Last night, THE PRICE OF SAND had its official premiere at the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival. In spite of an intense spring snowstorm, the theater was almost full, and many people stayed for the Q&A afterwards. It was a great event!
If you missed the show, there’s one more Twin Cities screening scheduled this spring: May 1, at the Riverview Theater, 7 pm, 3800 42nd Ave South, Minneapolis. Bravely Be and the Land Stewardship Project are sponsoring this show, and there will be a panel discussion on frac sand mining afterward. Proceeds benefit the Land Stewardship Project.
Here’s a link with more info: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e74xq15y5164a56b&llr=paeiz6jab
If you’d like to find out more about how frac sand mining is affecting our region, what’s being done to control the industry and how you can help, the panel discussion will be a great opportunity. And, if you want to watch THE PRICE OF SAND in a cool old theater, with great popcorn, it’ll be a good time to do that, too!
“The Price of Sand” is a documentary about the frac sand mining boom in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Due to a rapid increase in demand, pure silica sand has become a valuable commodity, and mines are opening here at a rapid rate.
The silica used in hydraulic fracturing (aka : “fracking”), has other uses– glass manufacturing and toothpaste, for instance — and a few established mines have been in operation here for decades. But now, new companies have arrived, and land with accessible silica deposits is selling for high prices.
In addition to a bonanza for a few lucky landowners, the new mines promise jobs and economic stimulus for the small towns and rural areas nearby.
Two years ago, an oil company bought a tract of land in near my mother’s house, in rural Goodhue County, Minnesota. The prospect of an open pit mine led to the formation of an opposition group, a series of public meetings, and a temporary county moratorium on frac sand mining.
I’m a filmmaker, so I visited people who live near existing mines and interviewed them. They told me stories–intense truck traffic, plummeting property values, toxic silica dust–a catalog of complaints that surprised me with its variety and intensity. I made clips from the interviews and posted them on YouTube.
YouTube shorts can provoke discussion (56,000 views so far), but the story of this mining boom is more complex. Good people are on both sides of the issue, and sometimes the facts aren’t obvious. “The Price of Sand” is a 1-hour documentary film that grew out of my short YouTube video project–more extensive, with new stories–a more comprehensive look at what’s happening.
The goal of this project: find the real price of frac sand. Not just in dollars, but in friendships, communities and the future of our region.
Jim Tittle • St. Paul, MN • director
The Price of Sand” has been completed. Local screenings are being scheduled. More info later. Thanks!