By Peter McDermott
Producer Trish Adlesic has one ambition for her film “Gasland”: that it makes a difference. Winning the Oscar in the Best Documentary category on Sunday night would certainly help in that regard.
“Gasland” has its roots in a request director Josh Fox got to lease his land in Pennsylvania for drilling. The film chronicles Fox’s cross-country investigative odyssey searching for the truth about natural gas and its extraction.
Pittsburgh native Adlesic has seen and liked all of the other nominated documentaries — “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” “Inside Job,” “Restrepo” and “Waste Land.”
“Most of the buzz seems to be around ‘Gasland’ and ‘Inside Job’ [Charles Ferguson’s look at the financial meltdown of 2008],” she said.
“‘Inside Job’ is flawless, but the difference between ours and the others is that it’s about a present-tense situation,” added Adlesic, who is the locations manager of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
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She is aware that it’s become an issue in the land of her maternal ancestors and indeed has accepted an invitation to show “Gasland” at the Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival in Donegal this year.
“I’ve visited eight times. To me, Ireland is the most precious plant in the world,” she said. “It would be travesty if it happened there.”
She hopes that “Gasland” can aid in the building of social movements protesting drilling. “It’s a real David vs. Goliath story,” she said of the documentary.
For now, Adlesic, the youngest of her parents’ six children, is focused on Sunday’s ceremony. “Finding the right dress is turning out to be more difficult than making the movie,” she said laughing.
“We’re over the moon,” Adlesic added about the Oscar nod. “We never thought we’d get his far.”