Mari-Lynn Evans knows filmmakers simply don't do work-in-progress screenings.
Her editor may think she's a bit crazy. And Evans realizes she's inviting criticism before her documentary is even finished.
But the Braxton County native is going to trot out a 20-minute or so piece of "Blood on the Mountain" nonetheless on Saturday afternoon during the 14th annual FILMmakers Festival in Sutton.
She decided to do it for two reasons. First, film fest president Caitlin Renee Campbell, a fellow filmmaker and Braxton County native, invited her. Second, she really was eager to show off her work thus far.
"Filmmaking is kind of like giving birth. I want to show everyone the ultrasound," Evans said. The documentary is scheduled for completion in 2014.
"It will look finished," she added. "It doesn't have the final color correction or sound (correction), so it's rough in that way. But as for the look of it - it was shot in high definition."
Evans considers her latest documentary to be a history of West Virginia, told through its coal history. The film begins in 2010 with the Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster that killed 29 miners and investigates the corporate culture of the mine industry, looking at mine disasters and labor unrest through the decades, including the Battle of Blair Mountain.
Evans said it includes an interview with a relative of a miner who died at Upper Big Branch that took her three years to secure and a 3-and-a-half-minute clip taken at the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain, where armed coal miners confronted strikebreakers and coal officials opposed to their efforts to unionize in southern coalfields.
"It has never been seen before," Evans said of the clip, adding "I cannot tell you" where she obtained it.
"This is our history told by people in West Virginia and from West Virginia," she said.
Evans is perhaps best known for her PBS documentary "The Appalachians" and subsequent book by the same title that she edited.
"That was a love letter to the state," she said of the project. As she began learning more about the state's mining history, Evans said she knew there was another story to tell.
On Saturday afternoon, she'll be on hand to take questions about her project, as will other filmmakers scheduled for the weekend.
Film fest president Campbell, who now lives in California, has returned to Sutton for weeks at a time this past year to organize the festival - her family remains in the area, so it always makes for a nice visit, too, she said.
She accepted the job of organizing the festival because she believes in its mission, Campbell said, and wants it to continue. At the same time, she proposed expanding its reach.
"For the first 13 years, it had strictly West Virginia films and West Virginia filmmakers," she said. "We're broadening our scope."