Heroin(e) could be up for an Oscar

Published 8:15 am Friday, December 8, 2017

Opioid documentary on short list

Heroin(e), the Netflix documentary about the opioid crisis in Huntington, West Virginia, is on a short list of films that are being considered for an Oscar.

“Isn’t that crazy?” said one of the subjects of the film, Jan Rader, Huntington Fire Department chief and an Ohio University Southern alumni. “I think it speaks volumes about the filmmaker, Elaine McMillion Sheldon and her husband, Kerrin. They did an outstanding job.”

She said she thought they deserve to be considered for an Oscar.

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“They are both wonderful people and I’m blessed to be a part of it,” Rader said. “I’m very humbled.”

On Wednesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the list of 10 films that they will consider for nominations in Short Subject category. The Academy’s Documentary Branch will review all the films and then pick five nominees.

They will announce which short documentaries are officially nominated on Jan. 23.

Heroin(e) follows Rader, Brown Bag Ministries founder Necia Freeman and Cabell Huntington drug court Judge Patricia Keller as they deal with being on the front lines of fighting drug abuse.

It was on Tuesday evening that McMillion Sheldon texted Rader to tell her the documentary was in consideration after she got an email about it.

“It was just weird to find it out,” Rader said. After news of her possibly getting to go to Hollywood for the Oscar ceremony, she said her friends and family were amazed and supportive. “And a lot of them were willing to go out to LA with me, if I get to go. It’s been a very positive experience.”

The Oscars will be televised March 4 on ABC.

Rader said that she thinks the documentary is a great educational tool to show what is going on, not only in Huntington, but also across the nation.

“If it starts conversations that will lead us out of this, its well worth it,” Rader said. “And some schools are showing it as an educational tool. So, prevention is a key to this crisis.”

And when asked if she would wear her fire uniform or an evening gown, she said she would chose “something sparkly, I would dress up. If I have the opportunity, of course. I rarely get to dress nicely.”

There were 77 films of no more than 40 minutes running time that were entered in the Short Subject category. The films had to play at a film festival and win an award at a qualifying festival to be eligible.

“Heroin(e),” A Netflix Original Documentary, was made in association with The Center for Investigative Reporting, A Requisite Media Production. Sheldon won a 2013 Peabody award, 2014 Emmy nomination and third prize in the World Press Photo Multimedia Awards of “Hollow,” an interactive documentary. She has done work for such organizations as Frontline PBS, The Center for Investigative Reporting, New York Times Op-Docs, TEDWomen, Field of Vision, and Mashable. She is also a founding member of All Y’all Southern Documentary Collective.