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October 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Matt Damon in Promised Land

The organization that represents the oil and gas industries has gone into motion to counter a movie that is not scheduled to be released until the end of the year. The film, Promised Land, a drama being distributed by Universal’s specialty-film unit Focus Features — it stars and is co-written by Matt Damon — focuses on how a process called hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — affects a community in rural Pennsylvania. The Wall Street Journal reported today (Tuesday) that the industry plans to bombard film reviewers with studies about the process, distribute leaflets at theaters showing the movie, and counter negative claims made in the film on Facebook and Twitter. “We have to address the concerns that are laid out in these types of films,” Jeff Eshelman, a spokesman for Independent Petroleum Association of America, said in an interview with the Journal. But Focus Features CEO James Schamus maintains that the film takes no position of fracking. He told the newspaper, “We’ve been surprised at the emergence of what looks like a concerted campaign targeting the film even before anyone’s seen it.” However, the Journal points out that Focus Features’ production partner in the film is Participant Media, which brought Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, and whose website includes postings opposing the practice of fracking.