2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Surviving Cliffside

After their beauty-pageant-toddler beats leukemia, a young Appalachian family battles poverty as they attempt to put their lives back together. The father is prone to prescription drug addiction and gun violence, while the overwhelmed mother is confronted with an unwanted pregnancy. Drug dealers and meth heads are their friends and neighbors. Food, clothing and hope are scarce. The parents must take extreme risks to provide for the family, if their daughter is to make a run for Little Miss West Virginia. This is Cliffside.

Director: Jon Matthews

Executive Producer: Stephen W. Kern

Producer: Richard Bever, Jon Matthews, Bob Wilkinson

Screenwriter: Jon Matthews

Cinematographer: Jon Matthews

Editor: Jon Matthews, Jennifer Ruff

Sound Designer: Ernest Adzentoivich

Music: Brantley Jones and Lillard Anthony

Additional Credits: Co-editor: Jennifer Ruff, Co-producer: Samantha Kern

Principal Cast: EJ Huffman, Brandy Smith, Makala Smith, Josey Smith


Jon Matthews grew up in West Virginia. Before becoming a filmmaker, Jon practiced civil rights law for seven years. His last job was with the ACLU. Four years ago, Jon quit practicing law to follow his dream and enrolled at NYU’s grad film program. SURVIVING CLIFFSIDE is Jon’s thesis film and was made possible by a grant awarded by Spike Lee.

Sales Agent: Richard Bever Parting Shots Media 917-613-4457

Public Film Contact
John Murphy
Murphy PR


Thanks to our sponsors

Miller Lite Monster Energy Esurance Chevrolet AT&T IFC Subway Austin Chronicle

Music sponsor

Sonic Bids

Interactive sponsors

Deloitte American Express Pennzoil