I spoke with Jon Matthews, writer/director of the SXSW world premiere documentary, Surviving Cliffside. Matthews revisited his hometown in West Virginia and followed the lives of his cousin E.J. Huffman and his family. E.J. battles prescription drug addiction, much like others who live in the same trailer park, and his young daughter’s cancer is in remission. Surviving Cliffside is Matthews’ thesis movie for his Master’s in the New York University film program, made possible by a grant awarded by fellow filmmaker Spike Lee. Four years ago Matthews quit practicing civil rights law to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker.
SXSW 2014: ‘Surviving Cliffside’ Interview