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 ...  
The River Why on Facebook The River Why on Facebook
  STORY GALLERY CREW SCREENINGS TRAILER ORDER

April 5, 2010

First Review: “‘The River Why’ is lovely, under-stated filmmaking”

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

March 31, 2010

Is it possible to make a film “green”?

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.

The River Why on Facebook The River Why on Facebook Blog Press About Us Contact
  Contact: Kristi Denton Cohen c/o Peloton Productions
38 Miller Ave. #488, Mill Valley, CA 94941  |  415.699.0697