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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  STORY GALLERY CREW SCREENINGS TRAILER ORDER

July 1, 2013

The River Why on Showtime

HI All,

Check out The River Why on Showtime this month.  And check out our stars:  Zach Gilford, Amber Heard, Kathleen Quinlan, Dallas Roberts, William Devane and William Hurt.

http://www.sho.com/sho/movies/titles/138884/the-river-why#/airings/138884/the-river-why

Enjoy the film!

Kristi

December 31, 2012

Happy New Year to All!

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.”

November 11, 2010

The River Why in St. Louis, MO

HI All,

The St. Louis International Film Festival opens tonight.  It’s a great fest.

The River Why is screening there on Saturday, November 20 at 4:15 pm, at the Tivoli.

Saw a review by Alice Telios, of PLAYBACK:stl.com, today:

“(Director Matthew) Leutwyler may be able to turn any city slicker into a lover of the outdoors.”

City slicker, or not – be sure to check it out!

November 8, 2010

“The River Why” wins Audience Award!

Last night, the Naples International Film Festival presented director, Matthew Leutwyler, the Audience Award for “The River Why”!

Many thanks to the Naples audience and to NIFF.  This is terrific!

November 1, 2010

Three Great Film Festivals this weekend!

Hi All,

Three great events coming up this weekend – and three great opportunities in three different places to see the film, greet our star who plays “Gus” , Zach Gilford, meet our director, Matthew Leutwyler and support a good cause.

Zach Gilford will be appearing at the Savannah Film Festival on November 5 at 9:30 pm for a special screening of “The River Why.  http://filmfest.scad.edu/event/the-river-why/

That same night, a little further south, our director/editor Matthew Leutwyler will be appearing at the Naples International Film Festival in Florida for a screening November 5 at 8 pm.  The film will screen again on November 6 at 12 pm and on November 7 at 11:30 a.m.  http://naples.bside.com/2010/films/theriverwhy_matthewleutwyler_naples2010

The filmmakers of “The River Why” donated 25 tickets to veterans from Walter Reed Hospital who are participating in Project Healing Waters so they could see the film when it screens at the Alexandria Film Festival (Virginia), November 6  at 7 pm.   Project Healing Waters is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.  For tickets, please go to: http://alexandriafilm.org/schedule/

Have fun,

Kristi

October 12, 2010

Some history on making “The River Why”

Hi All,

This was recently posted by Atissa Manshouri on the Mill Valley Patch.   It will give you some background on how the film came to life.  Thanks for the post, Atissa.

http://millvalley.patch.com/articles/mvff-the-river-why-runs-back-to-mill-valley

For Tom and Kristi Denton Cohen, the Mill Valley Film Festival is more than just a cherished hometown event. It’s where they first met in 1983 (she as a volunteer, he as a filmmaker), where they live and where they will finally screen their feature film The River Why, a labor of love that’s taken more than 20 years to reach the screen.

The film is based on David James Duncan’s novel of the same name, a cult favorite ranked 35th on the San Francisco Chronicle’s list of 100 best books about the American West. The story of young fly-fisherman Gus Orviston’s coming-of-age and his quest for self-knowledge on the banks of a remote Oregon river has developed a wide following in the years since the Sierra Club first published it in 1982.

Bringing the novel to the screen has been a passion project for the Cohens for over twenty years.

A director (Hungry I Reunion, 1981) and producer (Massive Retaliation, 1984), Tom Cohen optioned the novel and wrote his first version of a screen adaptation soon after it was published. By the time he and Kristi married in 1987, it was meaningful enough to them both to include lines from the script in their wedding vows.

But a bad economy in the late 80s and the surprise success of another fly-fishing film, A River Runs Through It, in 1992, derailed the project. Tom moved forward with his career as an attorney and Kristi with hers as a director and producer of documentary, corporate and nonprofit films.

In 2002, she directed and co-produced Vertical Frontier (MVFF 2002), a documentary about the history of rock climbing in Yosemite narrated by Tom Brokaw, winning several awards from outdoor and mountain film festivals. Her success with that film encouraged the couple to give The River Why one more shot.

With a revised script co-written by John Jay Osborn, Jr. (The Paper Chase) in hand, Kristi and Tom set about finding an experienced LA-based production company, a strategy she learned from attending a Sundance Independent Producers Conference.

She met Jun Tan, a producer with Ambush Entertainment, at a film industry gathering in San Francisco, and he connected her with LA-based Matthew Leutwyler, a Redwood High School graduate who just happened to have read and loved the novel while spending time in Australia. He came on board as the film’s director.

A stroke of good fortune followed. Academy Award winning actor William Hurt – a fly fisherman himself who lives in Oregon – agreed to a supporting role in the film.

“He’s been absolutely tremendous,” Denton Cohen said. “When people hear that he’s involved with the film, it gives a certain credibility right away.”

Finding a natural outdoorsman to play the role of lead character Gus Orvitson was vital, and the filmmakers recalled an Outside magazine profile of up-and-coming young actor Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), who led wilderness adventure trips and counted ice climbing among his hobbies.

“There’s a certain movement that you have in the wilderness that just can’t be faked… it comes through in the body language and the eyes,” Denton Cohen said of Gilford’s comfort in the film’s setting. “Zach had that.”

Production took place in July 2008 on Oregon’s Wilson River and Portland, with a cast that includes William Devane, Amber Heard, and Mill Valley native Kathleen Quinlan, and a crew made up of many Marin-based colleagues.

Denton Cohen felt a strong responsibility to shoot the film in the greenest way possible, not only because of the author’s commitment to the wilderness and the novel’s environmental and naturalist themes, but because she had also become painfully aware of the excessive waste produced on most film shoots.

The producers’ sometimes funny and often frustrating efforts are documented in the short film Greenlit, an enlightening companion piece to The River Why that reveals the many obstacles the filmmakers faced in shooting green.

Although shepherding the film from the page to the screen required over twenty years’ worth of blood, sweat and tears for this Mill Valley couple, Denton Cohen said the struggle has been well worth it.

“If this film makes people stop looking at their handheld devices… just stop and look at a river for a moment, I’ll be happy,” she said. “It’s certainly had its ups and downs, but it’s not just your typical Hollywood film. It takes people to a place they haven’t been before.”

The film had its world premiere at the Dallas International Film Festival in April, but for Denton Cohen and her husband, the hometown screenings here will be “a real celebration… It’s a really good feeling to be here.”

April 15, 2010

Video from the Red Carpet at Dallas Int’l Film Festival

Check out this video (featuring Zach Gilford, Kathleen Quinlan, director Matthew Leutwyler, and Screenwriter Tom Cohen) from the Red Carpet Premiere of The River Why at the Dallas International Film Festival.

Note: the cast and crew appear about 5 minutes in.

The final screening at the DIFF is TONIGHT at 7:00pm.  Tickets can be purchased at the door! For more info, visit: http://filmguide.dallasfilm.org/tixSYS/2010/xslguide/eventnote?EventNumber=3755&

April 14, 2010

Meet the Cast: William Devane

William Devan as Dutch on set for "The River Why".

William Devane plays “Dutch”, a bumbling fishing reporter in The River Why.   Mr. Devane became widely known for his ten years as the villainous Greg Sumner on the drama series Knots Landing and his role as President Kennedy in the TV film about the Cuban missile crisis, The Missiles of October. He appeared in the films McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Marathon Man, The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, Testament, Payback and Space Cowboys.  He has also appeared on the television series The West Wing and 24.

Mr. Devane is expected to walk the Red Carpet at the World Premiere of The River Why at the Dallas International Film Festival on April 14, 2010.  Zach Gilford and Kathleen Quilan will also be there. You can purchase tickets here.

April 13, 2010

Amber Heard receives Shining Star Award in Dallas

Amber Heard as Eddy on set for "The River Why".

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.

Congratulations, Amber!

Reflections from the AIFF

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.

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  Contact: Kristi Denton Cohen c/o Peloton Productions
38 Miller Ave. #488, Mill Valley, CA 94941  |  415.699.0697