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Frozen River Chairman Mike Kennedy told the Daily News that the festival “doesn’t want to be a censor.”

“We really had to search our soul,” he said.

At the same time, he questioned the motives of the film’s supporters, saying, “Mostly local industry people who were interested in making money on the fracking business were wanting to show [‘FrackNation’].”

An email from Frozen River festival director Crystal Hegge said the film was being pulled because the filmmakers would be absent at the screening. Mr. McAleer said their attendance had never been raised previously as a condition.

“FrackNation,” described in a New York Times review as “methodically researched and provocative,” has been screened at more than a dozen film festivals in the United States and abroad.

“Basically the Frozen River Film Festival organizers have given in to bullying and taken the easy way out and censored a film that might offend environmental elites who think they know best,” Mr. McAleer said in a statement. “These people are cultural censors and don’t want the truth about fracking to be shown to audiences.”