A big congratulations goes out to Zach Gilford (“Gus” in The River Why) and Kiele Sanchez who were married this past weekend in Napa, CA. They are two really terrific people and one heck of a fun and wonderful couple. Here’s to many years of happiness and great adventures.
And many thanks for your support for our film. We love hearing from you. A few examples below……
“Wow, What a movie! You don’t have to like fly fishing to love this movie. Wow, What a movie!”
“Fantastic movie for anyone who has a philosophical bone in their body, a passion for a hobby/sport, and loves beauty. The film swept me away and is now on my list of favorite movies. In an age where so many movies are insultingly stupid and obnoxious, this is refreshingly thoughtful, the cinematography unforgettable and every bit is believable – not just because of the talented actors but a genuinely good story. Although I thought it was a romance when I put it in my queue, it is SO much more! And yet the romantic portion of the film was integral and so very well done. I highly recommend!!”
“Never read the book, but if the movie was this good then the book should be sublime. So, I guess I’ll have to fit the book in somewhere. For me the movies works on a number of levels: coming of age and into yourself along with finding out who that might be, figuring out who you really are beyond who you thought you were, and of course, a nice love story. Two love stories actually as you find later a depth to the parent’s relationship that folks can be excused for missing early on. If you aren’t contemplative type and you can’t appreciate that learning is experiential, therefore takes time and well, experiences, then you may not enjoy the movie as much.”
“This really is a wonderful treasure. Thank god for independent movies. It was the perfect movie for me this day as Im feeling the changes of early Fall. Im in Maine and walk everyday a few miles thru woods and ponds and huge river. I think that is when this story snatched me in and I was hooked. Anyhow I loved this great story that just chugged along and got better and better. Also a happy end is something I like. Maybe some people didn’t care for it because they are locked into the city world. I prefer being locked here by father mother nature. Sad so many people so seldom connect back with nature. If you love a story told in a rural area you will like this movie. I really didn’t want it to end. All the actors were right on the mark which really is another reason to watch. I hope you do.”
Be sure to check out Amber Heard’s new film, “Drive Angry -3D”. Starring Nicholas Cage, it’s a wild ride and she’s getting great reviews. www.driveangry3d.com
We’re just back from the Sedona International Film Festival and the Geography of Hope Film Festival. All screenings were sold out and we got a great response from the audiences. Both festivals wrap this weekend, so if you’re any where near Sedona, AZ or Point Reyes, CA , I hope you have a chance to go. Great festivals, good people and gorgeous scenery.
And lastly, here’s an interview done during the Mill Valley Film Festival with yours truly:
Using a river as a metaphor for life is nothing new. Many books and films (think A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT) have made use of this strong and compelling image. The winding path of water, sometimes running fast with rapids, other times eddying into quiet pools and lagoons, teaming with a variety of river life, and so on. The potential for symbolism is endless. The new film THE RIVER WHY can safely be added to this long list. Beginning as a slow and thoughtful hodgepodge of philosophical ideas, the movie ultimately becomes a sweet-natured love story.
Zach Gilford (TVs FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) is Gus, a young man living under the double weight of his father’s minor but overbearing fame as a fisherman & author, and his mother’s constant bickering with his father. When they argue, he says, “it’s not who’s getting the last word, but who’s getting the next word. One day, he decides he’s had enough and leaves to live in his own place by the river, so he can do what he loves: fish. What starts out as an ode to angling, though, soon begins taking detours into the philosophy of religion and life, tossing off lines like, “The way that goes ahead often looks as if it went back.” But after meandering along in its first half like a slow current, this RIVER hits its stride in the second half as the banks narrow, and we even get some rapids (sorry, too much?) as the romance carries the movie to its emotionally satisfying conclusion.
Director Matthew Leutwyler (THE OH IN OHIO, another nice love story driven by offbeat characterization) effectively intercuts the lure and beauty of nature with the fine performances of his excellent cast. Gilford is funny and appealing as the awkward Gus. Veterans William Hurt and Kathleen Quinlan are simply wonderful as his parents, creating memorable characters from small parts that could have easily tipped into caricature. William Devane provides some much-needed humor as a grizzled journalist and fishing enthusiast who befriends Gus. And Amber Heard (literally miles away from her roles in ZOMBIELAND and PINEAPPLE EXPRESS) shines in perhaps the most pivotal role in the film, as the girl of Gus’s dreams. This talented young actress has shown such range in her performances, stardom has to be just around the corner.
Although it may take some patience on the part of the viewer, THE RIVER WHY, like a sunny afternoon spent fishing in a shady pool, will eventually yield its own small rewards.
Great news! Amber Heard, who plays “Eddy” in The River Why, received the Dallas Shining Start Award on April 10, 2010 at the Dallas International Film Festival. According to IMDb:
Heard’s “Shining Star” was created with an eye toward celebrating actors, filmmakers, and film artists who have delivered exceptional performances or works on film in their brief careers as well as exhibiting the potential for greater achievements to come. “We couldn’t have found a better person to receive the inaugural DALLAS Shining Star Award,” said DALLAS IFF Artistic Director James Faust. “Amber has put together an incredible string of films in a few short years and is obviously just getting warmed up. We know that we’ll be able to proudly say we were among the first to officially recognize what was on the horizon for Amber Heard.“
Click here if you’d like to see some raw footage of Ms. Heard accepting her award.
Amber is a rising star who plays the lead role (and title character) in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. Ms. Heard is the female lead in Pineapple Express (opposite Seth Rogen and James Franco), The Informers (with Billy Bob Thornton and Wynona Ryder) and The River Why (with Zach Gilford). She is currently starring with Johnny Depp in The Rum Diaries and with Nicholas Cage in Angry Driver.