Award-winning filmmaker screens film, raises awareness for wolves and women

Pocahontas County native screens film 'Medicine of the Wolf'

ROANOKE – An award-winning filmmaker is joining forces with Help Save The Next Girl on a new film project and local Roanoke fundraising event. This Saturday the public is invited for a powerful evening of women, wolves and advocacy through storytelling and filmmaking.West Virginia filmmaker and TEDx speaker Julia Huffman is screening her film, 'Medicine of the Wolf.' She is  joined by founders of Help Save the Next Girl, Gil Harrington and Jane Lillian Vance.

Huffman will be screening and speaking about her film that was endorsed by Dr Jane Goodall and sharing her personal experience at Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke at 7 p.m. The fundraising event will be used to produce her next film featured around an unsolved double murder case that happened in Pocahontas County in the 1970s.

During the screening Saturday, Huffman will also give the audience a first time sneak peak of that film which has taken her on an 18 year journey to shine the light on the 37 year unsolved double murder of 19-year-old Nancy Santamero and 26-year-old Vicky Durian. The two women were found murdered just up the hill from where Huffman grew up. Huffman she said in an interview with 10 News that discovery had a lasting impact on her, prompting her to tell their story.

This project is how Help Save the Next Girl got involved. Founder Gil Harrington said it's important to shine a light on the two victims and oncee again give them a voice.

Summary of the film, The Rainbow Murders:

Since 1999, angling with her small digital camera and at times convincing her family to work as her film crew, Julia Huffman has since 1999 been piecing  together information to try to find out who killed Nancy and Vicky, two young women who were hitchhiking through her hometown in 1980 and were found brutally murdered.
The case became known as the infamous “Rainbow Murders” and despite two court trials and one conviction is still considered unsolved to this day.
For Julia the quest has not been easy, looking over her shoulder for years after interviewing the once sentenced murderer Jacob Beard she began suffering from night terrors and haunted with fear, had to put the project down. But eventually she would learn the damage of her own silence.
As the world seems reddened with volcanic intolerance and sexual predators skip rocks in the lava, our murdered girls continue to be tossed in the ditches.
Responsive to the dangers in our culture today and with newfound courage to speak up for the lost voices of the two dead girls, Julia travels back to her West Virginia town.
This time she is armed with a tribe of women. In her corner are Sheryl Lee, famous for her role in the widely acclaimed Twin Peaks, playing a dead girl, Laura Palmer and the founders of Help Save the Next Girl, the relentless advocates, Gil Harrington and Jane Lillian Vance.
Only 12 years old at the time of the murders and deeply affected, Julia is now a citizens detective on a mission to uncover the hardship and great healing of resurrecting an unsolved, solved and then unsolved again double murder in her hometown.
Will Julia hold the lifeline of moral support as she once again faces the good ole boy whispers in West Virginia?

20 percent of the  ticket sales from Saturday's screening event of 'Medicine of the Wolf' will benefit Help Save the Next Girl. 

Tickets prices are $12 for adults and $10 students 13-18 years old.
Tickets on sale now at:    

Watch the trailer here.


Summary of 'Medicine of the Wolf':

“Medicine of the Wolf” will take viewers on a journey to understand the powerful relationship that we have with the wolf by interviewing prominent people who represent the different levels of connection to this ancient and iconic species — from Ojibwe creation stories that reflect our interconnectivity to all things, to a lifetime of observations of a complex and dynamic family unit, to a wolf scientist expressing his layered findings in an over 50 year study of the delicate web that wolves weave into our ecosystem.
“Medicine of the Wolf” centers on the remarkable, world-renowned environmentalist and National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg, who has photographed, studied and been on the ground with wolves for 45 years — longer than anyone in history. As our guide, Brandenburg enables us to see the world of the wolf as we have never seen it before. The film also has a crucial message for us: The gray wolf must be preserved on the endangered species list.
Filmmaker Julia Huffman has won the first place Animal Content in Entertainment Award from the Humane Society of the United States for “Medicine of the Wolf”. The film was predominantly funded through a successful kick starter campaign, with people from all over the world donating to see the film happen. The film has been praised and endorsed by Dr, Jane Goodall, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash, Michael Stipe, Jim and Jamie Dutcher from Living with Wolves, to name a few. “Medicine of the Wolf” won the Grand Jury Award at the Arizona International Film Festival, the Audience Choice Award at Minneapolis International Film Festival and the Audience pick at the G2 Green Earth Film Festival in Venice, CA.

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