The Spadaro Award is given annually to recognize the producer of the best nonfiction film or television presentation on Appalachia or its people. The award, established in 2005, honors the activist and whistleblower Jack Spadaro, who spent his career working within the coal mining industry for the betterment of the Appalachian community.

The winner receives $250.

Nominations should be made by January 31. Works may be entered by the producer, an agent, sponsoring organization or company, or distributor. (The producer may also be the director.) Applicants need not be members of the Appalachian Studies Association. There is no entry fee. Entrants will receive notification of receipt of entry/entries by e-mail. All reasonable care will be taken; however, no responsibility is accepted for loss or damage, or for entries that are not received by the due date.

A work shall be eligible if it is nonfiction and the content focuses primarily on an Appalachian subject. The producer is defined as that person who has the artistic vision. Producers may be citizens or residents of any country. Producers may be deceased. Works of joint authorship are eligible (defined as joint responsibility by two producers). Works may not be entered in the name of a committee. The work must be the producer’s work and not work for hire. The decision by the Award Committee of an entrant’s eligibility is final.

The Award will go to the entrant judges deem to possess the highest merit. Only one award will be given annually. Judges shall declare relevant conflicts of interest immediately. The decision of the judges is final and conclusive.

Technical Requirements for Submission
All title entries must be finished and not works-in-progress. The preferred method of submission is through FilmFreeway. If a project is unable to be submitted through FilmFreeway, nominators may contact the selection committee chair to arrange for another method of submission.If not in English, video must include English subtitles or an English transcript.

Co-Chairs of the Selection Committee
Tom Hansell,
Meredith McCarroll,

Overall Rating
  • Hal Jacobs

    Proud to receive the 2021 Jack Spadaro Documentary Award and learn more about Spadaro himself and his activism. The award has already led to more recognition for our film, especially among educators.

    March 2021