Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Sundance Film Festival Best Documentary Audience Award Winner FUEL Opens 9/13

The stirring, radical and multi-award winning documentary FUEL is a comprehensive and yet oddly entertaining look at energy in America: a history of where we have been, our present predicament and a solution to our dependence on foreign oil, given an effort by the American people and our government. The film flows seamlessly through scientific data, facts, history and personal narrative, and like any good narrative, it has intrigue, conspiracy, greed - and murder.

Especially now, during this moment of "Change" going on in our country, FUEL is a great opportunity to further the discussion about the consequences of abusing our oil resources. It is extremely important to examine all the factors that have contributed to not only the economic meltdown, but also the environmental crisis and this country's position in the world.

As both a first time director and narrator of the film, Josh Tickell offers a virtual tour guide through the drama of fuel, the history, the politics, the mess that the world is in and the fascinating alternatives for a way out. In the movie, he interviews politicians, historians, professors and a sprinkling of activist celebrities, all of whom have their own take on one of the most important and pressing concerns of the modern era. Interviews with a wide range of environmentalists, policy makers and educators, along with such "green" celebrities as Richard Branson, Woody Harrelson, Julia Roberts, Sheryl Crow, Larry Hagman, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Larry David, Willie Nelson and Neil Young offer serious fuel for thought.

Due to his accomplishments with the FUEL, Tickell was recently named a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations for his work in promoting sustainable energy.

Rousing and reactionary, FUEL is an amazing, in-depth, personal journey of oil use and abuse as he examines wide-ranging energy solutions other than oil, the faltering US auto and petroleum industries, and the latest stirrings of the American mindset toward alternative energy (versus the advanced European commitment to ending its oil dependence altogether).

FUEL may be known by some as the "little energy documentary," but in truth, it's a powerful portrait of America's overwhelming addiction to, and reliance on, oil. Having been born and raised in one of the USA's most oil producing regions, director Tickell saw first hand how the industry controls, deceives and damages the country, its people and the environment, and after one too many people he knew became sick, Tickell knew he just couldn't idly stand by any longer. He decided to make a film, focusing both on the knowledge and insight he discovered, but also giving hope that solutions are at reach. A ‘regular guy' who felt he could make a difference, he spent 11 years making his movie, showing himself - and others - that an individual can indeed make a difference.

Film has always been a powerful tool for social change and raising political awareness - see Medium Cool, Fahrenheit 9/11, Super Size Me, Born into Brothels and An Inconvenient Truth as examples - and similar to these significant and eye-opening illustrations, FUEL is poised to be included in this new breed of social activist documentaries that have broken through to become mainstream movies. And now as Americans look for answers and seek accountability, FUEL can help break the discussion wide open as it exposes the shocking connections between the auto industry, the oil industry and government, while exploring alternative energies such as solar wind, electricity and non-food based biofuels. Smartly animated interstitials, memorable archival material and a lively soundtrack round out the movie.

FUEL is a great example of the social movement that is going on in the country. As our government seeks to bail out the auto industry and our new President speaks of investing in alternative energies as the way of our future and creating green industries, FUEL challenges the audience to make a change and seek accountability, reinforcing the idea that the power of every individual can and will make a difference.

Movies like FUEL are not about box office and creating studio franchises; they're about empowering people with knowledge and inspiring social change.

FUEL is directed by Josh Tickell and written by Johnny O'hara. The producers are Greg Reitman, Dale Rosenbloom, Daniel Assael, Darius Fisher and Rebecca Harrell. The film runs 111 minutes and is not rated.

In addition to the movie, Tickell and his producing partner Rebecca Harrell are about to introduce "The Algaeus," under the auspices of their non-profit Veggie Van Organization and Sapphire Energy. The Algaeus is the first street-ready and legal car to run on synthetic gasoline made from ALGAE! This vehicle is based on a 2008 Toyota Prius that has been given an added battery pack, a plug and an advanced energy management system. The PHEV (plug in electric hybrid) gets 150 miles per gallon. Moreover, synthetic gasoline made from algae will be used as the fuel for a cross country round trip in the standard, unmodified gasoline engine of the Algaeus. This trip begins in San Francisco on September 8 and will culminate in New York City where FUEL, a movie that inspires green energy solutions such as those demonstrated on the tour, will premiere in theaters on September 18.


Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More Dance Stories

More Hot Stories For You