After Coal: Welsh and Appalachian Mining Communities

After Coal is a feature length documentary film that explores how mining communities survive after the coal industry shuts down.  This film has screened at domestic and international film festivals and was broadcast on public television.   The After Coal project also included a series of public forums and a musical exchange between central Appalachia and south Wales.  A book about the project is available from West Virginia University Press.  For more information, go to

Documentaries I have produced with the Appalshop media arts center in Whitesburg, Kentucky include:

The Electricity Fairyefairyweb

The fight over the power plant in Wise County, Virginia represents a larger struggle to define progress and development in American society as a whole.” – Dr. Ron Eller, Historian, University of Kentucky

The Electricity Fairy is a documentary that examines America’s national addiction to fossil fuels through the lens of electricity. I follow the story of a proposed coal- fired power plant in the mountains of southwest Virginia, connecting the local controversy to the national debate over energy policy. Present day documentary footage is remixed with old educational films, connecting past policy to America’s current energy crisis.  Video clips and more details are available at

Coal Bucket Outlaw

Someone’s got to haul the coal, and at the paltry sums per load, Kentucky truckers have got to haul ass as well. Hansell’s day in the life doc links our addiction to fossil fuels to a megawatt system of abuse. Where the rubber meets the road just leads to the corporate offices of power.” – Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archives

Coal Bucket Outlaw examines the connection between coal haulers and the larger system that produces America’s electricity. The documentary was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) , broadcast on public television, and screened at the Museum of Modern Art.  Video clips and photos are available here:

To order these films contact, or call 1-800-545-7467.

Breaks of the Mountain

The Breaks of the Mountain, Russell Fork Gorge is a half-hour documentary about issues an Appalachian coalmining community faces while developing a tourist economy around a river gorge, focusing on the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River as it flows from Haysi, Virginia to Elkhorn City, Kentucky. The film looks at the threats extractive industry present to this rare gorge, explores the promise of a sustainable ecotourism economy, and looks at the threats tourism could bring to the quality of life in a small town. Video clips and photos are available here: