Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer

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Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer
Occupation Filmmakers, journalists
Notable work(s) FrackNation
Not Evil Just Wrong
Mine Your Own Business
Website
Ann & Phelim Media

Ann McElhinney (born 1964) and Phelim McAleer (b. 4 April 1967) are Irish documentary filmmakers. They have written and produced the political documentaries FrackNation, Not Evil Just Wrong, and Mine Your Own Business, as well as The Search for Tristan's Mum and Return to Sender. They are married.

Early careers[edit]

McAleer, who is from Beragh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland and who is a former student of the NCTJ course at the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education, began his journalism career by accepting a position at the Crossmaglen Examiner a local Northern Ireland newspaper in Co. Armagh, an area where the IRA operated.[1] McAleer then moved to Northern Ireland's largest-selling daily, the Irish News,[2] in Belfast. There he covered the Northern Ireland troubles and peace process, before becoming night editor.[1] From 1998 to 2000, he worked for the UK Sunday Times[1][2] in its Dublin office. From 2000 to 2003 he was the Romania/Bulgaria Correspondent for the Financial Times, and he also covered those countries for The Economist.[1] It was this position that ultimately led him to filming documentaries.[1]

McElhinney, who is from Ireland, has made documentaries for the BBC, CBC (Canada), and RTE (Ireland).[3] She has been a guest on Dennis Miller and the Randi Rhodes show. McElhinney has worked as a journalist and filmmaker in the US, Canada, Romania, Bulgaria, Chile, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Ghana and Uganda.[4]

Films[edit]

FrackNation[edit]

FrackNation is a feature documentary which premiered in 2013, and aims to address misinformation about the process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking. FrackNation was inspired by a confrontation between Josh Fox, the director of the 2010 documentary Gasland, and McAleer. While Fox was promoting his film project McAleer confronted him about the historical records of people being able to ignite natural gas in water at "Burning Springs" long before fracking started. McAleer told the Los Angeles Times that Fox did not include that information in his film because he did not think it was relevant towards the current drilling impacts of certain areas.[5]

McAleer told Politico he was motivated to make the film by the "one-sided approach taken by the media, 'outsiders' and 'urban elites'" on the fracking process. McAleer said there has been no real debate on the issue, with the environmental lobby relying on emotion and scare tactics to condemn fracking.[6]

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette McAleer stressed the film is trying to show both sides of the fracking discussion. "We're definitely covering the contamination" in the film, McAleer said. "We feature both sides."[7]

In 2013, a sequel to Gasland titled Gasland Part II premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on 21 April 2013.[8] A group of farmers, who were featured in FrackNation, along with McAleer and McElhinney, were not admitted into the premiere and claimed that it was because they asked difficult questions; organizers said that after guests who had purchased advanced tickets and waited in line had been admitted, the screening was full.[9][10][11]

Not Evil Just Wrong[edit]

Not Evil Just Wrong is a film McElhinney and McAleer directed and produced to challenge Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. It suggests that the evidence for human-caused global warming is inconclusive, and that the impact of suggested legislation for mitigating climate change would be much more harmful to humans than beneficial.[12] The movie was filmed in 2008, and was screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam[13] and at the Right Online conference in 2009.[14]

In 2010, the directors cooperated with the Independent Women's Forum to create a program, Balanced Education for Everyone (B.E.E.) that seeks to place Not Evil Just Wrong in schools.[15]

Mine Your Own Business[edit]

Mine Your Own Business is a documentary partly funded by the Canadian Mining Company[16] that looked at campaigns by foreign environmentalists against a large scale mining project in Romania[17] that never came to fruition. The film looked at how the lives of the poor people in the area would have been affected if the mine had been built. McAleer agreed to film the documentary, funded by the Canadian Mining Company featured in the movie, after the company guaranteed that he and wife would retain creative control over its content.[18] McAleer said of his findings during the shoot:

It was surprising that environmentalists would lie, but the most shocking part was yet to come. As I spoke to the Western environmentalists, it quickly emerged that they wanted to stop the mine because they felt that development and prosperity will ruin the rural "idyllic" lifestyle of these happy peasants. This "lifestyle" includes 70-percent unemployment, two-thirds of the people having no running water and using an outhouse in winters where the temperature can plummet to 20 degrees below zero centigrade.[19]

In the documentary, McAleer films Mark Fenn from the World Wildlife Fund, who is shown living in luxurious conditions, at one point showing off his $35,000 sailboat to the cameras, all the while advocating the value of living a simplistic, village life.[20]

The Search for Tristan's Mum[edit]

McElhinney and McAleer directed and co-produced "The Search for Tristan's Mum," which highlights the case of a toddler Tristan Dowse who was adopted by an Irish couple at birth—and then abandoned in an Indonesian orphanage two years later. It broadcast on RTÉ 1, the Irish state television station, in 2005.[21] Tristan Dowse was an Indonesian boy adopted by an Irish man, Joe Dowse, and his Azerbaijani wife, Lala. After two years, Tristan was abandoned at the Indonesian orphanage from where he had been originally adopted, when, according to the Dowses, the adoption "hadn't worked out." At that stage, his adoption had been recognised by the Irish Adoption Board and he had been granted Irish citizenship. He could only speak English. In 2005, McAleer and McElhinney reunited the young boy with his natural mother, Suryani. In 2006, an Irish court ordered the Dowses to pay an immediate lump sum of €20,000 to Tristan, maintenance of €350 per month until he is 18 years of age, and a further lump sum of €25,000 when he reaches the age of 18. In addition, Tristan would remain an Irish citizen and enjoy all the rights to the Dowses’ estate. Tristan’s adoption was struck off the Register of Foreign Adoptions held by the Irish Adoption Board and Suryani was appointed his sole legal guardian.[22]

This film was selected to be part of Input 2006, a showcase for programs representing national public broadcasters from around the world, and was duly screened for industry professionals at the film festival that year in Taiwan in May.[23]

Kermit Gosnell film project[edit]

McElhinney and McAleer are developing a project about abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell,[2][24] who was convicted on three of the murder charges, 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law, May 2013. The murder charges related to a patient who died while under his care and seven newborns said to have been killed after being born alive during attempted abortions.[25] The current film project is called the Gosnell Movie and it raised $2,241,043 on Indiegogo, ending its campaign on 12 May 2014.[26][27][28] On Friday, 9 May 2014, the filmmakers, McElhinney and McAleer, announced that they had hit their funding goal for the movie and that the movie will be made.[29] The Gosnell movie project has raised more money than any other movie project in Indiegogo history.[29] During the fundraising period the project received endorsements from Hollywood actors such as Kevin Sorbo and Nick Searcy.[29] Crowdfund Insider has called the Gosnell movie project the "Most Successfully Funded Campaign on Indiegogo".[30] The campaign received contributions from 26,574 donors.[30]

Public appearances[edit]

McElhinney is a popular speaker at conservative conferences. Her most recent appearance was at Right Online in Las Vegas, hosted by Americans for Prosperity, where she spoke out in reaction to Van Jones—who had made an appearance at Netroots Nation.[31] She spoke at both the 2009, 2010, and 2012 Conservative Political Action Conferences. In 2009, a U.S. poll identified McElhinney and her husband, Phelim McAleer, as the most popular conservative speakers after broadcaster Rush Limbaugh and columnist Ann Coulter.[32]

Other global warming comments[edit]

McAleer attended the New York City premiere of The Age of Stupid, a movie about the last surviving human after the world's destruction by global warming, blaming air travel as the biggest contributor to global warming. When McAleer asked the movie director how she got to the premiere in New York, security kicked him out the event. Later, McAleer told the Irish News that the film should have been called the "Age of Hypocrisy."[33]

McAleer attended a press conference held by the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) to interview Al Gore, one of his first in four years.[34] He asked Gore about the 9 errors found in An Inconvenient Truth and if he had any plans to correct them, since the film is still shown in schools.[35][36] Gore replied: "Well, I'm not going to go through all of those."[37] McAleer countered that polar bear numbers had actually increased. Shortly afterward, his microphone was turned off by members of the SEJ.[37] The SEJ has maintained that McAleer's mic was cut off due to him exceeding his time limit.[38] McAleer has publicly disagreed, saying it was censorship.[39]

In October 2010, James Cameron donated $1 million to oppose California's Prop 23, which would have overturned AB 32—California's climate change legislation.[40] In response to this donation, McElhinney and McAleer made a short film; it alleged that passage of AB 32 would increase Californians' energy costs, and suggested that Cameron, who'd been quoted as saying, "we are going to have to live with less," lives a more energy-extravagant life than most Americans.[41] The Independent said that this attack advertisement was "tapping a rich rhetorical vein", but ignores Cameron's distributor, 20th Century Fox, which buys carbon offsets.[42][43]

McAleer has dressed up as a polar bear at events featuring Al Gore and Phil Jones.[44][45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Phelim McAleer bio, Ann & Phelim Media.
  2. ^ a b c Breen, Suzanne. Baby-killing US abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell to be next subject of acclaimed Co Tyrone film-maker Phelim McAleer, Belfast Telegraph, 1 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Ann McElhinney". Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Heartland Foundation". Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  5. ^ LA Times, Pro-fracking movie gets $22K in two days on Kickstarter, 8 February 2012
  6. ^ Politico, New film in defense of fracking, 2 February 2012
  7. ^ Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Industry gets cast in 'FrackNation,' the latest documentary on the drilling debate, 4 March 2012
  8. ^ Jeff Goodell. "New Anti-Fracking Film by Gasland's Josh Fox Targets Cuomo: 'Governor, What Color Will the Sky Be Over New York?' | Jeff Goodell | Politics News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  9. ^ Fox News, 'FrackNation' filmmaker claims group of farmers was barred from 'Gasland Part II' screening at Tribeca, 23 April 2013
  10. ^ "Tribeca Film Festival lies about shutting out farmers". FrackNation. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  11. ^ "Tribeca Film Festival Turns Away Protesters Who Had Tickets to ‘Gasland’ Sequel". New York Times. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  12. ^ McGee, Harry (15 November 2008). "Film-makers taking on our 'global warming hysteria'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 July 2009. 
  13. ^ van Slooten, Johan (1 December 2008). "The truths and myths of global warming". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 12 October 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ Weigel, David (18 August 2009). "RightOnline Attendees Soak Up Success". The Washington Independent. Archived from the original on 19 September 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  15. ^ "Balanced Education for Everyone". Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010. [dead link][dead link]
  16. ^ Carroll, Rory (1 November 2006) "Mind Your Own Business". The Guardian
  17. ^ "Gold industry recruits jobless Romanian miner to battle environmentalists" Daily Telegraph, 1 October 2006
  18. ^ Guardian Unlimited, Rory Carroll on Mind Your Own Business, 1 November 2006
  19. ^ Rocky Mountain News, Speakout: Environmentalists are new foes of some of the world's poorest, 23 September 2006
  20. ^ "Mine your own business". Spiked. 6 November 2006. Retrieved 21 March 2010. 
  21. ^ The Search for Tristan's Mum, RTÉ
  22. ^ "The Curious Case of Tristan Dowse". Independent. 2009-02-08. 
  23. ^ "Esras Films". Retrieved 15 January 2010. [dead link]
  24. ^ Bond, Paul. Abortion Doctor Kermit Gosnell Eyed as Topic of TV Movie (Exclusive), The Hollywood Reporter, 28 March 2014.
  25. ^ "How the DEA Finally Caught Kermit Gosnell". TheAtlantic. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  26. ^ Gosnell Movie, Indiegogo, 4 April 2014.
  27. ^ O'Brien, Cortney. Gosnell Movie Campaign Earns $300,000 in Just Five Days, Townhall.com, 3 April 2014.
  28. ^ Eichel, Molly. Filmmakers crowd-fund a TV movie about Kermit Gosnell, Philadelphia Inquirer, 3 April 2014.
  29. ^ a b c Vadala, Nick. ‘Gosnell’ meets $2.1 million IndieGogo funding goal, Philadelphia Inquirer, 9 May 2014.
  30. ^ a b Alois, J.D. Gosnell Movie is Most Successfully Funded Campaign on Indiegogo Ever, Crowdfund Insider, 13 May 2014.
  31. ^ "Right Online Post-Game", Red State 28 July 2010
  32. ^ "Donegal-born film-maker slams blockbuster 'Avatar'". Donagal Democrat, 9 March 2010
  33. ^ BBC, What the papers say, 5 October 2009
  34. ^ Youtube, Lou Dobbs: Al Gore, "Not Evil Just Wrong" Global Warming Debate Part 2 10/12/09
  35. ^ "Daring to Question Al Gore". MacIver Institute. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2009. [dead link][self-published source?]
  36. ^ "Al Gore And Phelim McAleer Spar Over Global Warming: Climate Change Denier Challenges Gore (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. 12 October 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  37. ^ a b Fox News, Filmmakers Who Confronted Al Gore Release New Anti-Global Warming Documentary, 23 November 2009
  38. ^ Wheeler, Tim (12 October 2009). "Of polar bears and 'censorship'". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  39. ^ Opinion Times, Al Gore challenged by Phelim McAleer, 12 October 2009[dead link]
  40. ^ Roosevelt, Margot (15 October 2010). "Prop. 23: Avatar's James Cameron kicks in $1 million". LA Times. 
  41. ^ McElhinney, Ann (20 October 2010). "New film reveals the hypocrisy of celebrity director/environmentalist James Cameron". Not Evil Just Wrong. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  42. ^ James Cameron is a hypocrite, The Edmonton Sun, 29 September 2010.
  43. ^ Adams, Guy (24 October 2010). "James Cameron labeled climate change 'hypocrite'". The Independent. 
  44. ^ Fox News, Polar Bear Goes Hunting for Climate-Gate Scientist at Copenhagen Summit, 15 December 2009
  45. ^ Fox News, Activists Protest Gore's Honorary Degree at University of Tennessee, 14 May 2010

External links[edit]