Built in 1926, the long-abandoned Paramount Film Exchange (PFEX) sat unused on Pittsburgh’s once vibrant film row, only to recently re-emerge as a reconfigured, renovated historic landmark. On May 28th, the space will return to its cinematic roots when In Medias Res, a multimedia artist collective focused on producing progressive cinematic media, hosts a screening of Triple Divide, a documentary about the growing concerns surrounding the Pennsylvania gas boom.
The first feature-length film from Public Herald, a nonprofit organization dedicated to investigative journalism in the public interest, looks at the inevitable, negative impacts from shale gas industrial development and how those impacts are handled by the state, specifically the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Narrated with help from actor and solutions advocate Mark Ruffalo, major findings include stark negligence and endangerment of public and environmental health due to shale gas extraction. Through personal stories, expert interviews, and investigation of state case files, Triple Divide tells a cautionary tale about a public agency meant to protect the public and environment that is instead protecting industry. Though extraction of shale gas will one day end, taking many ‘boom and bust’ jobs with it, contaminated groundwater aquifers, polluted land, and stories of victimization will remain. Pennsylvanians, fed up with corruption and destruction, won’t go down without a fight and are learning how to protect themselves.
Doors for the Triple Divide screening will open at 6:30 p.m. followed by the film at 7 p.m. The event will also include refreshments and a directors’ Q&A. Admission is free. Those interested in attending can RSVP at Eventbrite.