1. John W. Miller, a former Wall Street Journal reporter turned indie writer and film maker, stands at Grave Creek mound in Moundsville. The 2,200-year-old mound features prominently as a symbol of change in a feature documentary Miller and David Bernabo, both of Pittsburgh, made to illustrate the changing American economy and how it is unfolding at a small-town scale. Moundsville premieres 7 p.m. Friday at the Strand in downtown Moundsville.

‘Moundsville’ Documentary To Be Distributed to PBS Stations

The National Educational Telecommunications Association and filmmakers David Bernabo and John W. Miller have reached an agreement to distribute the feature documentary film Moundsville to 338 PBS stations around the country over the next three years. The film will be cut to 57 minutes from 74 minutes and close-captioned to suit PBS standards.

Moundsville is the biography of a classic American town, Moundsville, West Virginia, told through the voices of residents. It’s a Trump-supporting town, but there is no mention of Trump or any other national political leader in the film. The story told is a much bigger one, from the native American mound the town is named after, to the arrival of the world’s biggest toy factory, to an economy based on Wal-Mart and fracking and a new generation figuring it all out. The goal of the film is to affirm the community-building and healing value of shared local narrative.

After premiering in Moundsville in December 2018, the film this year has been distributed online, on Vimeo, and screened publicly in New York City, Pittsburgh and various locations in West Virginia.

Moundsville is an excellent addition to our catalog,” says NETA vice president for content Angee Simmons. “NETA’s program service celebrates local voices and stories from all corners of our country.”

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Moundsville “just happens to be home to my favorite childhood toy, The Big Wheel, and, unbeknownst to me, the largest indigenous burial mound in the country,” says Simmons. “But more importantly is told with a lot of heart from the people who call it home. After watching, I knew I wanted to share it with public television audiences.”

“We’re thrilled to find a wider audience for Moundsville,” says co-director John W. Miller. “We want to share the story of a place in a way that affirms the dignity and purposes of all places in this country, free of the poison of national politics and propaganda.”

Miller is an award-winning journalist with over 20 years experience in print, radio, TV and film. As a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, Miller reported from 45 countries and covered global mining and global trade, elections, trade negotiations, the World Cup and Tour de France. Miller has also reported and written for Time, America, Heated, NPR, Buzzfeed, the Baltimore Sun and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and serves as chief economic analyst of Trade Data Monitor. Moundsville is his first movie.

Bernabo is a filmmaker, musician, dancer, visual artist and writer, performing with the bands Host Skull, Watererer and How Things Are Made. Bernabo’s films have screened at the On Art Film Festival, JFilm Festival, Re:NEW Festival, Afronaut(a) Film Club, the Foodable Film Festival and on WQED’s Filmmakers Corner.

For more information or receive a digital copy of the film, contact Miller at 412-298-0391 or jmjournalist@gmail.com.