When Ralph Kisberg saw Josh Fox's award-winning documentary "Gasland" during a recent screening in Philadelphia, he knew the film would strike a chord with people living in northcentral Pennsylvania.
They soon will have a chance to see the film. A free screening will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Williamsport Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St.
"I went to a Philadelphia screening of the film and was very moved by Josh Fox's story and the way he told it," said Kisberg, who is a founding member of local gas industry watchdog group Responsible Drilling Alliance.
According to a news release provided by the alliance, Fox, who grew up in Millanville, Pa., and New York City, wrote and directed the film, which addresses the issue of hydraulic fracturing.
"The drilling technology called hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking' has unlocked a 'Saudi Arabia of natural gas just beneath us'," according to a synopsis of the film. "But is fracking safe?"
After Fox was asked to lease his land for gas exploration, "he embarks on a cross-county odyssey uncovering trails of secrets, lies and contamination. (He) encounters EPA whistleblowers, congressmen, world recognized scientists, and some of the most incredibly inspiring and heart-wrenching stories of ordinary Americans fighting against fossil fuel giants for environmental justice," the release said.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Free screening of the documentary "Gasland"
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: Community Arts Center, 220 W.?Fourth St.
A video on the film's Web site begins with the words "can you do this with your tap water?" projected on the screen and then a man holding a lighter to his running tap water. The man jumps back as the water, including the water collected in the sink, ignites into a ball of flame.
The video was included in a public service announcement called "Kill the Drill," which questions whether drilling in New York City's watershed is safe.
In "Gasland," Fox visited Dimock, where he found and filmed people with contaminated water, pets with their hair falling out and people capable of igniting their tap water.
The film won the 2010 Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Prize for a documentary.
Kisberg said he was impressed by Fox's "love for his family's part of Pennsylvania, his inquisitiveness about the potential ramifications of gas development for their area and property before making a leasing decision, the good-natured, sometimes humorous, open attitude he brought to his quest and the way so many others around the state and country opened up to him about their particular experiences."
Kisberg said he returned to Williamsport and discussed the film with alliance board members.
"We decided to pursue bringing (the film) here for us and anyone else interested in seeing it on the big screen together," he said.