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.