"Gasland II," the follow-up to the Oscar-nominated 2010 documentary by Josh Fox, had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last weekend - and as you would expect, it was not without some drama.
Supporters representing both sides of the issue - which centers around the practice of hydraulic fracturing and its impacts on the environment - were in attendance; with claims that only those backing Fox's viewpoint were eventually allowed to witness the premiere.
According to filmmaker Phelim McAleer
, who directed the film "Fracknation
" (a rebuttal of sorts to "Gasland's" negatives), farmers supporting the practice who traveled to the premiere were turned away due to what organizers said were seating capacity issues. The truth may have more to do with what happened on the red carpet - where tensions and protests turned heated enough to warrant intervention by police.
"People were screaming so loud for so long, they couldn't do TV interviews outside," one source told THR
. "They weren't just protesting with signs, they were screaming at the top of their lungs."
Festival organizers issued a statement to Fox 411
saying that those protesting simply spent too much time doing so, and consequently gave up their seats to others.
“Guests that had purchased advance tickets and were in line for the film 30 minutes prior, as our ticket policy states, were admitted into the screening,” read the statement sent. “We are sorry that the few ticket holders who stayed outside gave up their seats to those who waited in line. The film is being shown three more times during the festival and we welcome them to come to any of those screenings. Tickets are still available.”
As for the film itself, early reviews indicate that Fox has successfully crafted a sequel that reinforces and expands upon the original.
"Fox's exposition is a cluttered, scattershot affair that shifts from one location and case study to another with little narrative fluidity, but the collage holds together mainly due to his dark wit, snappy editing and musical cues that give the message an added kick," writes Eric Kohn for IndieWire
We'll be able to judge for ourselves when HBO airs the documentary later this summer.