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King Coal – Watch the trailer for the new documentary

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, imagining the ways a community can re-envision itself.

While deeply situated in the regions under the reign of King Coal, where McMillion Sheldon has lived and worked her entire life, the film transcends time and place, emphasizing the ways in which 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.

Directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon.


  • New York City – August 11th @ DCTV Theater
  • Winston-Salem, NC – August 18th @ Aperture Cinema
  • Los Angeles, CA – August 25th @ The Laemmle Theater
  • Charleston, WV – August 31st @ Floralee Cinema
  • Akron, OH – September 1st @ The NightLight
  • Cincinnati, OH – September 4th @ The Woodward Theater
  • Columbus, OH – September 8th @ Wexner Center for the Arts
  • Queens, NY – September 9th @ Museum of the Moving Image
  • Blacksburg, VA – September 21st @ Lyric Theater
  • Bluefield, WV – September 22nd @The Granada Theater


  • San Francisco, CA
  • Nashville, TN
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Canton, PA
  • Hinton, WV

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