Screen­ings of film ‘Burned’ hap­pen­ing in re­gion

A film that an­swers the ques­tion: Are Trees the New Coal?


A new film about the rise of the biomass in­dus­try is on tour now in Nova Sco­tia and screen­ings are tak­ing place in this re­gion.

The Os­prey Arts Cen­tre in Shel­burne will screen the fea­ture length doc­u­men­tary film Burned: Are Trees the New Coal? with spe­cial guests for a Q&A ses­sion af­ter­wards on Mon­day, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.

This spe­cial screen­ing of Burned is be­ing pre­sented at the Os­prey by the Ecol­ogy Ac­tion Cen­tre. Ad­mis­sion is free, but do­na­tions are en­cour­aged at the door.

The film will also be screened at the Yar­mouth County Mu­seum and Archives on Wed­nes­day, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. The event is be­ing pre­sented by TREPA.

This doc­u­men­tary by Alan Dater and Lisa Mer­ton is about the rel­a­tively new prac­tice in forestry of cut­ting trees, chip­ping them and us­ing them to gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity. The film­mak­ers say the film “probes the pol­icy loop­holes, huge sub­si­dies and bla­tant green wash­ing of the bur­geon­ing biomass power in­dus­try.”

Burned ex­am­ines the en­ergy’s in­dus­try lat­est so­lu­tion to cli­mate change and how wood has be­come the an­swer to fos­sil fu­els.

Au­di­ences will meet the peo­ple, groups and cor­po­ra­tions who are pro­mot­ing the adop­tion of this so-called green so­lu­tion and those fight­ing against it to pro­tect their health, their forests, their com­mu­ni­ties and the cli­mate.

Through in­ter­views with ac­tivists, ex­perts and ci­ti­zens, along with ver­ité-style footage shot across the U.S. and in the EU and UK, the film in­ter­weaves the sci­ence of cli­mate change with other an­gles on this topic.

Au­di­ences will learn about es­ca­lat­ing en­ergy-pol­icy dis­putes, the dy­nam­ics of forest ecol­ogy, the biomass in­dus­try prac­tices, the con­flict be­tween jobs and trees, and the ac­tions of ac­tivists and ci­ti­zens.

Wo­ven to­gether, the var­i­ous sto­ries pre­sent an in­ti­mate and vis­ceral ac­count of what is at this mo­ment in time a crit­i­cal, yet mostly un­known, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional con­tro­versy with di­rect ap­pli­ca­tion to south­west Nova Sco­tia.

Alan Dater be­gan his film ca­reer in New York City work­ing with Robert De Niro and with Bob Elf­strom on a now clas­sic doc­u­men­tary on Johnny Cash. His free­lance ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes many pro­duc­tions broad­cast on ma­jor U.S. net­works in­clud­ing Life­line, an Emmy Award-win­ning med­i­cal doc­u­men­tary se­ries for NBC, The Body Hu­man, an Emmy Award­win­ning med­i­cal se­ries for CBS; and Na­tional Geographic Spe­cials.

To­gether, Dater and Lisa Mer­ton have made many ac­claimed films. Among them is the film Tak­ing Root, the story of Wan­gari Maathai, the founder of The Green Belt Move­ment of Kenya and the first African woman to win the No­bel Peace Prize. The film won many in­ter­na­tional awards in­clud­ing The Au­di­ence Award at Hot Docs and was broad­cast on PBS/ In­de­pen­dent Lens in April 2009.

Other lo­ca­tions where the film is be­ing screened in­clude Tata­m­agouche, Hal­i­fax, Ma­hone Bay, Musquodoboit Har­bour, Wolfville, An­napo­lis Royal and Burling­ton in Hants County.


A wood biomass electrical gen­er­at­ing sta­tion in North Carolina is one site fea­tured in the doc­u­men­tary Burned be­ing screened at the Os­prey on Mon­day, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. and at the Yar­mouth County Mu­seum and Archives on Wed­nes­day, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.

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