This film documents the 1973 strike of Kentucky mine workers when Duke Power acquired the Eastover Mining Company and refused to honor their union contract in the United Mine Workers union. Kopple photographs the picketing, the company’s use of state troopers and the showdowns between the miners and the strikebreakers during this riveting documentary.
Kopple produced and directed Harlan County USA and American Dream, both winners of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. In 1991, Harlan County USA was named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress and designated an American Film Classic. Harlan County USA was restored and preserved by the Women’s Preservation Fund and the Academy Film Archive, and was featured as part of the Sundance Collection at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. The Criterion Collection released a DVD of the documentary in 2006.
Kopple has been awarded the Human Rights Watch Film Festival Irene Diamond Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Award, National Society of Film Critics Award, the SilverDocs/Charles Guggenheim Award, New York Women in Film & Television Muse Award, the Maya Deren Independent Film and Video Award, the Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Award, Women in Film & Video of Washington, DC Women of Vision Award, the White House Project’s EPIC Award, the International Documentary Association Career Achievement Award and the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, Filmmakers Trophy & Audience Award. The Paley Center for Media has named Barbara a 2007 “She Made It Honoree.” She recently served her tenth year on the board of trustees for the American Film Institute and continues as an advisory board member for the American University Center for Social Media and Independent Feature Project’s Filmmaker Labs. In 2010, Barbara received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from American University. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Director’s Guild of America, New York Women in Film and Television, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and actively participates in organizations that address social issues and support independent filmmaking.
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Join us for a student workshop with Barbara Kopple, who will discuss her lengthy career as a documentary filmmaker, focusing especially on the production of Harlan County USA, which documents the 1974 strike of mine workers in Kentucky, and her newest project,Shelter, which focuses on homeless veterans. Kopple will talk with students about creating her own film company, Cabin Creek Films, being a woman in the film industry, the ethics of documenatary filmmaking, and filmmaking as advocacy.
This event is organized by The Appalachian Project, Ohio (a collaboration between the Center for Folklore Studies, the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Student Life’s Department of Social Change), and co-sponsored by the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy; Wexner Center for the Arts; Comparative Studies; Film Studies; the Department of English; and the Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise.
Photo courtesy of Criterion Collection at criterion.com