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Alumna produced Sundance Film Screening on Fairmont State’s Campus Feb. 19  Impact
Fairmont State News

Alumna produced Sundance Film Screening on Fairmont State’s Campus Feb. 19

Jan 23, 2024Alumni, Events

Still from King CoalThe Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will be hosting a screening of the film King Coal at Fairmont State University’s Ruth Ann Musick Library on February 19 at 6 p.m. Co-producer and Fairmont State alumna Molly Born will be in attendance to participate in a post-film Q&A. The screening is free and open to students and community members.

King Coal premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival; an annual festival hosted by the Sundance Insititute where filmmakers gather to share their work. Notable films that have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival include Deliverance, Get Out, Napolean Dynamite, American Psycho, The Blair Witch Project, Reservoir Dogs, Call Me by Your Name and the original Saw film.

“We are honored to host such an important film by a West Virginia filmmaker,” says Folklife Center Director Lydia Warren. “I’m looking forward to hearing from Molly Born and listening to insightful questions from students and community members about the film.”

The film’s co-producer, Molly Born, is a journalist and producer based in Charleston. As a reporter, she has been twice named a finalist for the Livingston Award, which honors accomplished journalists under the age of 35, and was one of the first Report for America fellows in 2018, where she spent time reporting on underrepresented communities and issues. As a producer, she has worked on projects commissioned by major organizations Frontline, The Marshall Project, and Netflix.

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. 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.

While deeply situated in the communities under the reign of King Coal, where McMillion Sheldon has lived and worked her entire life, the film transcends time and place, emphasizing how all are connected through an immersive mosaic of belonging, ritual, and imagination. Emerging from the long shadows of the coal mines, King Coal untangles the pain from the beauty and illuminates the innately human capacity for change.