story
Reporter: Kirsty Needham
Photo: Dean Sewell
Film director Richard Todd first encountered Frackman at a noisy anti-coal seam gas rally outside NSW Parliament in February 2011.
Former Sydney construction worker turned Queensland farmer Dayne Pratzky, aka Frackman, rose to national prominence in the fight against CSG donning a gas mask and white contamination suit.
The Frackman documentary had its official premiere at the Byron Bay Film Festival on Saturday, as CSG flares as a vote changer in three northern NSW electorates.
Opposition Leader Luke Foley took the Labor campaign bus to Lismore, Ballina and Tweed last week to shout that a Labor government would permanently ban CSG in the Northern Rivers. These Nationals seats are at serious risk of falling.
The Baird government shot back, cancelling two vast northern CSG licences.
On March 25, three days out from the election, Frackman will screen in inner city Newtown, hotly contested by Labor and the Greens.
On Friday, Premier Mike Baird cancelled the CSG licence covering metropolitan Sydney, including inner city St Peters, saying he was "cleaning up Labor's mess".
The Greens, which want CSG completely banned, welcomed the "anti-CSG auction".
At the film's screening, activists Get Up! and Lock the Gate will encourage the audience to take action – switch energy providers, divest from financial institutions – according to briefing notes from the film's producers.
Murkier, though, is how this unashamedly activist film will motivate people to vote.
When Frackman was protesting on Macquarie Street in 2011, Labor was in government, and had issued CSG exploration licences across the state.
Since then, the public backlash against CSG has widened to such an extent that a doorknock in Baird's Manly electorate last weekend found four out of five of people surveyed want water and farmland protected from CSG exploration.Continue reading
Story by Declan Bush
AUGUSTA MARGARET RIVER TIMES
The film depicts pig shooter-turned-activist Dayne Pratzsky's five-year fight against the multibillion-dollar coal-seam gas "fracking" industry.
Fracking refers to hydraulic fracturing, where trapped gas is mined with a high-pressure mixture of sand, water and chemicals - a practice many activists fear could lead to wholesale contamination of groundwater supplies. Todd said the film's world premiere would be at the Byron Bay Film Festival on March 7, just ahead of the NSW State election.
He said the filmmakers would tour country towns along the east coast before planned WA screenings and would carry the anti-fracking message to voters.
"Broome, Perth and Margaret River are definitely on the list," he said.
Todd said Queensland's fracking debate had made other States more cautious about allowing the practice.
"It's a good time to open up the debate," he said.
"NSW looks like they are trying to go a little bit slower. They don't want to go down the same path as Queensland."
Todd said his team was surprised at gas export approvals in Queensland.
The brutal nature of coal seam gas extrusion, in which the vast expanses of subterranean earth is fractured to allow access to the profitable resource, is the key issue facing a great many rural communities across the world. The heartless practices of the mining industry and the social cost to already struggling landowners are further examined in Richard Todd’s Frackman, the tough talking, tender hearted account of Queenslander Dayne Pratzky and his alter-ego, the titular militant agitator determined to right some basic wrongs. Ahead of the highly-anticipated 2015 Byron Bay Film Festival screenings, ‘Toddy’ (pictured below, left, with Pratzky) spoke to SCREEN-SPACE about his film, the issues it addresses and the fearless unpredictability of his protagonistContinue reading
Inside Film magazine has taken note of Frackman’s unconventional release and groundswell of support in an article published online this morning.
‘The location of the Byron Bay Film Festival premiere - the local Community Centre - is just one unconventional aspect of the innovative release being mapped out by the producers. The producers are "four-walling" the film [hiring cinemas] in 20 locations in NSW in March, followed by a capital city theatrical release after Easter.
In tandem with that, Frackman is being marketed by Tugg, the cinema-on-demand platform which is a co-venture between David Doepel’s Leap Frog Films and Tugg US. Indicating widespread community interest in the subject, the trailer has had 925,000 views on Facebook in just nine days. There was a sell-out preview on Tuesday night at the NET-WORK-PLAY conference in Adelaide.’
Employing these new strategies for screenings has been a key component of Frackman’s dedication to making the film accessible in regional areas, which are too often left out of major film events.
Read the full article online here
Story by Don Groves
Richard Todd’s feature documentary Frackman, which investigates the impact of the coal seam gas industry on residents' health and food and water resources, will have its world premiere on March 7.
The location- the Byron Bay Film Festival Community Centre- is just one unconventional aspect of the innovative release being mapped out by producers Simon Nasht and Trish Lake.
The producers are four-walling the film in 20 locations in NSW in March, followed by a capital city theatrical release after Easter.
In tandem with that, Frackman is being marketed by Tugg, the cinema-on-demand platform which is a co-venture between David Doepel’s Leap Frog Films and Tugg US.
Indicating widespread community interest in the subject, the trailer has had 925,000 views on Facebook in just nine days. There was a sell-out preview on Tuesday night at the NET-WORK-PLAY conference in Adelaide.
"Reps from Santos and the mining industry and even burly frackers came as well as Lock-the-Gate anti-fracking people," Lake says. "There was a robust debate as part of the Q&A with Richard Todd and myself following the screening. The majority of people stayed and moved to the foyer of the cinema to continue the debate. It's very worthwhile to see the response."
Frackman will be released on iTunes and other digital platforms in April. The film follows Queensland landowner and pig shooter Dayne ‘The Frackman’ Pratzky, who joins a broad coalition of conservative landowners, radical activists and city folk who oppose coal seam gas mining.
Two of the social impact films funded under the Good Pitch Australia documentary initiative are about to hit the big screens across the country.
And if the public’s reactions to the trailers to That Sugar Film and Frackman are any indication the films, funded via philanthropic, corporate and Not for Profit donations, are set to be box office hits.
Producers of That Sugar Film say the film’s trailer has has had over three million hits and Frackman has had over 800,000 views since the trailer was released last week.
Frackman tells the story of accidental activist Dayne Pratzky and his struggle against international gas companies. Australia will soon become the world’s biggest gas exporter as more than 30,000 ‘fracked’ wells are sunk in the state of Queensland where Dayne lives.
Dayne embarks on a journey that transforms him from conservative pig-shooter to sophisticated global activist as the Frackman. The World Premiere of Frackman will be at the Byron Bay International Film Festival on March 7.Continue reading