Drill Baby Drill Screening Apr. 17th in Cortland

Drill Baby Drill Film Coming to Cortland

The new documentary Drill Baby Drill will have its CNY premiere in Cortland on Wednesday, April 17.

Filmmaker Lech Kowalski, a native of Utica who currently lives and works in Paris, France will be present for the screening and for the discussion following the 84-minute film.

The film, which was made in Poland and in Pennsylvania, tells the story of a group of Polish farmers who band together to protect their land when unconventional shale-gas drilling (fracking) threatens. It also looks at the effects of ongoing drilling on farmers and their communities in Pennsylvania. 

The film’s power derives in part from its refusal to provide easy answers to the questions it raises about corporate power and its effect on democracy, and about the tensions between our demand for energy and the necessity of protecting our air, water, farmland, and food supply. The subject should be of strong, immediate interest to residents of New York, where energy companies are leasing land with plans to do similar drilling. 


Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m, Main Street SUNY Cortland, 9 Main Street, Second Floor, Room 202.  

Sponsored by CGIS Environmental Justice Committee and GDACC (Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County.  Donations to help cover the filmmaker’s expenses will be accepted at the door.


About filmmaker Lech Kowalki

Kowalski has won wide acclaim over 35+ years as an independent filmmaker. His large body of work has won awards and been the subject of retrospectives at international film festivals.  This film was shown recently in the French Senate, and on French and German television (with high ratings). It will be shown to European Parliament on April 23, prior to theatrical release. 

Drill Baby Drill film description
One day the people who live in a small village located in eastern Poland near the Ukrainian border, an ecologically pristine agricultural area called the “lungs of Poland,” discover that Chevron, the world’s fourth largest energy corporation, plans to build a shale gas well in their village. At first the villagers are not against the construction of the gas well, but research reveals that having a shale gas well so near farms might not be such a good idea. The farmers mobilize. They appeal to politicians and government institutions to stop the construction, but their requests are met with silence. Suddenly Chevron sends bulldozers to start construction. Lech Kowalski was there to film the first-ever farmer rebellion against Chevron. But energy companies and the Polish government hope to hit a golden shale gas jackpot, and the odds are against the farmers winning. The story about their struggle weaves around realities that are taking place in Pennsylvania, which industry has called the “Saudi Arabia” of North America. It’s too late to stop the harms in Pennsylvania, but can the farmers win in Poland? What happens is a surprise.
For further information contact gdacc.cortland@gmail.comD

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