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Documentary Jury Winner (hillbilly)

  • 84 min
  • Documentary
  • English
  • USA
  • 2018
To confront their coastal elite perspectives, two filmmakers visit rural Kentucky to unpack the stereotype of “hillbilly” and talk to the people of Appalachia, exploring the personal and painful experiences fueling our polarizing political climate.
About The Film

For decades the media-perpetuated image of the “hillbilly” has been the prevailing representation of the Appalachian population. Filmmakers Ashley York and Sally Rubin seek to challenge this stereotype and have difficult conversations about how life has changed for locals in coal country. Amid their cultural deep-dive, they find a treasure trove of Affrilachian poets, a budding LGBTQ+ community and ultimately gain a greater understanding of a grossly misrepresented population.

This documentary opens the floor for debate, eager to bridge the divide between polarized communities. Are we able to find common ground? Bringing us into her childhood home and family, York confronts her family’s roots and background, exposing her own choices and challenges around leaving her home state. Hillbilly is a surprising and enlightening look into the people and culture of Appalachia and the painful stories that have fueled their political leanings.

- Shaheen Sayani, Associate Programmer

  • Sally Rubin
  • Ashley York
  • Sally Rubin
  • Ashley York
  • Sally Rubin
Executive Producers
  • Doug Blush
  • Silas House
  • David Sutherland
  • bell hooks
  • Billy Redden
  • Ronny Cox
  • Frank X Walker
  • Crystal Good
  • Silas House
US Distibution
  • The Orchard
Production Company
  • Holler Home Productions
  • Bryan Donnell
  • Melanie Vi Levy
  • Stacy Goldate
  • John Fee
  • Ben Caucci


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