‘Heroin(e)’ Documentary Receives Oscar Nomination


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The Netflix documentary “Heroin(e)” has been nominated for an Oscar in the Documentary Short Story category. “Heroin(e)” is directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon and her husband Kerrin Sheldon, and stars Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, Cabell County Family Court Judge Patricia Keller and Necia Freeman, who organizes a brown bag ministry for sex workers in the city of Huntington.

The Sheldons are from West Virginia themselves and worked together on the film about the heroin epidemic in Huntington. They are both credited as producers, and Elaine McMillion Sheldon is credited as the director of the documentary. Kerrin Sheldon said the Oscar nomination took both of them by surprise.

“We never thought we’d be nominated this early in our career,” Kerrin Sheldon said. “Or ever. It was a nice morning when we woke up to the news that we’d been selected for nomination.”

To be nominated for an Oscar in the Documentary Short Story category, a film must run for less than 40 minutes total. “Heroin(e)” has a runtime of 39 minutes and will be competing against documentaries such as “Edith and Eddie,” “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” “Knife Skills” and “Traffic Stop.”

The short film focuses on the opioid epidemic in the town of Huntington. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the problem, however, the Sheldons decided to spend the majority of the film highlighting the successes of the programs and operations led by Rader, Keller and Freeman.

“We wanted to find a more hopeful entry into this issue, so we decided to focus on these three awesome women,” Kerrin Sheldon said. “When you think about the numbers and the people affected, we wanted to show how much one person can do if they give a concerted effort to helping the person right in front of them.”

The film has been shown in several local and national viewings, and bookings for viewings are available on the Sheldon’s website.

The Oscars will take place at 8 p.m. EST on March 4.

Zachary Stevens can be contacted at [email protected]

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