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Marshall faculty member’s documentary to be broadcast on West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A documentary film co-created by Tijah Bumgarner, an associate professor of filmmaking in Marshall’s School of Art & Design, will be shown on West Virginia Public Broadcasting in May 2024. Broadcast times can be found at

Bumgarner created the feature documentary, “Picture Proof,” with Dr. Jena Seiler of the University of Kentucky. The film delves into the intergenerational repercussions of addiction through the compelling narrative of Ashley Elizabeth Ellis (Feb. 10, 1987- Nov. 6, 2021). Chronicling the profound impact of substance abuse on her family, the film offers an intimate exploration of the bonds that unite them amidst the constant threat of division posed by addiction.

The genesis of the film was a chance meeting between Bumgarner and Ellis’ mother in 2018 and getting to know Ellis, who was open with Bumgarner and Seiler about her struggles with substance use. The film traces the deep bond between family members and their remarkable strength as they faced the turbulence and despair of addiction. “Picture Proof” aims to honor Ellis’ life and connect with others who can relate to struggles with addiction, recovery and loss.

“As individuals who have witnessed the effects of substance use disorder in our own families, we feel compelled to push back against representations of addiction that too often perpetuate notions of personal failing and community apathy,” Bumgarner said. “We are particularly mindful of Appalachia’s long history of exploitation, the personal loss people have experienced, the toll America’s ongoing drug crisis has had on communities, and the limiting narratives about people who use drugs.”

More information about the film and the trailer can be found at:

For more information about Marshall University’s School of Art & Design, visit

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