Peloton, Ambush and Stoptime present the river why
The River Why Movie
You can fish all your life never knowing
it's not fish you're after ...  
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March 29, 2010

Meet the Director: Matthew Leutwyler

Director Matthew Leutwyler directs the camera on the set of "The River Why".

Matthew Leutwyler was born in San Francisco where he studied film at the San Francisco Art Institute. Leutwyler’s first feature film was the black comedy Road Kill, produced on a $180,000 budget. The Daily Variety called Road Kill “A breezy entertaining ride… A jaunty trip with a good balance of dark comedy and legitimate drama.˝ The San Francisco Metropolitan called it ˝Clever˝ and the London newspaper, The Mirror, called it ˝A Four Star Classic!˝ Road Kill premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival where it won the Audience Choice Award for best feature film. As his follow-up, Leutwyler wrote, directed and edited the more personal romantic comedy This Space Between Us. The film˝s ensemble cast included Jeremy Sisto, Poppy Montgomery, Alex Kingston, Vanessa Marcil, Taylor Negron, Erik Palladino and Garry Marshall.

Leaving The Bay Area and moving to Los Angeles, Leutwyler co-founded the production company Ambush Entertainment. His first film for the company was the award winning comedy-horror-musical Dead & Breakfast starring Jeremy Sisto, Erik Palladino, Portia DiRossi, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Ever Carradine. Since then Ambush has executive produced The Academy Award nominated drama The Squid & The Whale, and produced the sexually charged comedy The Oh In Ohio starring Parker Posey, Paul Rudd, and Danny DeVito, the horror sci-fi Unearthed (also directed by Leutwyler), and the Matthew Broderick drama Wonderful World. Most recently Leutwyler has produced the comedy Lower Learning with Eva Longoria Parker, Jason Biggs, and Rob Corddry and directed the adaptation of the acclaimed novel The River Why starring Zach Gilford, Amber Heard, and William Hurt.  He is currently directing Answers to Nothing, starring Dane Cook and Elizabeth Mitchell.

Outside of his career as a filmmaker, Leutwyler has worked as a mentor with the Los Angeles based non-profit The Fulfillment Fund and as an industry professional volunteer working with East Los Angeles youths on short film productions for the Youth Employment Internship Program (YEIP).

Matthew Leutwyler on set with Zach Gilford and William Hurt.

Directors Statement:

Upon high school graduation I left on a trek to Australia and took along with me a softcover copy of The River Why. It was my constant companion on an adventure that included working on a dairy farm and fishing the various rivers and streams of Victoria’s high country. I must have read the book four or five times over the course of my journey, identifying closely with Gus’s departure from his home in pursuit of happiness in the wilderness. The book remained a favorite of mine over the years since I returned so naturally when the opportunity came to direct the film version it was a dream come true.

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