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‘The Mountain Minor,’ explores Applachian music; filmmaker Dale Farmer to appear at Esquire Theatre


A new dramatic film about the history of Appalachian music, which was filmed partially in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, is starting to attract attention after winning top awards at several film festivals.

Screenwriter and director Dale Farmer will conduct a Q&A, following screenings of “The Mountain Minor” at The Esquire Theatre in Cincinnati on October 17 and 20.

An after-party will take place at Sitwell’s Coffee Shop, next door to the theatre, following the October 17th showing.

“The Mountain Minor” follows five generations of an Eastern Kentucky family, beginning in the 1930s, dramatizing how mountain music spread to other parts of the country. It is loosely based on the true story of Farmer’s own family, who migrated to Cincinnati, looking for work during the Great Depression. Farmer lives in Oxford, Ohio.

“Growing up in Ohio, most of my relatives and neighbors were migrant families from Appalachia,” he said. “This film is about people leaving their homes and bringing their music and culture with them. For so long, they were looked down upon because they were thought to have less value in society because of what many people viewed as their backward ways. They deserve so much credit for the music that eventually became country and bluegrass.”

Several scenes were shot in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, including the Southgate House Revival in Newport.

The movie features contemporary musical artists who are known for folk and old-time mountain music, including the Cincinnati-based band The Tillers, and Dan Gellert and Ma Crow of the locally based Bluegrass band, Crow & Company.

Other notable Old Time musicians in the film include Trevor McKenzie, Lucas Pasley, Hazel Pasley, Asa Nelson, Warren Waldron, Judy Waldron, and Cincinnati native Susan Pepper, who now lives in North Carolina, where she is a professional singer/songwriter. Pepper produced the film.

“The Mountain Minor” was presented the  “The Spirit of the Mountains” Award by former Kentucky Governor Paul Patton at the UPIKE Film and Media Arts Festival. The film has won numerous additional awards including Best Drama at the Longleaf Festival at the North Carolina History Museum and the Franklin International Film Festival (Tennessee), Best Feature at The Northeast Mountain Festival (Georgia), and Best of Festival at The Endless Mountain Film Festival (Pennsylvania) and The Jukebox International Film Festival (Nevada).

“The Mountain Minor” will be shown at The Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Avenue, Cincinnati, on Thursday, October 17, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, October 20, at 7 p.m., with a Q&A to follow each screening.

Ticket information is available here. Information about “The Mountain Minor” is available here.


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