One woman. One mountain. One last chance.
America’s energy industry has a dirty secret: Our nation’s electricity comes from blasting and leveling our country’s pristine mountains. They do it for one reason: destroying mountains creates more profits, faster, than traditional coal mining.
So, what can concerned citizens do when simply turning on our lights and air conditioners destroys our precious natural areas?
Well, we decided to make a film. And we hope that you’ll help us finish it.
Time is of the essence. Already, more than ONE MILLION acres of America's mountains have been destroyed by the gruesome mountaintop removal coal mining process. Each day three million pounds of explosives are detonated in Appalachia, releasing poisonous chemicals, like Arsenic and Sellenium, into the watersheds.
There must be a better way to generate energy, right? It turns out there is, and the subject of our film — a West Virginia grandmother — has found it.
Our team has spent four years documenting Lorelei Scarbro’s courageous fight to save her home in a way no one has ever tried before: by building the first green, sustainable energy project in Appalachia, The Coal River Wind Farm. In southwestern West Virginia — an area that has been ravaged by mountaintop removal — one mountain remains: Coal River Mountain. And if Scarbro’s plan is successful, the ridges of Coal River Mountain will be lined with 220 wind turbines, producing enough electricity to power 150,000 homes without destroying land, water or air, and it would do so for as long as the wind blows.
Our film takes the viewer on an emotional journey as a grandmother fights to save one of the last untouched mountains in Appalachia and a threatened, uniquely American way of life.
The American public needs to learn of the battle raging in the coalfields of West Virginia. They need to know there is a better, viable alternative to the environmental destruction for corporate profit. They deserve to hear about one brave American’s ingenuity, and her courageous fight to save her home, her community and the mountain she loves.
Together we can tell Lorelei Scarbro’s story, the story of Coal River Mountain, and we can work to save the land, the water and a mountain.
The story we are documenting is nearing a resolution, and we need your help to finish the film. Every penny of the donations we receive will be used to fund the shooting of the final scenes and to cover a month of editing costs.
We hope to send out 500 pre-ordered DVDs, one each to those who donate $25 or more. (Please note - if you donate at the DVD level, the DVD's will be shipped as soon as they are available.)
Larger donations will help us meet our goal even faster and will be greatly appreciated!
With heartfelt thanks,
The Coal War's Lorelei Scarbro is interviewed by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. See the CNN video.
Leveling Appalachia (a short film version of The Coal War) has been awarded a 2010 ASME National Magazine Award for Digital Media. Watch Leveling Appalachia at Yale Environment 360.
MEET THE TEAM
Chad A. Stevens - director, cinematographer.
Code Name: Boy Wonder
Chad is the 2010 recipient of Columbia University’s Alfred I. duPont Award. He has been nominated for two news and documentary Emmy Awards and won Webby Awards in 2008 and 2009. He is a professor of journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and former editor at MediaStorm.
Bob Sacha - producer, story concept genius.
Code Name: The Oracle
“The Oracle” is a former National Geographic Magazine photojournalist and current documentary producer. He won best Multimedia Feature in the 2008 Online News Association Competition and was nominated for an Emmy Award for New Directions in Documentary Storytelling. Bob was nominated for a second Emmy Award in 2009, and was on a Alfred I. duPont Award-winning team in 2010.
Pamela Chen - music, co-editor.
Code Name: Phoenix
Pamela is an award-winning documentary editor based in New York. Her work on documentary projects earned numerous industry accolades, including the national News & Documentary Emmy Award and two additional nominations, the Alfred I. duPont Award, three Webby Awards, and Pictures of the Year International awards in both photography and multimedia.
Robert Browman - words, co-editor.
Code Name: Meta4
Robert is an Emmy Award-winning, freelance multimedia journalist. He is currently working on stories for online, print and radio publication and blogging for The Coal War website.
Stephanie Pistello - outreach.
Code Name: Tupelo Honey
Stephanie is the Founding Artistic Director and Executive Producer of Headwater Productions and works as a citizen lobbyist for The Alliance for Appalachia and The Alaskan Wildlife League. She is an independent producer and director living in Charlottesville, VA.
Brett Marshall - photography.
Code Name: Boomer
Boomer is an award-winning documentary photographer based in Appalachia.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $13,125 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on July 18, 2010.
Jun 1, 2010 - Jul 18, 2010
Pledge $10 or more
Pledge this amount and receive a "special thank you" credit in the film.
Pledge $25 or more
Pledge this amount and receive the above and a signed copy of The Coal War DVD (when released).
Pledge $50 or more
Pledge this amount and receive all of the above and the "Still Moving Mountains: The Journey Home" album, a musical compilation of artists and spoken word recordings that mourn the devastation of mountaintop removal coal mining and celebrates the courage of coalfield resistance.
Pledge $100 or more
Pledge this amount and receive all of the above and a 8x10 photographic print by the award-winning photographer and director of The Coal War.
Pledge $500 or more
Pledge this amount and receive all of the above as well as a "patron credit" in the film and an invitation to screen the film (and give feedback) with us before it's released.
Pledge $2,500 or more
If you pledge $2500 or more you get all of the above as well as an associate producer's credit in the film. If you're interested in making larger donations or becoming a co-executive producer on the project, please contact us for details. LARGER DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE THROUGH OUR FISCAL SPONSOR FROM THE HEART PRODUCTIONS.