Josh Fox

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Josh Fox
Josh Fox TED.jpg
Fox giving a talk in West Vancouver, British Columbia
OccupationDocumentary filmmaker, environmental activist, playwright, theatre director
Known forGasland (2010), Gasland Part 2 (2013), How to Let Go of the World (And Love All the Things Climate Can't Change) (2016)

Josh Fox is an American film director, playwright and environmental activist, best known for his Oscar-nominated 2010 documentary, Gasland. He is one of the most prominent public opponents of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.[1] He is the founder and artistic director of a film and theater company in New York City, and has contributed as a journalist to Rolling Stone, The Daily Beast and NowThis.

Early life and education[edit]

Fox was born in 1972 and lived in Milanville, Pennsylvania. He attended Columbia University, majoring in theater, and graduated in 1995.

Artistic career[edit]

Fox founded the film and theatre company International WOW Company in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 1996 with a group of performers from New York City and Asia. He has written and directed over 30 plays with his ensemble.[2] Notable works include The Bomb (2002),[3] The Comfort and Safety of Your Own Home (2004),[4]The Expense of Spirit (2004),[5] and Surrender (2008).[6]

In 2008, Fox directed his first narrative feature film, Memorial Day, an examination of American party culture, the Iraq War and torture.[7] In 2010, he wrote, directed, and produced Gasland, and released it at the Sundance Film Festival. The film received critical success and was nominated for multiple awards. He later produced the HBO special Gasland Part II, which aired July 2013 and was released on DVD in January 2014.[8]

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

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

His film Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.


Fox is known for his opposition of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. He has campaigned 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 2011, Fox, along with engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson and actor/activist Mark Ruffalo, founded The Solutions Project with the aim of moving the United States towards 100% renewable energy, including the use of wind power and solar power.[10]

In February 2012 Fox was arrested during a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on hydraulic fracturing when he attempted to videotape the proceedings.[11][12]

In 2016, he worked as a surrogate for Senator Bernie Sanders as the Creative Director for Our Revolution and as a member of the campaign's NY Platform Committee. He worked alongside Bill McKibben, Nina Turner, Ben Jealous, Jane Kleeb and Dr. Cornel West to pass an amendment to the Democratic Platform which addressed carbon pricing, the phasing out of natural gas power plants, community involvement, and adopting the Keystone XL climate standard for all federal energy projects.[13]

Personal life[edit]

In 2008, Fox's family was offered $100,000 in order to allow a natural gas fracking company to use his land in northern Pennsylvania. Fox set out to learn more about the fracking industry. After learning the truth behind some of the natural gas company's false positive claims, he went on a mission to uncover them further, crossing the country visiting other fracking areas and seeing their drinking water conditions, birthing his anti-fracking activism.[14]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Fox was awarded the 2010 LennonOno Grant for Peace by Yoko Ono.[8]

Gasland premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the 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.[8]

Fox received a 2011 Academy Award Nomination for Best Documentary for Gasland. He won the 2011 Primetime Emmy for Best Nonfiction Directing, in addition to three other Primetime Emmy nominations that year.

Gasland Part II premiered on HBO July 8, 2013 won the 2013 Environmental Media Association award for Best Documentary, the Best Film at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, and the Hell Yeah Prize from Cinema Eye honors. It was nominated for a 2013 News and Documentary Emmy.

In May 2014, a street in Aujac in the south of France - a region where the French anti-shale-gas movement was born - was named after Fox.[15]

How To Let Go and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, and won the Environmental Advocacy award at the Environmental Film Festival. The film was awarded the 2016 Environmental Media Association Award for Best Documentary, Fox's third consecutive win in that category.

For his theatre work, Fox has received five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, five MAP Fund Grants,[16] a Drama Desk Award Nomination, and an Otto Award.[2]


  • Memorial Day (2008) – directed
  • Gasland (2010) – directed, wrote, produced
  • The Sky is Pink (short) (2012) – directed, wrote, produced, co-editor (with Matt Sanchez)[17]
  • Gasland Part II (2013) – directed, wrote, produced
  • Gaswork: The Fight for CJ's Law (short) (2013)
  • How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change (2016) – directed, wrote, produced[18]
  • Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock (2017) – co-directed, co-wrote, produced

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bauers, Sandy (2011). "A raucous anti-fracking rally in Center City". Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b "International WOW Company". Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b c "Gasland". Gasland. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  9. ^ "The Fight Over Fracking". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Josh Fox". WNYC. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  15. ^ "Inauguration d'une rue au nom d'un combattant contre le gaz de schiste". 2014.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "The Sky is Pink (short film)". film. 20 June 2012.
  18. ^ "Review: 'How to Let Go of the World' Ups the Ante on Climate Change". The New York Times. 20 April 2016.

External links[edit]