Winners of the 10th Annual West Virginia Filmmakers Festival in Sutton included the controversial new documentary “Coal Country” by Mari-Lynn Evans and Phyllis Geller.
“Coal Country” was named Best Film at the event this past weekend. Other winners included the psychological western/thriller “Blood River,” which was named Best Narrative Feature. The line producer was West Virginia native Jesse H. Rivard.
The short comedy “Captain” won the Audience Choice Award as well as an Award of Excellence from the jury. Its producer was West Virginia native Caitlyn Renee Campbell.
The 2009 West Virginia Filmmaker of the Year was Russ Barbour, who also won the award for Best Documentary Feature for “Reconstructing Bill: The Story of Governor William C. Marland.”
The Filmmaker of the Year award, bestowed annually since 2003, is the most prestigious honor given to a West Virginia filmmaker and serves as an annual highlight of the festival. Barbour received a trophy sculpted by Sutton artist Bill Hopen.
This year’s films were juried by festival director Kevin Carpenter, West Virginia Film blogger Steve Fesenmaier and filmmaker Sam Holdren. For more information, visit http://www.wvfilmmakersfestival.org.