From the Hills and Hollers: HOLLER with Director Nicole Riegel

Watch Trailer Director: Nicole Riegel

About the film

In a forgotten pocket of Southern Ohio where American manufacturing and opportunity are dying up, a determined young woman finds a ticket out when she is accepted to college. Alongside her older brother, Ruth Avery joins a dangerous scrap metal crew in order to pay her way. Together, they spend one brutal winter working the scrap yards during the day and stealing valuable metal from the once thriving factories at night. With her goal in sight, Ruth finds that the ultimate cost for an education for a girl like her may be more than she bargained for, and she soon finds herself torn between a promising future and the family she would leave behind. Director Nicole Riegel will be at this event to introduce the film.

About the director/speaker

Nicole Riegel is a filmmaker born and raised in Jackson, Ohio. She studied Film History, Theory & Criticism and Psychology at Wright State University and received her graduate studies M.F.A. at UCLA Film School. In 2020, her feature film Holler premiered at SXSW Film Festival and world premiered at the Deauville Film Festival in France. Holler went on to screen at the Toronto Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Atlanta, Nashville, Netherlands and Estonia, among others. In the summer of 2021, IFC Films released Holler in theatres nationwide. Holler received rave reviews and won Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch Award, National Board of Review Award and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Holler has been featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Times, Cineaste and BUST Magazine. Nicole has used Holler to help inspire students from Appalachia through collaborations with Wexner Center for the Arts and Appalshop. She recently completed her second feature film, Dandelion, which is in post-production and will be distributed by IFC Films in 2023. 

About the series

Following the success of the full capacity screening of our 50th anniversary of Appalshop’s STRANGER WITH A CAMERA screening in 2020, the Athena Cinema and partners present an exciting new film series on Appalachian culture and depictions in film.

The mission of the series is to connect Athens and the university community to the surrounding region by examining the different ways Appalachia has been represented through film. We seek to develop cultural competency and humility by showing viewers the way both the assets and challenges the region faces have been viewed by those who have the power to represent it on screen.

Short introduction/lectures will provide context for the film and introduce the underlying issues represented in film and other media. All events in the series are presented with free admission.

This series is sponsored by the 2023 Appalachian Studies Association Conference, Ohio Honors Program, Center for Campus and Community Engagement, Multicultural Center, Black Student Cultural Programming Board, Hocking Athens Perry Community Action Program, Athens County Public Libraries, University Libraries, Honors Tutorial College, Center for Advising, Career, and Experiential Learning, OHIO Fellows, and the Ohio Arts Council.

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Running Time: 91 minutes91 MIN
R Rated
This Film is Wheelchair Accessible

Holler is a gorgeously-textured exploration of the way ruthless corporatism trickles down through each layer of a country, and a system, until it falls on the shoulders of a young girl and obscures her future. Jessica Barden pens sonnets with her silence.

Siddhant Adlakha