Josh Fox

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Josh Fox
Josh Fox TED.jpg
Fox giving a talk in West Vancouver, British Columbia
Born 1972
Milanville, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Occupation Documentary filmmaker, environmental activist
Known for Gasland (2010)

Josh Fox (born 1972) is an American film director, playwright and environmental activist, best known for his Oscar-nominated 2010 documentary, Gasland. He followed that up with the HBO production of Gasland Part II, which premiered on July 8, 2013 and was released on DVD on January 14, 2014.[1] He is one of the most prominent public opponents of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.[2] His new film How to Let Go of The World And Love All the Things Climate Can't Change premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.[3] He also is the founder and artistic director of a film and theater company in New York City called the International WOW Company.

Personal life[edit]

Josh was born in 1972 and lived in Milanville, Pennsylvania. He attended Columbia University and graduated in 1995, majoring in Theater and studying with Anne Bogart and Edward Tayler.[4] In 2008, Josh campaigned for Barack Obama’s presidential run and soon after, Josh’s family was offered $100,000 in order to allow a natural gas fracking company to use his land in northern Pennsylvania. Curious of the situation, Josh set out to learn more about the fracking industry. After learning the truth behind some of the natural gas company's false positive claims, Josh went on a mission to uncover them further, crossing the country visiting other fracking areas and seeing their drinking water conditions, birthing Josh’s anti-fracking activism.[5]


In 2008, Josh Fox directed his first narrative feature film Memorial Day. The film covers the issues of American party culture, the Iraq war and torture as it travels from Ocean City, Maryland to Abu Ghraib.[6] In 2010, Josh wrote, directed, and produced Gasland, and released it at the Sundance Film Festival. The film had critical success and was nominated for multiple awards. He later produced a successor to Gasland which was HBO special Gasland Part II, which aired July 2013 and was released on DVD in January 2014.[7] In addition to his work as a film director, Fox has written and directed over 30 plays with his ensemble the International WOW Company. He has premiered plays in eight countries with a network of over 100 diverse actors, dancers, musicians, technical artists, and visual artists.[8]

On October 1, 2015 Josh Fox's mini-documentary GasWork debuted on All In with Chris Hayes, which detailed the deadly unsafe working conditions in the hydraulic fracturing oil and gas drilling industry. [1]

In 2016, Josh Fox directed How to Let Go of The World and Love All Things Climate Can't Change. The film is a personal take on climate change traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, and features many notable figures on climate change such as Bill McKibben, Michael Mann, Van Jones, the Pacific Climate Warriors, Elizabeth Kolbert and many others.


Josh Fox is well known for his opposition of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. When he isn’t directing or producing, he spends time campaigning on behalf of the anti-fracking movement. Fox has toured over 300 cities with his films campaigning for a ban on fracking and against the gas industry’s exploitation of loopholes in the Clean Water act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.[9]

In February 2012 he was arrested during a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on hydraulic fracturing when he attempted to videotape the proceedings.[10][11]

The Solutions Project is an organization formed by engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson (Stanford University), Josh Fox and actor/activist Mark Ruffalo, with the aim of moving The United States towards 100% renewable energy, including the use of wind power and solar power.[12] The organization says this energy transition is mainly social and political in nature, not technical.[13]


  • Memorial Day (2008) - directed
  • Gasland (2010) – directed, wrote, produced
  • Gasland Part II (2013) – directed, wrote, produced
  • How to Let Go of The World And Love All the Things Climate Can't Change (2016) - directed, wrote, produced[14]

Awards And nominations[edit]


For his filmmaking, Josh Fox’s film Gasland was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, as well as nominated for four Primetime Emmy’s, including Best Documentary, Best Writing, and Best Cinematography, and won the Emmy for Best Directing. It was awarded the Sundance Film Festival’s 2010 Special Jury Prize for Documentary. It was also nominated for Best Documentary Screenplay by the WGA and was awarded the Environmental Media Association Award for Best Documentary.[7] For his work on Gasland Part II he was nominated for a news and documentary Emmy for Best Research in 2014.

HOW TO LET GO was selected to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, and it won the Environmental Advocacy award at the Environmental Film Festival. In addition, it also received the Telluride MountainFilm Festival 2016 Student Award.

Activism and Theatre Work[edit]

Josh fox was awarded the 2010 Lennon Ono Grant for Peace by Yoko Ono.[7] For his theatre work, Josh has received five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, five MAP Fund Grants, a Drama Desk Nomination, and an Otto Award, among others.[8]

Street naming[edit]

Josh Fox now has a street named after him in France. Inaugurated the 29 May 2014 in Aujac, in the south of France. A region where the French anti-shale-gas movement was born.[15]


In the opening to Gasland, Fox refers to the 19.5 acres in Milanville, PA as “my land”. Supporters of fracking in the area of Pennsylvania where Fox lived questioned whether he was really a local of the area. They claimed that he and his family were New Yorkers and used the property as a weekend retreat. The Wayne County Bureau of Elections stated that Fox registered to vote in Milanville in December 2002. In discussions and e-mail conversations, Fox proclaimed that he grew up in both areas. Fox made it clear that "Milanville is the only consistent home I've had my whole life" and he called the property "the centering point of my life." Fox does not feel he tried to hide his New York roots, because during most of the filming of Gasland he wore his New York Yankees cap.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gasland". 
  2. ^ Bauers, Sandy (2011). "A raucous anti-fracking rally in Center City". Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "How to let go of the world and love all the things climate can't change". 
  4. ^ "I am Josh Fox, writer/director of "Gasland," documentary about 'fracking.' Happy Earth Day, AMA! • /r/IAmA". 
  5. ^ "Josh Fox". WNYC. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  6. ^ Lee, Nathan (2009-02-03). "In Josh Fox's Feature Film Debut, Revelers on Holiday Wake Up in a War Zone". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  7. ^ a b c "Gasland". Gasland. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  8. ^ a b "International WOW Company". Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  9. ^ "The Fight Over Fracking". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  10. ^ Goldenberg, Suzanne (2012-02-01). "Josh Fox, director of Gasland, arrested at fracking hearing". The Guardian. London: GMG. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  11. ^ Banerjee, Neela (2012-02-01). "'Gasland' director Fox arrested filming House subcommittee". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles: Tribune Co. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  12. ^ Appelgren, Jessica (2014-04-11). "Talking Solutions: Q and A with The Solutions Project Chief Operating Officer, Jon Wank - Saatchi & Saatchi S". Retrieved 2014-11-20. 
  13. ^ American Shows (2013-10-22). "Mark Jacobson interview on David Letterman October 9, 2013 [YouTube video]". Retrieved 2014-11-20. 
  14. ^ "Review: 'How to Let Go of the World' Ups the Ante on Climate Change". The New York Times. 20 April 2016. 
  15. ^ "Inauguration d'une rue au nom d'un combattant contre le gaz de schiste". 2014. 
  16. ^ Greenwire, Mike Soraghan Of (2011-02-24). "Groundtruthing Academy Award Nominee 'Gasland'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 

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