Above All Else this Weekend at Cinema East

Written by John Fiege

I’m very excited to bring my film, Above All Else, to East Austin on Sunday, August 17, as part of Cinema East. The film is about the Keystone XL pipeline and the fight that emerged against it in East Texas over the past few years. The film premiered at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, and it has been playing around North America since then.

In fall of 2011, I was developing a film about the impact of the BP oil spill in South Louisiana, but the Keystone story was in the news and caught my attention. Here was a potential environmental disaster that people from a wide diversity of backgrounds were organizing to stop before it became another BP oil spill. The pipeline was slated to end in Texas, so I began hunting for Texas landowners fighting the pipeline.

When I met the main character, David Daniel, I was struck by his soft-spoken nature, his sincerity, his extensive knowledge of the issues, and his devotion to protecting his land and his daughter from Keystone XL. He told me he was a former stunt man and circus performer and he planned to stage a tree-sit in the woods behind his house to block construction of the pipeline after all his other, more conventional attempts to stop the pipeline failed. I knew immediately that I had discovered the makings of an amazing film.

Cinema East is a great summer film series at the French Legation Museum off of E. 8th Street. Doors open at 7:00 PM, so you can hang out with friends and have a picnic on the beautiful grounds before the movie starts around 9:00 PM. Tickets are $3-5 on a sliding scale. I’ll be there with other members of the cast and crew, and we’ll be answering questions afterwards. You can learn more about the film and watch a trailer at aboveallelsefilm.com. Hope to see you there!

David in Above All Else. Photo courtesy of Immigrant Workers Films.

David in Above All Else. Photo courtesy of Immigrant Workers Films.


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