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Middleton’s latest documentary to be featured at 2020 Rivers Edge International Film Festival

The Show Starts at Midnight posterSteve Middleton (04, 08), instructor of mass communication and documentary filmmaker, will have his latest work “The Show Starts at Dark” showcased next month at the 2020 Rivers Edge International Film Festival in Paducah, Kentucky. The festival takes place from Nov. 12 through Nov. 15. 

“The Show Starts at Dark” examines the last remaining operating drive-in movie theaters in Kentucky through the owners, fans and travelers who still take the time to enjoy them every weekend.  

“'The Show Starts at Dark’ grew out of the idea that I saw an abandoned drive-in theater and thought it looks more lonesome than an empty birdcage. So, I started researching how many drive-ins were left in Kentucky. I started traveling to them all and filming how they still operated,” Middleton said. “The story is simple and covers partly nostalgia but also how hard-working people are still bringing movie fans a unique experience in a new era.”   

The River’s Edge International Film Festival in Paducah is a four-day event build around showcasing independent films from across the country and worldwide. This film will be Middleton’s second to be showcased at the festival, with the first being “Between the Rock and the Commonwealth” in 2018.  

Middleton earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2004 and Master of Arts in Applied Communication in 2008, both from MSU. As an instructor at MSU since 2008, he specializes in courses covering mass communication, documentary and video production, television production and social media management.  

Middleton’s documentary films focus on the stories of Appalachia and the American South. They have been featured at international film festivals and broadcast on Kentucky PBS affiliate Kentucky Education Television, Arkansas PBS affiliate Ozark Mountain Television, West Virginia Public Broadcasting and WOSU Ohio Public Media.  

Middleton can be reached at 606-783-9583 or

To learn more about programs in MSU’s Department of Communication, Media and Languages, visit, email or call 606-783-2134.