Appalshop Film “Sludge” to be Screened in NYC Alongside Footage from Recent WV Chemical Spill



Wednesday, March 5th, 7:00pm

Friends of Appalshop NYC Presents


Dir. Robert Salyer, 2005, 45 min.

Shortly after midnight on October 11, 2000, a coal sludge pond in Martin County, Kentucky broke through an underground mine below, propelling 306 million gallons of sludge into Wolf Creek and Coldwater Fork, two tributaries of the Tug Fork River. At a volume thirty times greater than the Exxon Valdez, the spill polluted hundreds of miles of waterways, including the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River, and eventually reaching all the way to the Ohio River. By morning, Wolf Creek was oozing with the black waste; on Coldwater Fork, a ten-foot wide stream became a 100-yard expanse of thick sludge. 

Filmmaker Robert Salyer began documenting the spill three days after it occurred and has continued over five years to document the aftermath, its effect on the community, and the effort to hold Martin County Coal Company and its parent company Massey Energy responsible for the disaster. Sludge is a story of residents and communities in the coalfields, but it is also a look behind the curtain: a story of the overseers and regulators responsible for health and safety and the agencies and departments that house them. This intimate, character-driven documentary chronicles the massive disaster, and its aftermath, using a straightforward style that allows the subjects to speak for themselves.


View the trailer here:

Sludge Trailer from Appalshop, Inc. on Vimeo.

The Sweet Taste of Freedom


Along with Sludge, we’re excited to be screening an exclusive first look at The Sweet Taste of Freedom,  a work in progress by independent producer Jason Myer that documents the 2014 Freedom Industries MCHM chemical spill in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia that has contaminated the water supply of upwards of 300,000 people. Myer is providing a compelling ground-level view of this ongoing disaster, and we’re excited to present this footage publicly for the first time in NYC.


Come join us for this notable event!

Wednesday, March 5th at 7:00 PM
Maysles Cinema, 343 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

Filmmaker Robert Salyer will be present for the screening.

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