Photo by Kerrin Sheldon

Photo by Kerrin Sheldon

Elaine McMillion Sheldon is a Peabody award-winning documentary filmmaker, visual journalist and media artist who brings classic expertise to intimate and character-driven storytelling experiences. Her work explores the themes of identity, roots and survival, through a timeless lens. 

In 2013, she released HOLLOW an interactive documentary that examines the future of rural America through the eyes and voices of Appalachians. Hollow received a 2013 Peabody, 2014 Emmy nomination and 3rd Prize in the World Press Photo Multimedia Awards. She’s also the co-producer of "The Lower 9," a feature-length documentary about The Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

She is the co-creator of She Does, a bi-weekly audio documentary series that documents creative women’s journeys. She Does won a 2016 Communicator Award of Excellence from The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. 

In January 2016, Chicken & Egg Pictures awarded her with the inaugural "Breakthrough Filmmaker" award. Sheldon was a 2013 Future of Storytelling Fellow, and named one of the "25 New Faces of Independent Film" in 2013 by Filmmaker Magazine and one of "50 People Changing The South" in 2015 by Southern Living Magazine. 

Sheldon is available for producing and editing audio and video content, as well as non-linear productions including cross-platform consulting, storytelling workshops and training, content strategy and photography.

She serves on the WVU Media Innovation advisory board, Looking at Appalachia video and advisory board and is currently in-production on several documentary projects supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures. She's a founding member of All Y'all Southern Documentary Collective.

You can enroll in Sheldon's filmmaking class on Skillshare.


Magnum Foundation Photo Ex Symposium

2016 BritDoc Good Pitch NYC

2016 IFP Spotlight on Documentaries

2016 Points North Pitch at Camden International Film Festival

2016 Sundance Film Festival:  Docs of the Future Panel

2015 Ford Foundation: Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund Celebration

2015 Doc Forum at Center for Doc Studies (Duke University)

2015 Magnum Foundation's PhotoEx Symposium

2015 Citizen Jane Film Festival: Film School & Podcast Chat

2015 Points North Documentary Forum: Live Podcast Event

2015: The New Storytellers at Phi Centre in Montreal

2015 Portland Museum of Art

2015 True/False Film Festival Story Arcade

2015 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

2014 American Museum of Natural History: Margaret Mead Festival

2014 Magnum Photography Foundation: PhotoEx Symposium

2014 Visions Du Reel i_docs workshop: Nyon, Switzerland

2014 i-Docs Conference: Bristol, United Kingdom

2014 Woodstock Digital Media Festival

2014 Appalachian Studies Conference

2014 Festival du Nouveu Cinema: Montreal, Canada

2013 & 2014 Camden International Film Festival: Points North Doc Forum

2013 New York Film Festival: Convergence

2013 IFP Conference at The Lincoln Center

2013 Future of Storytelling: Story Arcade Exhibit

2012 Harvard's Berkman Center: At The Corner of Hollywood and the Web



2016 ADC Young Gun

2016 Communicator Award of Excellence from The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for "She Does" Podcast

2016 Chicken & Egg's Breakthrough Filmmaker Award

2015 AIR New Voices Scholars

2014 3rd Prize for the World Press Photo Interactive Documentary Award

2014 Emmy Nominee in New Approaches for Documentary

2013 Peabody Award

2013 Fellow at Future of Storytelling

2013 Filmmaker Magazine’s: 25 New Faces of Independent Film


New York Times 

Wall Street Journal

The Bitter Southerner

Humanity (iPad Magazine)

International Red Cross

Charleston Daily Mail

Magnum Photography Foundation

Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies


MFA, Visual & Media Art: Emerson College

BS, News Editorial Journalism: WVU