April 13, 2010
Crowds wrapped around the historic Armory in Ashland, OR for the Ashland Independent Film Festival.
The staff and volunteers made the Ashland Independent Film Festival an incredible experience. They had the biggest attendance ever and handled everything with grace and warmth. Nearly 1,000 people saw “The River Why” between the two preview screenings.
On Saturday, I spoke on the Reel Woman panel with:
- Diane Bell (Director, Obselidia – which won Best Feature)
- Gloria La Morte (co-director, Entre Nos, which won the Audience Award and Best Acting Ensemble)
- Judith Ehrlich (Co-Director, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers – nominated for an Academy Award)
- Emiko Omori (Director, Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World)
- Anne Lundgren (Producer, Calvin Marshall)
- Sandy Cioffi (Director, Sweet Crude)
They were such an inspiring group with amazing experiences and insight. I was honored to sit beside them.
My birthday was Friday and the audience sang “Happy Birthday” to me. Hard to top that! Saturday came close because a number of people from the crew were at that screening and I loved seeing all of them again.
All in all, it was a great way to start our film festival circuit with a special preview as a “Thank you” to Oregon.
-Kristi Denton Cohen
Producer, The River Why
P.S. To see more pictures from the festival, please visit our Facebook Fan Page.
Cast and crew of "The River Why" celebrate the Special Preview at AIFF 2010.
April 12, 2010
The "Best Cinematography, The Gerald Hirschfeld, ASC Award: Feature" Award
I’m pleased to announce The River Why won the “Best Cinematography, The Gerald Hirschfeld, ASC Award: Feature” Award last night at the Ashland Independent Film Festival! This is a wonderful honor and very meaningful since we filmed The River Why in Oregon, along the Wilson River in Portland, in 2008.
We’ll post more pictures and updates from the festival soon, but we had to share the great news.
To see the full list of Awardees, please visit the Ashland Independent Film Festival‘s web site.
Thank you, Ashland!
-The Cast and Crew of “The River Why”
April 6, 2010
Kathleen Quilan on set with WIlliam Hurt in "The River Why".
Kathleen Quinlan plays Zach Gilford’s mother in The River Why. Ms. Quinlan made her film debut in George Lucas’ 1973 nostalgic look at the early sixties, American Graffiti. She has appeared in over 50 films, but is best known for her roles as Deborah in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress, and for her Golden Globe and Oscar nominated role as Marilyn Lovell in 1995′s Apollo 13.
Kathleen plans to join us for the World Premiere of The River Why at the Dallas International Film Festival April 14, 2010.
You can also catch Kathleen’s performance in The River Why on:
We’ll announce more screenings as the confirmations arrive. Thanks for all the support!
April 5, 2010
April 5, 2010–The Easter Bunny delivered some “egg-cellent” news yesterday! Our first write up by the Ashland Mail Tribune.
Journalist Bill Varble wrote:
It’s heartening to see the overall quality of the work being done by independent filmmakers around the world. That quality will be on display in our little corner of the world, as the annual Ashland Independent Film Festival gets under way Thursday.
The big little indie fest this year again boasts some extraordinary films among its 81 entries. And almost everything is at least worth seeing. Contrast this with a typical week’s crop of Hollywood commercial fare, which often leaves you scratching for a movie worth seeing.
Here are some thumbnail reflections…
“The River Why,” feature, 101 minutes
Producer Kristi Denton Cohen waited 20 years to make a beautiful film based on David James Duncan’s iconic coming-of-age fishing novel set in Oregon, and the wait was worth it. Gus Orviston, 20, leaves his fishing, bickering parents’ home to live in a cabin on the river and order his life so that he can fish 141/2 hours a day.
Gotta be bliss, right? Wrong. He’s soon frustrated and lost. But the right guides turn up at just the right moments as Gus moves toward awareness.
This is lovely, understated filmmaking. Director Matthew Leutwyler wisely lets his camera and his actors, including the eye-popping Wilson River near Portland, (this is one of those stories in which the environment is a character) tell the story. When it looks this easy, you know it was hard work indeed.
Although the cinematography is stunning, the producer says it’s still a work in progress, and she allowed it to be shown as a thank-you to Oregon. The final version will reportedly be yet more beautiful.
To read the rest of Varble’s reviews, please click here.
Also appearing at the Ashland Independent Film Festival is “Greenlit”, the behind-the-scenes documentary of The River Why‘s attempt to “green” the film production. The 12:00 noon April 10th showing of “Greenlit” will be followed by a panel discussion including “Greenlit” director Bailey and “River Why” green consultant Lauren Selman. Bill Vabler suggests “The ideal would be to see ‘[The] River Why,’ then see ‘Greenlit,’ then stay for the discussion.” We agree, Bill!
You can catch The River Why at 12:00noon on April 9th and 6:00pm April 10th. Get your tickets here.
The Ashland Independent Film Festival runs Thursday, April 8, through Monday, April 12, at the Varsity Theatre and other Ashland locations with 81 films, plus parties, awards and special events. Most showings are $10. See www.ashlandfilm.org for more information.
UPDATE: While you’re at the AIFF, here are a few other events you may enjoy:
- “Reel Women” Panel with Producer Kristi Denton Cohen: 10:30am, April 10, 2010.
- “It Ain’t Easy Being Green” Panel, following the screening of “Greenlit“, which documents The River Why’s attempt to “green” its film production: Screening starts at 12:00noon, April 10, 2010
Both events listed here: http://www.ashlandfilm.org/FilmBlocks.asp?Date=4/10/2010&clicktime=23:14:29
April 2, 2010
I saw a vast array of April Fool’s jokes played out on Facebook and Twitter yesterday–married friends changing their status to “single”, then being caught by their wives; HootSuite announcing that is was going to start beta testing a 3D version–but one of my favorites was a blog post by Tom Chandler on The Trout Underground: Fly Fishing’s Independent Voice. Chandler seemed to take a page out of The Onion on April 1, 2010 when he wrote “Underground Breaking News: Even Trout Think Fly Fishing’s Whole ‘How To’ Genre Way, Way Overdone“.
The seemingly endless desire on the part of fly fishermen for detailed “how-to” fly fishing articles has riled the world’s trout, whose contempt for anglers has reached a boiling point.
“You’d think that sooner or later they’d get it, and just get their *sses out the door and go fly fishing,” said one Rainbow Trout, who refused to identify his location out of fear that “every noob with a bobbicator would show up and start setting the hook at the end of each drift – just like they’d read”…
Chandler goes on to “interview” more trout, but a Westslope Cutthroat trout sums it up best when he said, “Do you sad, pathetic losers really need an article outlining strategies for untangling your leader?… I’m surprised Dr. Seuss isn’t fly fishing’s leading writer,” before getting distracted by something shiny and swimming off.
To read more of Chandler’s post, please visit The Trout Underground.
And while you’re in the fishing mood, be sure you get your tickets to The River Why:
March 31, 2010
Even before production began on The River Why, Producer Kristi Denton Cohen had a vision to make the film as socially responsible and “green” as possible. Every year thousands of films are produced in the United States, but each production requires transportation, catering, wardrobe, set construction, and lots and lots of paperwork. The California Film Commission wrote the Green Resource Guide to give filmmakers some tips on how to “green” their productions, but few have tried to implement a green policy on set…until now.
Ms. Denton Cohen wanted The River Why, the coming of age the story of Gus Orviston, the “Mozart of fly fishing”, who leaves home to find himself –and fishing bliss–along the banks of a wild river, to be different.
“Every attempt to be as ‘green’ as possible was made during production – which means sustainable production practices were incorporated as much as possible,” she writes. “This doesn’t mean it was easy, but it does mean nearly 6000 plastic water bottles were eliminated from use and there was approximately a daily 40-50% diversion rate of solid waste.” For more information on their Green Report, visit: http://http://www.theriverwhy.com/About/
Kristi’s quest to “green” the production of The River Why is portrayed in a documentary also screening at the Ashland Independent Film Festival and the Dallas International Film Festival. Directed by Miranda Bailey (Executive Producer on THE SQUID AND THE WHALE), GREENLIT follows the production of The River Why as the filmmakers attempt to keep an environmentally friendly set, thanks to the supervision of a “green” consultant. What starts off with great enthusiasm quickly devolves in this insightful and hilarious film about the difficulties of living up to good intentions. View the trailer here.
You can purchase tickets to the World Premiere of The River Why at the Dallas International Film Festival on April 14th at 7:30pm and April 15th at 7:00pm.
You can also catch a Special Preview “Thank you, Oregon” screening of The River Why at the Ashland Independent Film Festival on April 9th at 12:00noon and April 10th at 6:oopm.
March 30, 2010
Eddy, played by Amber Heard, on set of "The River Why".
Amber Heard plays “Eddy”, the feisty fish-loving girl that catches the eye of Gus (played by Zach Gilford) in The River Why. Ms. Heard is a rising star who played 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 also the female lead in Pineapple Express, opposite Seth Rogen and James Franco, and The Informers, with Billy Bob Thornton and Wynona Ryder. She is currently starring with Johnny Depp in The Rum Diaries and with Nicholas Cage in Angry Driver.
You can catch the The River Why at the Dallas International Film Festival (April 14 & 15, 2010) or the Newport Beach Film Festival (April 23, 2010). There are two Special Preview “Thank You, Oregon” Screenings at the Ashland Independent Film Festival (April 9-10).
Stay tuned for more festival and screening announcements!
March 24, 2010
As a special thank you to the state of Oregon, the producer of The River Why is offering two Special Preview “Thank You, Oregon” screenings at the 2010 Ashland Independent Film Festival. The screenings are scheduled for:
- Friday, April 9 at 12noon
- Saturday, April 10 at 6:00pm
For screening and ticket information, please visit the Ashland Independent Film Festival website.
Thank you, Oregon!