Growing up in Scott Depot, filmmaker Jillian Howell didn’t find many opportunities for aspiring artists like herself. “That sent the message to me that having a career in the arts and being a West Virginian were two mutually exclusive things,” Howell says. So she headed off to the University of North Carolina Wilmington to pursue film studies and hopefully make some connections with folks in the industry.
Then, a surprising twist. “I anticipated that my connection to get a job would come from film school,” Howell says, “but it didn’t. It came from West Virginia, from the close-knit community connections we have here.”