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Pretty Slick

A documentary feature narrated by Peter Coyote on the BP oil spill disaster

07:30 pm

$10 General Admission


Filmmaker James Fox grew frustrated by the lack of plain talk and BP's inability to plug a gushing well after its Deep Water Horizon rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico. During the summer of 2010, Fox and a small crew, traveled with locals across four Gulf states documenting the largest accidental man-made environmental disaster in U.S. history. He flew over ground zero with Marine Biologist Dr. Carl Safina who warned that BP was sinking the oil with the chemical dispersant Corexit, sweeping it under the rug. His independent team investigated the impact of the spill above and 5000 feet below for the following 3 years, revealing, what really happened and where we stand today.

On April 20th, 2010, the BP Deep Water Horizon floating oil rig drilling on the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing eleven crewmen and injuring seventeen others. The rig burned for three days and then sank in a mile of water fifty miles off the coast of Grand-Isle Louisiana. Over the next three months, the well gushed an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into Gulf waters, spanning thousands of square miles, threatening hundreds of miles of coastal wetlands and an abundance of wildlife. It was the largest accidental marine oil spill in history.

While BP struggled to cap the spewing well, they began using unprecedented amounts of the controversial chemical dispersant Corexit, both on the surface and, for the first time, sub-sea injection at the broken well-head 5,000 feet below. Many locals and a few officials feared BP was only using these chemicals to sink the oil, concealing the magnitude of the disaster. Since there are no long-term environmental impact studies for the use of Corexit in these amounts or in this manor, the EPA and the Coast Guard responded to public pressure and issued a directive, on May 25th, to eliminate the use of surface dispersants, except in rare cases, however BP found ways to circumvent this directive.

By May, the fishing industry was brought to a stand still and in early June oil began hitting the beaches, severely impacting the multi-billion dollar touristbased economy all along Gulf shores. The local state and federal governments now found themselves struggling to safeguard public health and the economy. Of the two, the economy was given priority. The long-term environmental impact of crude oil mixed with Corexit is largely unknown. Studies are being conducted but only time will tell.

James Fox (director / producer)
James was born in England and raised in New York and California. He began his journalism career early in life as an assistant to father/writer Charles Fox, a quadriplegic with Multiple Sclerosis. Together they travelled on many magazine assignments from Rolling Stone, Car & Driver to Sports Illustrated. James finished and sold his first documentary to Discovery by the time he was 28. He has since completed 5 films for the likes of Sci-Fi and History Channel and has made frequent appearances on the Larry King Show, Night Line, Dateline, Anderson Cooper and others. His latest film, I Know What I Saw is being distributed by A&E and Content Films International.

Awards & media appearances:

"Out of the Blue" (narrated by Peter Coyote)
2003 Best documentary Laughlin
UFO International Conference
CNN Headline News appearance June, 2003
Mountain Film Festival 2006, "The Good Fight" featuring conservationist Marin Litton, "Purity Award" for Best Film on River and Water Conservation"
Anderson Cooper News coverage National Press Club, November 2007
ABC Nightline July 6, 2007
CNN Larry King on MUFON Texas, January 2008
Larry King CNN August 19, 2009

Pretty Slick includes commentary from Dr. Carl Safina 
and Dr. Samantha Joye, to name a few.

Mark Fraser (associate producer)
Born in Durango Colorado on a ranch, Fraser has always had a love for the outdoors. After high school, he migrated to California where took up nature photography. His works were published in California Living, National Geographic and Sunset Magazine to name a few. Fraser worked as a contractor specializing in seawalls in northern California while raising two children; protecting coastlines from the forces of nature. Today Fraser is concerned about protecting nature from the forces of man. In 2005 he took up documentary film-making as a medium to reach the masses. A year later, he produced and directed The Good Fight ( that premiered at Mountain Film Festival in Telluride where it won the award for Best Water and Conservation documentary. In 2008, a longer version of The Good Fight aired on PBS as part of the Natural Heroes series. In 2009, he co-produced the film I Know What I Saw, which aired on The History Chanel. Now a grandfather, Fraser is dedicated to projects promoting environmental protection and sustainable energy. He is an associate producer of Pretty Slick, a documentary film on the BP oil spill disaster. Fraser resides in a coastal town in northern California.

Dr. Carl Safina (Marine Biologist, Blue Ocean Institute)
President and co-founder of the Blue Ocean Institute and author of several books on marine ecology and the ocean, including the award winning "Song for the Blue Ocean" (1998) and "Eye of the Albatross" (2002). Dr. Safina is currently hosting a TV show, "Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina" featured on PBS. His new book, "A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout", was released April 19th 2011.

Dr. Samantha Joye 
(Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia)
The UGA team, led by Samantha Joye, professor of Marine Sciences, UGA, has been involved in Gulf of Mexico research for more than 15 years and serves as a leader in the independent scientific effort to document and track the ecosystem impacts of the BP oil spill. Since the capping of the broken well head, Dr. Joye has taken three trips to the seabed floor in submarine ALVIN.