What happens to a town that loses its heart?

Swannanoa, a small town in the mountains of North Carolina, was once home to Beacon Blankets, the largest manufacturer of blankets in the world. Blanket Town chronicles the rise and fall of this company town, which was entirely built around the “big red thumping heart” of the mill.

It is a huge story -- the rise and collapse of US manufacturing -- told small. This complex and urgent history comes alive through amazing archival footage, interwoven with the voices of former mill workers and townspeople -- rich and poor, white and black, male and female -- who speak with honest emotion and humor.

Since 1992, almost 70% of North Carolina’s textile and apparel jobs have disappeared. Through one fascinating and moving case study, Blanket Town brings viewers a deep personal understanding of complex economic and social forces that shaped our industrial past and our uncertain present.


Rebecca Williams (Director and Editor) is a theater director, writer and oral historian with a long history of working with communities across the country, assisting them to collect and tell their own stories. Co-founder of the multi-disciplinary performance company, Serpent Child Ensemble, her work has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Alternate ROOTS, NC Arts and Humanities Councils, Oklahoma State Arts Council, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, the James L Knight Foundation, and others. She is a graduate of Old Dominion University, the Trinity Rep Conservatory, Rhode Island College, and Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. Blanket Town has received support from the North Carolina Humanities Council, the North Carolina Arts Council, and The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. `

Jim Haverkamp (Consulting Editor) is an award-winning filmmaker and editor based in Durham, NC. Jim’s short fiction and documentary films have screened around the world, including the London Underground Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, the American Dance Festival, and the Chicago Underground Film Festival. Jim has toured on the Southern Circuit of Independent Film, served as a juror for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and was co-organizer of the Strange Beauty Film Festival. Jim also teaches at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image.

Sam Scott (Cinematographer) has a decade of experience in commercial video production and documentary and narrative filmmaking. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UNC’s School of the Arts School of Filmmaking, with a concentration in cinematography.