A fracking horror story, "Unearth" follows two neighboring farm families whose relationships are strained when one of them chooses to lease their land to a gas company. In the midst of growing tension, the land is drilled, and something long dormant and terrifying, deep beneath the earth's surface is released. "Unearth" is about the horrifying repercussions sown by shortsighted decisions, and what our children reap from our actions.

  • Dorota Swies
  • John C. Lyons
  • John C. Lyons
  • Kelsey Goldberg
  • Dorota Swies
  • John C. Lyons
  • Marc Blucas
  • Allison McAtee
  • Adrienne Barbeau
    Key Cast
  • P.J. Marshall
    Key Cast
  • Allison McAtee
    Key Cast
  • Monica Wyche
    Key Cast
  • Brooke Sorenson
    Key Cast
  • Marc Blucas
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Horror, Drama
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 34 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 5, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Fantasia International Film Festival
    August 25, 2020
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Hard:Line Film Festival
    September 23, 2020
    European Premiere
    Opening Night Film / Official Selection
  • Grimmfest
    United Kingdom
    October 8, 2020
    UK Premiere
  • Mile High Horror Film Festival
    United States
    October 3, 2020
    US Premiere
  • Curtas Festival do Imaxinario
    October 24, 2020
    Spain Premiere
  • Les Utopiales Festival International de Science-Fiction
    October 29, 2020
    France Premiere
  • Isla Calavera Festival de Cine Fantástico
    Tenerife, Canary Islands
    November 13, 2020
Distribution Information
  • Reel Suspects
    Sales Agent
    Country: France
    Rights: All Rights
  • The Coven / Mrs. Smith
    Sales Agent
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Canada
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Dorota Swies, John C. Lyons

“Unearth” is Dorota Swies' directorial debut and first film production with a budget and professional cast and crew. Swies has been awarded membership into Big Vision Empty Wallet’s Kickstart Diversity program. The program encourages diversity at the independent level by supporting projects written, directed, and/or produced by Women, People of Color and Members of the LGBTQ Community.

Dorota Swies studied the art of traditional and new media at Université de Nantes, Schola Posnaniensis of Applied Art, Edinboro University and Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, and obtained her diploma in Photography and Masters in Fine Arts. In 2002, she relocated to the USA and formed Lyons Den Productions LLC, with John C. Lyons, which specializes in design and digital video services.

Lyons strives to build a new industry for film production in northwestern Pennsylvania. He served 9 years as the Executive Director of the non-profit Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania where his current role is Director of Programming. He has programmed quality cinema for FILM at the Erie Art Museum, Film Grain: Dinner & Movie, Porreco Movies Under the Stars, Edinboro Film Series.

His efforts brought attention to local media resulting in Erie Reader's 40 Under 40 (2013), Young Erie Professionals Generation-E Leadership Award (2009), Erie Times-News’ People of the Year (2007), and Erie Reader’s “Best Filmmaker” Award (2014-2016). In 2017, Lyons produced the short film “Our Erie” which was viewed over 100,000 times in 48 hours and currently produces the "Our Erie" podcast based on the issues presented in the short.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The World Bank estimates that in order to feed the world’s population by 2050 there would need to be a 60% increase in agricultural production and a 15% increase in water withdrawals. Further stating: “…with current practices, the world will face a 40% shortfall between forecast demand and available supply of water by 2030.” Nearly 200 countries have signed the Paris Climate Accord acknowledging the threat of global climate change and signifying a unified effort to mitigate human impact on the environment.

While our film is not a documentary, and will first and foremost be a character-focused piece of genre entertainment, these realities of our industrialized world have informed every facet of “Unearth”. Co-writer/co-director, John C. Lyons, spent his entire youth on farms and learned the importance of the land and our relationship to the environment. According to the World Health Organization, co-director Dorota Swies’s home country of Poland has 33 of the 50 most polluted cities in Europe and regularly surpasses EU limits on pollution because of its reliance on coal and lack of governmental support for green technology. These challenges affect every human on the planet and have inspired us to create an eco-horror metaphor the way nuclear testing gave us giant insects and pesticides the shrinking man.

For authenticity, we shot "Unearth" on location in a small farming community facing the difficult decisions and hardships presented in our story every day. But our story could take place on any farm, in any country, and we hope that message resonates long after this particular horror story cuts to black.