Short documentary, 12 minutes
Co-directed with Adam Forrester

Set within a rural landscape of abundant beauty and deep poverty, Some Million Miles presents a meditation on loss and the search for redemption amidst systemic social and economic marginalization. Through a series of confessional vignettes, the film reconnects viewers to the stories Chico, Alice, and Misty several years after the their participation in the photo-ethnography project, HELLBENDER. As Chico struggles with reintegration into society following a jail sentence, Alice pursues recovery and fights for custody of her daughter while Misty rebuilds a stable life after ending an abusive relationship.

Some Million Miles is co-directed by Jared Ragland and Adam Forrester, produced with support from an Indie Grits Rural Project grant, and is distributed by PBS. The film is the winner of the Reel South SHORT Award at the 2019 Sidewalk Film Festival and was a finalist for the Best Director award at the 2020 Oregon Documentary Film Festival.

Directors: Jared Ragland and Adam Forrester
Producers: Emily Wirt and the Indie Grits Rural Project
Cinematography: Adam Forrester
Field Sound Recording: Jared Ragland
Editors: Jared Ragland and Adam Forrester
Sound Design: Dan Marshall
Color Correction: Jeff Spott

Official Selections // Screenings:
  • Distributed online at PBS via Real South, 2020-2022
  • Oregon Documentary Film Festival, Portland, OR, October 11-12, 2020
  • Social Justice Film Festival, Seattle, WA, October 1-11, 2020, online due to COVID-19
  • Montgomery Film Festival, Montgomery, AL, July 24-26, 2020, online due to COVID-19
  • George Lindsey UNA Film Festival, Florence, AL, March 5, 2020, 3pm, University of North Alabama
  • Carrboro Film Festival, Carrboro, NC, November 16, 2019, 2:30pm, ArtsCenter
  • DOC NYC, New York, NY, November 13, 2019, 5pm, Cinepolis Chelsea
  • Rome International Film Festival, Rome GA, November 8, 2019, 10:30am, DeSoto Theatre
  • Sidewalk Film Festival, Birmingham, AL, August 24, 2019, 3:15pm, Alabama School of Fine Arts; encore August 25, 2019,  4pm, Sidewalk Cinema and Film Center
  • NH Docs, New Haven, CT, June 1, 2019, 3:30pm, New Haven Free Public Library
  • Indie Grits Film Festival, Columbia, SC, March 28, 2019, 7pm, Nickelodeon Theatre; encore March 30, 5pm, Columbia Museum of Art


SOME MILLION MILES private screener.


SOME MILLION MILES related reading:

  • Heith Copes and Jared Ragland. “Caught In-Between: A Video Essay of Masculine Identity and Meth Use in the Rural South.” Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology, forthcoming. 
  • Heith Copes, Whitney Tchoula, and Jared Ragland. “Ethically Representing Drug Use: Photographs and Ethnographic Research with People Who Use Methamphetamine.” Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology, Fall 2019, Volume 8, Issue 1: 21-35. 
  • Heith Copes, Whitney Marsh, Fiona Brookman, and Jared Ragland. “Photo-elicitation Interviews with Vulnerable Populations: Practical and Ethical Considerations.” Deviant Behavior, 9: 388-401, 2018. 
  • Copes, Heith, Whitney Marsh, Jennifer Kim, Jared Ragland. “Symbolic Perceptions of Methamphetamine: Differentiating between Ice and Shake.” International Journal of Drug Policy, January 2018, Volume 51. 
  • Copes, Heith, Jared Ragland. “Considering the Implicit Meanings in Photographs in Narrative Criminology.” Crime Media Culture, 12: 271August 2016. DOI: 10.1177/1741659015623599
  • Copes, Heith. “Hvordan jeg blev taget i at vaer dum: Mit feltarbejde på Sand Mountain, Alabama” (“Caught Being Stupid: My Fieldwork on Sand Mountain, Alabama”). STOF, 28, Summer 2017. Translated into Danish by Sebastien Tutenges. 
  • Catherine Wilkins. “Foreign Domestic: Identification and Differentiation as Pedagogical Strategy in Good Bad People.” Focal Plane, July 2016.