Film Goes Beyond the “War on Coal” to Present Compelling Stories About What’s at Stake for Our Econo


(Washington, D.C. – April 13, 2017) – On the heels of President Trump’s executive order to undo Clean Power Plan regulations, National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe announced today the acquisition of From the Ashes, a compelling feature documentary that explores one of the country’s most contentious topics — coal and the mining industry.

Produced by the Academy Award- and Emmy-winning production company RadicalMedia, directed by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Michael Bonfiglio, produced by Sidney Beaumont, and executive produced by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger — as well as Jon Kamen, Katherine Oliver and Justin Wilkes, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies — From the Ashes (official trailer: YouTube/download) 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 Trump 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.

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

“From the Ashes is an important documentary that underscores one of the most dominant and controversial industries in the history of the United States,” said Monroe. “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.”

“For over a century, mining and energy companies have been privatizing coal’s profits while socializing its costs. Coal plant pollution kills 7,500 Americans a year and causes many more serious illnesses," said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and co-author of the new book “Climate of Hope.” “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.”

From the Ashes builds on Bloomberg’s environmental philanthropic work. Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed over $100 million to move the U.S. 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 April 26, 2017, at 6 p.m. ET. Before the film festival screening there will be a special introduction by Bloomberg, a former three-term mayor of New York City. 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.

From the Ashes is produced by RadicalMedia in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and directed by Michael Bonfiglio and produced by Sidney Beaumont. For RadicalMedia, Jon Kamen, Joe Berlinger and Justin Wilkes serve as executive producers. For Bloomberg Philanthropies, Katherine Oliver serves as executive producer. For National Geographic, president, original programming and production is Tim Pastore.

Follow for updates on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @FromTheAshesDoc or visit FromTheAshesFilm.com and visit National Geographic Education for educational resources focusing on coal and other sources of energy.

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