CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A West Virginia filmmaker who turned her camera on the opioid epidemic in Huntington with help from three women on its frontlines is now an Oscar nominee.

“To be called ‘Oscar-nominated’ is not something I thought I would be able to do at this point in my career,” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, a Mountain State native and Charleston resident, told MetroNews.

On Tuesday, she and her husband, Kerrin Sheldon, were nominated for an Academy Award for “Heroin(e),” their documentary that premiered last September on Netflix.

“My husband and I are really honored and I think the women that are in the film are excited as well.”

At 39 minutes in length, “Heroin(e)” follows the work of Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, Cabell County Family Court Judge Patricia Keller and Necia Freeman of Brown Bag Ministries.

“We never anticipated an Oscar short list, an Oscar nomination. None of these things were in our minds when we were a two-person crew just going down and spending time with these women,” said McMillion Sheldon.

“We didn’t even know where it would be released.”

The Center for Investigative Reporting provided funding for the documentary which was later picked up for distribution by Netflix.

With the Oscar nomination, “This all brings more attention to the crisis that we’re facing, so we’re hoping it can be used for good energy,” McMillion Sheldon said.

Along with “Heroin(e),” the other nominees in the Documentary Short Subject category are as follows:

Edith and Eddie, ages 96 and 95, are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds. Their love story is disrupted by a family feud that threatens to tear the couple apart.

“Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405”
Mindy Alper is a tortured and brilliant 56 year old artist who is represented by one of the top galleries in Los Angeles.

“Knife Skills”
This film follows the hectic launch of Edwins restaurant in Cleveland.

“Traffic Stop”
This film tells the story of Breaion King, a 26 year-old African-American school teacher from Austin, Texas who is stopped for a routine traffic violation that escalates into a dramatic arrest.

Summaries of the documentary shorts listed above came from IMDb and HBO.

The 90th Academy Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be held on Sunday, March 4 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California.

The Documentary Short winner is among the awards scheduled to presented during the televised ceremony on ABC.

“We’re still young in our careers and this is, like, a 20 year goal for us and so, for it to happen now and for it to happen with these three women and this topic that’s so important to us, it’s just out of the world of expectations we had,” McMillion Sheldon said.

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

bubble graphic

bubble graphic