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Middleton to screen film at upcoming festivals

news-thumb-middleton.webpAward-winning documentary filmmaker Steven Middleton, instructor of mass communication and social media minor coordinator at Morehead State University, will have his documentary "Stages and Waves: An Excursion Through Challenging Times" shown at Louisville’s International Festival of Film (LIFF) Oct. 5-7, and Oct. 6 at the 2023 Appalachian Big Ideas Festival (ABIF) in Hazard.  

Held annually, LIFF welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world to Derby City. The event offers three days of screenings, educational workshops, and open dialogue with audiences. The film will be screened live Oct. 5, with a second screening during the virtual festival Oct. 7 through the LIFF website. 

The annual ABIF is a three-day experience of storytelling, arts, culture, and community building. The festival features documentary films, round table discussions, and guest speakers, including Kentucky Poet Laureate Silas House. 

“I am honored, humbled, and more than excited to have my film featured at Appalachian Big Ideas Festival with such a great range of minds, scholars, and artists,” Middleton said. “I am a proud Appalachian and being part of a group such as ABIF helps reinforce my teaching, mentoring to students, and future ideas about digital for MSU's core service region.” 

Told through the stories of artists, musicians, and other creatives, Middleton's “Stages and Waves” is a documentary that explores how creativity existed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The documentary has been airing on West Virginia Public Broadcasting, PBS WVPB, since March 2023 and on Kentucky Educational Television (KET) since April 2023. 

“I extend such gratitude to everyone at MSU that helped make this possible. Working with MSU media students, music, and traditional music, I am honored to play a role in helping others to build a portfolio/professional work as they leave MSU. Thanks to everyone for the continued support and help along the way.” 

"Stages and Waves" was produced, directed, edited, and narrated by Middleton. The following students contributed to the project:   

  • Lucy Becker, a junior traditional music major from Lexington, music. 
  • Willard Ferguson, a senior convergent media major from Louisa, videography.  
  • Elijah Boone Miller, a senior jazz studies and commercial music major from Ashland, music.  

Additional stock aerial footage was provided by Instructor of Convergent Media John Flavell and retiree John Modaff. Additional music was provided by Scott Miller, KCTM instructor.  

LIFF debuted in 2009. Over the years, the event has built on its success and partnered with distribution companies that review all the accepted films. 
Additional information is available by contacting Middleton at 

Learn more about Morehead State’s Department of Communication, Media, Art & Design by emailing or calling 606-783-2457. 

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