ELKINS - The multi-award winning interactive documentary "Hollow - the Film" will be presented at Davis & Elkins College on Friday, March 7.
The presentation and discussion, led by the filmmaker, will give participants an opportunity to experience the challenges and triumphs of McDowell County through the eyes of its residents.
The free screening will take place at 7 p.m. in Eshleman Science Center room 400. In addition, a story booth will be available from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and 8:45-9:15 p.m. for anyone who would like to share their thoughts on West Virginia.
The story of McDowell County isn't so different from many other rural American towns. Since 1950, McDowell County has lost almost 80 percent of its population and more young people continue to move away every year due to a lack of economic opportunity. The drain has left many counties across the nation with an aging demographic and failing infrastructure.
However, approximately 22,000 people continue to live and work in McDowell County with a great sense of pride, belonging and belief that they are there to help improve and move the county into the future. The project examines the lives of 30 of these individuals.
Produced and directed by West Virginia native Elaine McMillion Sheldon, the interactive documentary merges cinematic techniques with web-based storytelling to encourage a dialogue about the issues facing small-town America. While "Hollow" is a story of hope and home, it strives to not only address the issues through storytelling but also help provide potential solutions.
"Hollow" was recently selected as a finalist in the South By Southwest Interactive Awards. Last year, the documentary was shown at the New York Film Festival, Camden International Film Festival, DocLab at International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam and Future of Storytelling. It has received multiple awards including Adobe Creative Edge Award and Site of the Day from Favourite Website Awards, Research and Documentation Award from the National Coal Heritage Foundation, and selection for DocLab Showcase at the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam.
McMillion Sheldon is one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film and was chosen a fellow for the Future of Storytelling. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in visual and media arts from Emerson College in 2013 and a Bachelor of Science in news editorial journalism from West Virginia University in 2009.
"Hollow" is funded by Kickstarter, Tribeca Film Institute's New Media Grant and the West Virginia Humanities Council. It is supported by Documentary Educational Resources and the West Virginia Filmmakers Guild.
For more information, call the Davis & Elkins College Box Office at 304-637-1255.
For more information, please visit the D&E website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.