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Kentucky-inspired independent film ‘The Mountain Minor’ to begin airing on KET this week

During the Great Depression, many Appalachian natives migrated to other parts of the country, desperate to find work. In the process, they brought with them the old-time mountain music that had been their primary source of entertainment, before phonographs and radio were widely available, especially in remote areas.

The new independent film, “The Mountain Minor,” tells the story of one such family of musicians from Eastern Kentucky who reluctantly moved to Cincinnati in the 1930s. Kentucky Educational Television (KET) has acquired the broadcast rights to the film, and will begin airing it this week.

Kentucky-based musician Ma Crow (right) and musician Dan Gellert co-star in “The Mountain Minor.” (Photo courtesy of alt452 Productions)

“Touching on themes of Appalachian people and culture, musical traditions, and sense of place, ‘The Mountain Minor’ is a film we’re pleased to bring to our KET audience,” said Nancy Southgate, Chief Content Officer for KET.

“Although it is fictional, the film is based on my grandparents, who were from Jackson County, Kentucky,” said writer-director Dale Farmer, who lives in Camden, Ohio. “I am honored that KET believes in the film as much as I do.”

Farmer, an old-time musician himself, was determined to portray the characters as authentically as possible, including their music. So much so, that in casting the film, he decided to use real, old-time musicians instead of actors.

“I thought it would be easier to teach musicians how to act, than to teach actors how to play mountain music,” Farmer explained. “I did not want them to lip-sync or play to pre-recorded tracks, the way musical scenes are usually shot. Every musical performance in the film was shot ‘live,’ rough edges and all. I wanted everything to look real.”

“The Mountain Minor” features contemporary musical artists who are known for folk and old-time mountain music, including Smithsonian Folkways artist Elizabeth LaPrelle, The Tillers, Dan Gellert, Ma Crow (who is based in Northern Kentucky), Trevor McKenzie, Lucas Pasley, Hazel Pasley, Asa Nelson, Warren Waldron, Judy Waldron, Aaron Wolfe, Jean Dowell and Susan Pepper.

Former Kentucky Governor Paul Patton presented “The Mountain Minor” the “The Spirit of the Mountains” Award 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 air on KET on July 24 at 9 p.m. EST and on July 26 at midnight.

Check local listings or visit www.KET.org. Information about the film is available at www.TheMountainMinorMovie.com.

From The Mountain Minor Movie

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