Mark Cuban’s AXS TV has picked up the rights to “FrackNation,” a documentary that pushes back against the Hollywood-HBO anti-fracking complex that demonizes the technology that can potentially help economically depressed parts of the country in addition to making America more energy independent.
This is the second high-profile conservative film Cuban has acquired in recent months. It’s a sign conservative documentaries are better able to get an airing in Hollywood as executives like Cuban pick up movies that do well in the market instead of putting their ideology above capitalism. Before the election, Magnet, another of Cuban’s companies, distributed “Occupy Unmasked,” the film starring the late Andrew Breitbart and directed by Steve Bannon that exposes the radical and violent nature of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Next month, Matt Damon’s “Promised Land,” an anti-fracking feature, opens in theaters nationwide. HBO’s “Gasland 2,” another anti-fracking documentary, is in the works. To counter these films, Cuban hopes to air “FrackNation,” which he calls an “OpEdocumentary,” roughly the same time “Promised Land” is in theaters.
“Of course the timing is relevant,” Cuban told The Hollywood Reporter. “We want people talking and using #AXSTV when they watch and discuss it.”
Phelim McAleer, the filmmaker behind “FrackNation,” said the documentary was specifically made to push back against “what is going to be a Hollywood-HBO onslaught against fracking.”
“We want to get a bit of balance in the debate — give a voice to farmers and rural poor whose voices are never heard above urban elites and Hollywood celebrities,” McAleer said. “We have a section showing how, once the celebrities got involved, the people who depended on and supported fracking didn’t stand a chance.”
Cuban continued to reiterate that he was not political and said, “if there was an anti-fracking OpEdocumentary, we would show it as well.”
Hollywood and environmentalists, along with oil-rich nations like the United Arab Emirates, which funded Damon’s “Promised Land” movie, have tried to use celebrities and the popular culture to demonize “fracking.”
Because of Cuban’s efforts, “FrackNation” present evidence in favor of fracking to a broad audience of moviegoers.
AXS TV is also owned by Ryan Seacrest, CAA and AEG.