Elaine McMillion


Elaine McMillion Sheldon
Charleston, WV
2018 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by Paul & Annette Smith.

Elaine McMillion Sheldon is a Peabody award-winning documentary filmmaker based in West Virginia. Her work explores universal stories of identity, roots, resilience, and hope. Sheldon is the director of Heroin(e), a Netflix Original Documentary short that follows three women fighting the opioid crisis in Huntington, West Virginia. In 2013, she released Hollow, an interactive documentary that examines the future of rural America through the eyes and voices of Appalachians. Hollow received a 2013 Peabody, 2014 Emmy nomination, and 3rd Prize in the 2014 World Press Photo Multimedia Awards.

In 2016, Chicken & Egg Pictures awarded her with the inaugural “Breakthrough Filmmaker” award. Sheldon was a 2013 Future of Storytelling Fellow and named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine and one of “50 People Changing The South” by Southern Living Magazine. She’s a founding member of All Y’all Southern Documentary Collective. She has been commissioned by Frontline PBS, The Center for Investigative Reporting, The New York Times Op-Docs, TEDWomen, Field of Vision, Mashable, and The Bitter Southerner.

Portrait photo by Jessica Earnshaw.

  • From Hollow, an interactive documentary, 2013.
  • From Be Still, 2017.
  • From Heroin(e), a Netflix Original short documentary, 2017.