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Hillbilly, the Documentary

Ashley York

Monday, October 29, 2018, 7:00 PM
Hillbilly, the Documentary”
Special Event screening

Location Change: EKU Center for the Arts

About Hillbilly, the documentary: …this film is for anyone who is a hillbilly or anyone who knows one…

Official Selection: Nashville Film Festival, Traverse City Film Festival, LA Film Festival, Nevada City Film Festival, Hot Springe Film Festival, Women Texas Film Festival, Southern Circuit 2018-19. 

Best Documentary Award: LA Film Festival, Traverse City Film Festival, Scruffy City Film & Music Festival

Best Music Award: Scruffy City Film & Music Festival

Appalachia is as old as it is complex. Made up of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia, as well as parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia, the region and its people are home to a mountain range and a history that make it an undeniably special—and even quintessentially “American”—place. Due to a century-and-a-half of reliance on coal as its core industry, one of its defining characteristics has been a “boom and bust” economy that has also made Appalachia a region of poverty and a frequent focus of national attention. From these mountains and circumstances have emerged a complicated, often problematic and enduring American archetype: the hillbilly.

Hillbilly: Appalachia in film and television is a documentary film that examines the iconic hillbilly stereotype in film and television. The film explores more than a hundred years of media representation of mountain and rural people, reveals how the hillbilly icon reflects America's aspirational self-image over the decades and offers an urgent exploration of how we see and think about poor, white, rural America.

Ashley York (co-director) is a Kentucky-born mediamaker and film producer who is interested in documentaries, socially conscious media, and emerging modes of storytelling. She has worked on Academy Award® nominated teams and as a producer on projects that have premiered at the Sundance, Berlin, and SXSW film festivals as well as on Oprah Winfrey's Network, A&E, IFC, HBO, Discovery, and the Sundance Channel.

She co-directed and produced Tig, an Official Selection of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Ashley was one of nine women debuting a feature film at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

Ashley is committed to a feminist approach and intrigued by work that intersects the emotional and ideological. She is inspired greatly by the work of bell hooks, the late Aimé J. Ellis and Susan Sontag, and Silas House. She produced two 2011 Sundance Film Festival Official selections: Becoming Chaz, about Chaz Bono's gender transition; and GRAB, about the Laguna Pueblo tribe in New Mexico.

She is a member of Women in Film, the International Documentary Association, and a founding member of the Los Angeles-based design collective, Take Action Games, which has been recognized for its commitment to highlighting issues that affect women and girls and partnered with various social justice and mission-based organizations to make digital activist projects, including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the International Crisis Group, the Independent Television Service, and the Center for Asian American Media. Take Action Games received an Emmy Award nomination in the category of New Approaches to News and Documentary Film as well as the prestigious Governors' Award from the Academy of Arts & Sciences (the Emmy's highest honor) for a campaign co-produced by mtvU to raise awareness about the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of the Sudan.

Ashley received her BA in journalism from the University of Kentucky and her MFA from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts where she currently teaches.

Sponsored by EKU Libraries, the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, the Department of Communication, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Honors Program 

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Published on October 29, 2018

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