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‘King Coal’ to visit Athens on Feb. 8 for Athena Cinema’s ‘From the Hills and Hollers: Appalachian Stories’ film series

As part of its successful film series “From the Hills and Hollers: Appalachian Stories”, the Athena Cinema will offer a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary “King Coal,” the latest film from Academy Award-nominated director Elaine McMillion Sheldon.

The showing is slated to take place on Feb. 8, 2024, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Athena Cinema in Athens. McMillion Sheldon will be present to introduce the film and take part in a question and answer session afterwards. 

“A lyrical tapestry of a place and people, ‘King Coal’ meditates on the complex history and future of the coal industry, the communities it has shaped, and the myths it has created,” the website for the film states. “Oscar-nominated filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon reshapes the boundaries of documentary filmmaking in a spectacularly beautiful and deeply moving immersion into Central Appalachia where coal is not just a resource, but a way of life, imagining the ways a community can re-envision itself.”

An Academy Award-nominated and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, McMillion Sheldon is the director of two Netflix Original Documentaries - HEROIN(E) and RECOVERY BOYS - that explore America's opioid crisis. She has been named a Creative Capital Awardee, Guggenheim Fellow, a USA Fellow by United States Artists, and one of the "25 New Faces of Independent Film,” by Filmmaker Magazine. Her latest film, “King Coal,” premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. 

McMillion Sheldon was raised in West Virginia and lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

The “From the Hills and Hollers: Appalachian Stories” film series is proudly sponsored by the College of Health Sciences and Professions, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ohio Honors Program, Center for Campus and Community Engagement, Athens County Public Libraries, University Libraries, GO Local, University College, the Center for Law, Justice, and Culture, and the Ohio Arts Council. 

Tickets for the Thursday, Feb. 8 event are available online at and in-person at the Athena Cinema during lobby hours. 

February 7, 2024
Staff reports