Magdalena Segieda was behind the camera when documentary filmmaker Phelim McAleer asked the director of Gasland an inconvenient question.
McAleer asked why Gasland, a film slamming the practice of fracking as being harmful to the environment, didn't acknowledge the fact that some water could be lit due to naturally occurring conditions unrelated to the process of fracking. The most alarming sequence in Gasland involves drinking water that we're told became flammable due to fracking.
When Gasland director Josh Fox said that information wasn't relevant, and later tried to yank a YouTube clip of their exchange from the web, both Segieda and McAleer realized there was more to the story that needed to be told.
“This guy has something to hide,” Segieda tells Big Hollywood.
Segieda says that Q&A proved critical to the creation of FrackNation, a new documentary debuting at 9 p.m. EST Jan 22 on AXS TV that counters the Hollywood meme that fracking represents an extreme environmental hazard.
Segieda, a Polish native, says the issue of fracking doesn't just impact U.S. citizens eager for a new, clean energy resource but nations around the globe as well.
In fact, part of FrackNation takes place in Poland where the documentary team talk to citizens about the debate surrounding the issue. High gas prices in Europe make fracking all the more important to discuss and debunk incorrect information on the subject, she says.
“Also, Russia uses its exports of gas as a political tool to affect and influence other nations,” she says.
Segieda learned plenty about the fracking debate while co-creating FrackNation, but she also discovered people harbor deep suspicions about modern journalism.
When she first introduced herself to residents with a stake in the fracking debate for their film, she found them less than open to her questions.
“I would be met with absolute silence,” she says. “They thought I was going to take their words and misinterpret them. They were very afraid of that. I had to break through their initial reluctance to talk to me.”
Showing them the video of the FrackNation team quizzing Fox helped break the ice, she adds.