Movie premier in Lexington benefits Appalshop in Eastern Kentucky

Movie premier in Lexington benefits Appalshop in Eastern Kentucky
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 10:58 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Friday night at the Kentucky Theatre as a busy crowd waits on popcorn and drinks before they find their seats.

“I had no clue that that’s where this would take us,” said Rebekha Mcauley.

An intern filmmaker with the Appalachian Media Institute, Rebekha Mcauley created one of three films focused on the Appalachian region for Appalshop. Films they thought were lost less than two months ago.

“Our original screening was actually planned for July 29th. A day after the flood. So the films were pretty much completed, and edited, but the flood came through and we thought we lost all of the films,” said Jessica Shelton, the Director of Appalachian Media Institute at Appalshop.

Weeks worth of work, that AMI Director Jessica Shelton thought no one would ever see.

“It’s now more important than ever when you have a huge natural disaster that you’re hearing stories from the people actually experiencing it,” Shelton said.

“When the flood first happened, and I was able to get out of my house, you know, you couldn’t even drive on the roads, and I saw the Appalshop was under water, I was devastated. I spent my whole summer working on this film. And we were in the blue, like we didn’t know anything,” Mcauley said.

But to both Mcauley and Shelton’s surprise, a tech wizard with the company was able to save their work. And now the films shedding light on their own communities, are premiering at the Kentucky Theater to raise money for Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

“So I guess that’s a little benefit, if you’re trying to think positively. I’m so happy to be here. It’s a big deal for me,” said Mcauley.

Mcauley’s film focuses on the healthcare and roe v wade.

Another student’s film sheds light on the Appalachian gaming culture.

The third film is a compilation of interviews from people in the Appalachian region. You can learn more here.