Sundance winning filmmaker asks if Cooperstown could be the next "Gasland"

By By CAROLINE GABLE

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - An award-winning film straight from the 2010 Sundance film festival, along with its creator, Josh Fox, are in Cooperstown Wednesday night.

Fox is previewing his movie "Gasland," a documentary in which he narrates about the effects of natural gas drilling.

While this type of drilling is different than the drilling that caused the B.P. oil crisis in The Gulf of Mexico, it certainly reaches viewers at a time of heightened sensitivity when it comes to the environment.

Fox tells the true story of how he was approached by a natural gas company to make a lucrative deal to allow the company to explore drilling on his land in Pennsylvania.

The offer spurred curiosity in the filmmaker to explore the effects of hydraulic fracking in 34 other states. What he says he found, was evidence of polluted water, toxic chemicals, and health problems all attributed to the natural gas drilling.

Fox says it is especially important for him to bring this film, which just won a special jury prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, to viewers in Central New York.

"This is part of the affected area (Cooperstown)," he said. "fifty-percent of New York State is being leased for natural gas drilling, including Cooperstown."

The film "Gasland" is being shown Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Cooperstown High School.

Admission is free but seating is limited.

The film will also be shown on HBO June 21 at 9 p.m.

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