'Fuel' Synopsis

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.

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.


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