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‘Deep Down’ earns Emmy nod for virtual world component

August 30, 2011

A virtual world game created by professor Sally Rubin to accompany her PBS documentary, Deep Down,  has received an Emmy Award nomination in the category of “New Approaches to News and Documentary Programming.”

The Virtual Mine is a 3D Second Life virtual-world experience that simulates coal mining life, Appalachian culture and the effect of mountaintop removal on a community —  topics explored in Deep Down. The film is co-directed by cinematographer Jen Gilomen. The documentary aired last year as part of PBS’ Emmy-winning documentary series Independent Lens and continues to screen across the country at special events and festivals.

The documentary profiles the people and community divided over a mountaintop-removal coal mine in Kentucky and facing an uncertain economic future in hard times.  While one woman leads her neighbors in a legal battle to stop a coal mining company from moving into her hollow, a friend and neighbor considers signing away the mining rights to his backyard, a move that would forever change life in their community of eastern Kentucky.

In addition to Independent Lens, Rubin, assistant professor at Chapman University’s Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, has film credits with PBS’ Frontline, POV, and the American Experience series.

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