On Coal River


Winner: Best Feature 2011

Benefiting: Coal River Mountain Watch


Coal River Valley, West Virginia is a community surrounded by lush mountains and a looming toxic threat. ON COAL RIVER follows a former miner and his neighbors in a David-and-Goliath struggle for the future of their valley, their children, and life as they know it. Ed Wiley once worked at the same coal waste facility that now threatens his granddaughter’s elementary school. When his local government refuses to act, Ed embarks on a quest to have the school relocated to safer ground. With insider knowledge and a sharp sense of right and wrong, Ed confronts his local school board, the state government, and a notorious coal company’ Massey Energy’ for putting his granddaughter and his community at risk.


ON COAL RIVER (trailer) from On Coal River on Vimeo.


Filming locations: West Virginia
Running time: 81 minutes



Director: Francine Cavanaugh, Adams Wood 
Producer: Adams Wood, Jillian Elizabeth, Francine Cavanaugh 
Production Company: Wood Media Films 
Cinematographer: Adams wood 
Editor: Francine Cavanaugh, Adams Wood, Mary Lampson 
Music: Steven Guthienz 
Sound: Adams King 
Cast: Ed Wiley, Deb Wiley, Bo Webb, Judy Bonds, Maria Lambert



DIRECTORS FRANCINE CAVANAUGH (Director/Producer/Editor) and ADAMS WOOD (Director/Producer/DP) previously co-directed and produced BOOM – THE SOUND OF EVICTION (2002), a feature-length documentary about the social repercussions of San Francisco’s dot-com boom and bust, which Variety called ‘powerful cautionary statement.’ Their second feature, ON COAL RIVER (2010), premiered at AFI/Silverdocs, screened at numerous other festivals and on Capitol Hill, and was nominated for an IFP/Gotham Award. Adams began making documentaries in the Idaho wilderness in 1996, and Francine found her way to film through theater and dance in 1999. They currently live in Asheville, NC with their 6-year old son.