28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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King Coal
King Coal
King Coal
King Coal

King Coal

director: Elaine McMillion Sheldon
original title: King Coal
country: United States
year: 2023
running time: 78 min.


The central Appalachian region has always been associated with coal mining, which to this day is not only a source of livelihood but also influences and shapes the lifestyle of local communities. Elaine McMillion Sheldon's documentary is a compelling mosaic that weaves together the past and present myths of the region, as well as a poetic reflection on a unique environment and its transformation. King Coal, as she calls her home, is indeed a place that, like the mountaintops, is dominated by rugged beauty, dreaminess and mysterious stories.

“Some think that place matters less today. But here, we know that our bodies are only ever in one place.”


American documentary filmmaker and producer Elaine McMillion Sheldon (born 1987) is the author of the award-winning Netflix documentaries Heroin(e) (2017) and Recovery Boys (2018) about the opioid crisis in the US. Her work explores the personal stories of people from marginalized social classes in America.

more about film

director: Elaine McMillion Sheldon
producer: Diane Becker, Shane Boris, Peggy Drexler, Elaine McMillion Sheldon
script: Elaine McMillion Sheldon
photography: Curren Sheldon
editing: Iva Radivojević
music: Bobak Lotfipour
sound design: Alexandra Fehrman, Tim Hoogenakker, Billy Wirasnik, Benjamin L. Cook, Christina Chuyue Wen
co-producer: Curren Sheldon, Molly Born
executive producer: Katherine Drexler, Heather Baldry
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe Media
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas