HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The three Cabell County women featured in Netflix’s “Heroin(e),” a documentary filmed in Huntington directly on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic, are preparing for a trip to California.
This weekend, Necia Freeman with Brown Bag Ministries, Cabell County Family Court Judge Patricia Keller and Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader leave for Los Angeles where they will join Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon, the filmmakers, for the 90th Academy Awards.
“Heroin(e)” is nominated in the Documentary Short category.
“I think the cool part is we just thought we were making kind of, like, a little hometown documentary. We had no idea that all this was going to happen,” said Freeman, a Cabell County realtor whose part of the documentary is focused on her outreach work with prostitutes in Huntington.
This Saturday, Freeman and the rest of the documentary group have two events connected to the Academy Awards to attend before the Oscars ceremony on Sunday at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater.
“It’s taken us from Chicago to Washington, D.C. to the Oscars,” Freeman said of the film.
No I haven’t prepared a speech. Yes I have been told I should. No/Yes I am superstitious and probably not going to prepare one. No/Yes I have “a dress.” No I don’t do well with flashing cameras. Yes I am super excited.
— Elaine M. Sheldon (@elainemsheldon) February 28, 2018
At 39 minutes in length, “Heroin(e)” — available on Netflix — follows the work of Freeman, Rader and Keller.
While on the red carpet for the Oscars, though, Freeman said they’ll be representing many more people across the United States.
“We just happened to be the three that were chosen for this documentary,” Freeman said.
“But there are people in every town in every city in every state that are making differences and it’s a simple as just asking somebody: Do you need help? Or can I help you?”
Sadness comes alongside the celebration. On Thursday, Freeman talked with MetroNews about the upcoming Academy Awards while getting ready for a memorial service for one of the women she met and worked with through her Brown Bag Ministries program.
“We’re having a funeral today for one of the girls that we love,” she said.
On Thursday night, Freeman was scheduled for a fitting for her Oscars dress.
The Center for Investigative Reporting provided funding for the “Heroin(e)” 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 previously told MetroNews.
The Academy Award nominations were announced in January.
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.
This film follows the hectic launch of Edwins restaurant in Cleveland.
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 air on ABC at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 4.
The Documentary Short winner is among the awards scheduled to presented during the televised ceremony on ABC. Freeman said, if “Heroin(e)” wins, McMillion Sheldon will be accepting the award.