Huntington Based "Heroin(e)" Nominated for Oscar, Favorite Per Hollywood Reporter Forecaster

Updated 46 weeks ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor

Projections came in on the money as "Heroin(e)," the short documentary about three women fighting opioid abuse in Huntington has been nominated for Best Documentary Short by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Nominations were announced Tuesday morning.

WV filmmakers Elaine and Kevin Sheldon turned their camera on the city's opioid epidemic with funding from the Center for Investigative Reporting . It follows the work of three Huntington women ---  Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, Cabell County Family Court Judge Patricia Keller and Necia Freeman of Brown Bag Ministries.

Kevin Sheldon thanked the Academy and tweeted he and his wife were "pretty pumped up." Elaine Sheldon told Metro News , "We never anticipated an Oscar short list, an Oscar nomination. None of these things were in our minds when we were a two-person crew just going down and spending time with these women." At the time, they did not know if the short film would gain distribution. Netflix picked it up.

Huntington Based "Heroin(e)" Nominated for Oscar, Favorite Per Hollywood Reporter Forecaster
Photo: AMPAS

Like Jan Rader told HNN in an earlier interview, Elaine Sheldon hopes that it brings more attention to the crisis and can be used as "good" energy fighting the epidemic. 

Rader said, "Elaine McMillion Sheldon and her husband Kerrin are very talented. I am  thankful that the documentary is starting conversations that are necessary to get us all through this epidemic."

The entertainment industry has faced high profile drug addiction issues. "Heroin(e)"  demonstrates "addiction knows no boundaries" from an A list performer to a next door neighbor. 

Should the film receive a nomination (and even a win in which the producers would speak to an international audience), the production could generate more awareness of Huntington's portion of the epidemic , allowing the efforts to be more familiar for those awarding grants and private Philanthropic foundations that would otherwise not learn of Huntington's challenges. 

Although some residents have question the "honor" of a nomination, Jenny Burgess wrote:

"While other people complain that this isn't something to be proud of, and it only shows our failed city, I like to think of it as an Oscar nomination for a documentary displaying the hard and desperate work of people who are trying to save this broken community. I know people all across this country who watched this documentary and messaged me afterwards rooting for these people putting in all they have to save this place. I'm extremely proud of Jan Rader, what an incredible person."

Another respondent stated, "t highlights what a few of our extraordinary citizens are doing in the face of terrible tragedy."

Hollywood Reporter lists "Heroin(e)" as the favorite to win the Oscar. 

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