Skip Menu
Email Us!

‘Between The Rock and the Commonwealth’ to be featured at the Rivers Edge Film Festival

Rock-and-Commonwealth-e.jpgMorehead State University's Steven Middleton, instructor of mass communication and Kentucky filmmaker, has had his documentary “Between The Rock and the Commonwealth” selected for inclusion into the 2017 Rivers Edge Film Festival in Paducah, Nov. 3-5.

The Rivers Edge Film festival is Kentucky’s longest running film festival.

The film details the controversial removal of Indian Head Rock from the river in 2007 and the ensuing legal battle between Ohio and Kentucky about ownership rights.

The film was coproduced by convergent media graduate John Tanner Blevins with video assistance from John Flavell, MSU instructor of journalism, and audio engineering from Dr. John Modaff, MSU professor of speech.

First described in an architectural publication of the 1840s, Indian Head Rock originally sat in the Ohio River roughly 60 feet from the Kentucky shoreline near South Shore. Prior to being submerged in the 1920s, when dams raised the river level, the rock had been a gathering point for generations of visitors, many of whom carved their names or initials into its face.

In 2007, the rock was removed without permit by a local historian, who donated it to Portsmouth. A legal battle over the rock’s rightful place soon erupted, gaining national attention via outlets including National Public Radio, CBS News and The New York Times. Ultimately, the rock was returned to Kentucky, where it is housed in a Greenup County storage facility.

Additional information is available by contacting Middleton at 606-783-9583.

For more information about communication programs at MSU, visit