Fracking the System is a political thriller documentary from the front lines of climate justice activism in Colorado. When a fracking mega-site gets moved from a White neighborhood to a BIPOC neighborhood, a concerned mother fights to try and stop it. She soon joins the state-wide movement to change the law but the powerful oil and gas industry fights back with lawsuits, racialized harassment, political sabotage, and $50 million. Fracking the System is an investigative exposé about the harms of fracking, the lengths to which the government is complacent with industrial pollution, and the nefarious tactics the oil and gas industry uses to undermine democratic elections.
Watch the Trailer:
I began filming in late 2017 after I met Lakota elders who recommended I make a documentary about fracking and climate justice activism. Within the first few months of filming, I was immersed in this political thriller that kept revealing shocking truths about political activism, the oil industry, and the way government functions. Five years later, after filming 170 shoots, I created a rough cut which received incredibly positive feedback from preview audiences.
In 2022, I successfully raised over $30,000 from a crowdfunding campaign which was used to hire award-winning consulting editors and refine the rough cut to its current state, which is nearly complete. Now, to finish the film, I am raising funds for final editing, an original score, archive media licensing, sound design and mixing, color correction, graphic animations, and an impact campaign to take this inspiring film on tour at festivals and around the country. Read more about our film and journey at our website, www.frackingthesystem.com.
I have been an environmental activist-filmmaker since the age of 11 when I made my first recycling PSA. I have participated in many kinds of activism since then and, in 2017, I vowed to use my skills to make a film about what an ordinary citizen could do to fight climate change. Soon thereafter, I was invited by two Lakota elders to make a film about the anti-fracking movement in Colorado. I was inspired when I met the community and I became fascinated by their battles on the local level to ban fracking, only to have those local bans overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court.
On the eighth day of production, after filming an activist who was protesting the fracking site next to the Bella Romero school, I was sued by an oil and gas company in an attempt to intimidate me and coerce the rights to my footage from me. I successfully fought off their lawsuit and became devoted to investigating this issue, embedding with the 2018 ballot initiative campaign to limit fracking, led by Colorado Rising. The resulting documentary is a thrilling story of front line activism and the nefarious political tactics of the oil and gas industry. I am incredibly grateful for your support and excited to launch this film in the coming year.
– Brian Hedden (brianhedden.com)