Sat Feb 24, 2018 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sun Feb 25, 2018 – 12:00 pm | Bushel & Peck’s

Burned: Are Trees the New Coal?

Directed by Alan Dater &
Lisa Merton

Documentary Feature
USA | 74 min | 2017

BURNED: Are Trees the New Coal? is a feature-length documentary, which takes an unwavering look at the latest energy industry solution to climate change. The film tells the story of how woody biomass has become the fossil-fuel industry’s renewable, green savior, and of the people and parties who are both fighting against and promoting its adoption and use.

Through interviews with activists, experts, and citizens, along with verité-style footage shot across the U.S. and in the EU and UK, the film interweaves the science of climate change, the escalating energy-policy disputes, the dynamics of forest ecology, the biomass industry practices, the conflict between jobs and trees, and the actions of activists and citizens who are working to protect their own health, their communities, the forest, and the planet’s climate.

Woven together, the various stories present an intimate and visceral account of what is at this moment in time a critical, yet mostly unknown, national and international controversy.

Burned - Alan Dater, DirectorAlan Dater

Alan Dater graduated from Goddard College with a B.A. in Philosophy. He began his film career in New York City working with the documentary filmmaker Bill Jersey, with Brian De Palma on his film Hi Mom, starring Robert De Niro, and with Bob Elfstrom on the now classic documentary on Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music. His freelance experience includes many productions that were broadcast on major U.S. networks including: Lifeline, an Emmy Award-winning medical documentary series for NBC; The Body Human, an Emmy Award-winning medical series for CBS; and National Geographic Specials. After moving to Vermont in the early 70s, while continuing his freelance work he started Marlboro Productions and began producing and directing his own documentaries.

Burned - Lisa Merton, DirectorLisa Merton

Lisa Merton ​began making films with Alan Dater in 1989. Before this she worked professionally as a weaver for ten years. Her intent was to weave tapestry and use it as an art form for social change but instead she ended up as a production weaver. It was not until she started making films in 1989, that she fulfilled her intent to weave images that could inspire social change. She has a Masters in Teaching English and has taught English as a second language in multi-cultural classrooms. She brings her interest in education, cultural diversity, and social change, as well as her skill as a craftsman, to the filmmaking process. She has been a member of New Day Films since 1996.

Burned Movie Poster

Film Information

Directors: Alan Dater & Lisa Merton
Country: USA
Year: 2017
Language: English
Runtime: 74 min
Rated: PG


Producer: Alan Dater
Cinematographer/DP: Alan Dater
Editor: Alan Dater and Lisa Merton
Associate Producer: Chris Hardee
Original Music/Composer: Tyler Gibbons
Animator: Garry Waller

Connect With This Film

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival