Pittsburgh Filmmakers Announces Heinz Endowments Award for Artist Member Kirsi Jansa's “Gas Rush Stories”

For Immediate Release

December 12, 2011

Contact: Carol O'Sullivan

412-681-5449


Pittsburgh Filmmakers Announces Heinz Endowments Award for Artist Member Kirsi Jansa's “Gas Rush Stories”


(Pittsburgh, PA) – Independent filmmaker and journalist Kirsi Jansa was recently awarded $50,000 from The Heinz Endowments for a project called “Gas Rush Stories,” a series of short documentaries on the impact of gas drilling in Southwestern PA.

Ms. Jansa is an Artist Member at Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, which is providing financial management, editorial guidance and assistance in publicizing the stories produced in the project. “Whether we live near a drilling site or downstream, whether we receive royalties or paychecks from a gas company,” she says, “we are all impacted by this gas drilling in ways good and bad.”

“Gas Rush Stories” examines gas extraction, horizontal drilling, and hydraulic fracturing – known as “fracking” – of shale gas. The stories give voice to those who've been personally impacted by the natural gas extraction. The series also provides a platform for environmental, public health, and energy experts to express their views on natural gas drilling so that individuals, organizations, and officials can make well-informed decisions.

The first four chapters, each about 10 minutes long, can be viewed online at kirsijansa.com/Gas_Rush_Stories. Ten new chapters of the series are planned for 2012, including one filmed on location in Europe.

Ms. Jansa, originally from Finland, has reported on the environment, public health, and sustainability through various forms of media for almost 20 years. She is now looking at the energy issue from both a European and local perspective. She invites those with opposing views to share their opinions and experiences.

The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.