UPDATE: 'Heroin(e)' documentary receives Oscar nomination

Published: Aug. 31, 2017 at 2:47 PM EDT
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UPDATED 1/23/18 @ 9 a.m.

The documentary "Heroin(e)" has received an Oscar nomination for the Documentary Short category.

The Netflix documentary focuses on the fight against the opioid epidemic in Huntington, and features Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, Cabell County Judge Patricia Keller and Necia Freeman of Brown Bag Ministry.

"Heroin(e)" is one of five documentaries to receive Oscar nominations.

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony will be March 4 in Hollywood.

UPDATED 12/5/17

"Heroin(e)," a Netflix documentary that focuses on Huntington's heroin epidemic, is now in the running for an Oscar.

The film has made a list of 10 documentary short subject contenders for the 90th Academy Awards. Five of those films will earn an Oscar nomination.

The film features Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, Cabell County Judge Patricia Keller and Necia Freeman of Brown Bag Ministry.

You can check out "Heroin(e)" on Netflix.

Academy Award nominations will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 23.

UPDATE 9/12/17 @ 11 p.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A short documentary titled "Heroin(e)" set in Huntington debuted on Netflix Tuesday.

Elaine Sheldon directed and produced the project.

"I've been wanting to tell a story about this topic for a while," Sheldon told WSAZ. "It's not a film about heroin. It's a film about three women who are working their hardest to change Huntington."

Sheldon grew up in Logan County and went to South Charleston High School before pursuing a career as an independent filmmaker.

She worked on the project with her husband, who also produced the film.

"We're passionate about telling these stories we feel are under-represented in the national media," she said. "Filmmaking and West Virginia are two of my favorite things. I feel blessed that I'm able to do this."

She began shooting in February of 2016 and continued through May of this year.

She's honored her labor of love is now available to a mass audience.

"When it launched online it launched in 190 countries," she said. "That's just an incredible reach that as an independent filmmaker you don't often get, so I'm really excited to be working with Netflix."

The project was funded through the Center for Investigative Reporting's Glass Breaker Initiative.

Sheldon is working on another documentary now following four men who are going through recovery.

"I just look forward to continuing the conversation on this topic and this issue and hope that this film can be part of the many different stories that are being told that help start a conversation that help us figure out how to get out of this," Sheldon said.


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Netlfix documentary focused on the heroin epidemic in Huntington is scheduled to come out in September.

'Heroin(e)' profiles Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, Necia Freeman of Brown Bag Ministry and Cabell County Judge Patricia Keller and the opioid crisis in Huntington.

A trailer released Thursday by Netflix shows how the actions of all three women are making a positive difference in the community.

The documentary is scheduled to be released on Sept. 12.

"I'm so excited to share the story of these 3 incredible women and their work in Huntington, W.Va. to fight the opioid crisis," the director, Elaine Sheldon, said in a written statement. "Every West Virginian, including myself, has lost someone struggling with addiction or knows someone still fighting. As a native, I hope this film can shed a positive light on my home state as we move forward and find solutions to help people in need."

"I trust Elaine and what she does," Chief Jan Rader said, "and I have no doubt that she's put a very positive spin on this, and I have no doubt it will show the compassion and the empathy this community does hold for those suffering from addiction."

The trailer for 'Heroin(e)' is embedded in this story.