Show Times: Houston, We Have a Problem

by Claudia Mak / Beacon Correspondent • October 6, 2011

Oct. 6, 7:00 p.m. | Bright Family Screening Room | Free

strongClaudia Mak, Beacon Correspondent/strong

In the midst of the oil crisis, it’s fashionable to hate on energy executives.  emHouston We Have a Problem/em, a film created by two Emerson alumni, opts to instead observe the world’s dependence on crude from the perspective of those in charge of the American oil industries and their role in the country’s move toward alternative energy. It shows how the government has responded to last year’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The film will screen tonight in the Paramount Center’s Bright Family Screening Room.

Director and producer Nicole Torre, who graduated in 1986, and producer Eric Mofford, who graduated in 1982, teamed up to create the documentary. While the past couple of years have provided ample reason to put the film’s subjects in the public’s cross hairs, the filmmaking duo aimed to present all perspectives with a respectful and even-handed tone, said Mofford. He said that he learned more about the crisis from the oilmen themselves and discovered that they are surprisingly knowledgeable of and willing to explore different sources of energy.

“Oil is running out and many of these oilmen are venturing into the new business of alternative sources,” he said. “They have the background and are the risk-takers that could ultimately find a viable alternative. I never would have believed that before making this film.”

Mary Ann Cicala, Emerson’s interim director of alumni relations, said she believes it is important to show this film here because “the environmental topic will resonate with Emerson community and encourage important dialogue.”

Junior marketing communication major Erin Moriarty, Earth Emerson’s co-president, explains that it is important for students to see this film to see the destructive nature of fossil fuels.  She urges the importance of education and awareness.

“As college students, we are not only the future, but we are the present,” she said. “We’re the ones who need to start the change, and as Emersonians we have that fire and that capability.”

Mofford urges the importance of viewing this documentary and said that the publicity from the screenings and festival wins are not enough.

“I want everyone to see this film, not just Emersonians, because I believe it presents a greater understanding to the political and economic debate on energy and oil,” he said.  “This affects all of us.”

emMak can be reached at claudia_mak@emerson.edu/em