Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Documentary filmed in Coal River Valley over five years will screen at Appalachian Film Festival

Showing at Historic Keith Albee Performing Arts Center with Filmmakers Present

The acclaimed documentary film, ON COAL RIVER, will have its West Virginia Premiere at the Appalachian Film Festival Saturday February 26th.

The film takes viewers to Coal River Valley, West Virginia — a community surrounded by lush mountains and a looming toxic threat. Shot over a five-year period, ON COAL RIVER follows a former miner and his neighbors in a David-and-Goliath struggle for the future of their valley, their children, and life as they know it.

Although the story is well-known to West Virginians, the film has found a broad audience, screening at festivals including Silverdocs, the Hamptons International Film Festival, Camden International Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Chesapeake Film Festival, Big Sky Film Festival, and Moving Pictures Festival.  ON COAL RIVER won Koronisfest Best Documentary Award, and was nominated for an IFP/Gotham Award.

Following the screening there will be a panel discussion featuring filmmaker Adams Wood, Film Subject Ed Wiley, and Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition founder Dianne Bady.

Asheville, NC-based Directors Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood hope this portrait of grassroots environmental activism shines a light on coal issues and helps inspire others to take action in their own backyards.

“This project - like our last film - is about a community under threat, and courageous people trying to make a difference.  It's been a privilege to spend five years in West Virginia and meet so many amazing people."

ON COAL RIVER, their second feature, has received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with Variety Magazine writing, “Hillbilly Davids best a corporate Goliath...Keenly observed...Respectful, thorough, and relevant," and Huffington Post: "Compelling and transcendent," Popmatters.com opining, "Smart and patient...Recalls Harlan County, USA."

ON COAL RIVER benefited from some talented and experienced collaborators, including advisor Laura Poitras (The Oath) and consulting editor Mary Lampson (Harlan County, USA, Trouble the Water) and Executive Producer Deann Borshay Liem (First Person Plural, In The Matter of Cha Jung Hee) of Berkeley, CA based Katahdin Productions.  Barbara Kopple was also an advisor on the film.