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National Geographic acquires ‘From the Ashes’ for global broadcast

MUMBAI: National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe has announced the acquisition of ‘From the Ashes’. This is a feature documentary that explores one of the country’s most contentious topics — coal and the mining industry.

Distributed under the National Geographic Documentary Films banner, ‘From the Ashes’ will have its world premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on 26 April, followed by a limited theatrical release this summer. It will air globally on National Geographic in 171 countries and 45 languages later in 2017.

‘From the Ashes’captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry, and what its future should be under the US President Donald Trump’s administration.

From Appalachia to the West’s Powder River Basin, the film goes beyond the rhetoric of the “war on coal” to present compelling and often-heartbreaking stories about what is at stake for our economy, health and climate. The film invites audiences to learn more about an industry on the edge and what it means for their lives.

“’From the Ashes’ is an important documentary that underscores one of the most dominant and controversial industries in the history of the United States. The film explores the reality of coal’s role in climate change while offering insight into solutions that could help revive the struggling economies of dying mining towns and still safeguard the environment. We are thrilled to partner with RadicalMedia and Bloomberg Philanthropies to amplify the complex conversation about the coal industry as well as alternative forms of energy,” said Monroe.

“For over a century, mining and energy companies have been privatising coal’s profits while socialising its costs. Coal plant pollution kills 7,500 Americans a year and causes many more serious illnesses. ‘From the Ashes’ shows the risks we face as a nation if we continue to rely on coal and examines how Americans in local communities, including in coal country, are helping to lead the transition toward cleaner air and stronger economies,” said founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and co-author of the new book ‘Climate of Hope’ Michael R. Bloomberg. He is a former three-term mayor of New York City.

‘From the Ashes’ builds on Bloomberg’s environmental philanthropic work. Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed over $100 million to move the US away from coal and toward clean energy through its ‘Clean Energy Initiative’ and ‘Beyond Coal’ efforts. As a UN Secretary-General’s special envoy on cities and climate change, and in partnership with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Bloomberg convened more than 500 global cities at the first-ever Climate Summit for local leaders at Paris City Hall during COP21. Beyond Coal, which aims to secure the retirement of half the nation’s coal fleet, has already led to the closure or phasing out of 250 coal-fired power plants and helped to prevent more than 5,550 premature deaths per year. Additionally, Bloomberg Philanthropies supports sustainability in cities around the globe through C40, a network of more than 90 global megacities, and other grants.

“Using media and technology to inform, connect and prompt action is in the DNA of Bloomberg and we’re excited to harness the power of storytelling to reach new audiences and inspire change at such a critical time in our history,” shared Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Katherine Oliver, who also serves as executive producer.

The world premiere of ‘From the Ashes’ will take place at the Festival Hub at the Tribeca Film Festival on 26 April. Before the film festival screening there will be a special introduction by Bloomberg,. Immediately following the premiere, there will be a conversation with the director of the film, Bonfiglio, and other special guests to discuss the state of the American coal industry.