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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April 12, 2010

“The River Why” Wins at Ashland Indie Film Fest!

Best Cinematography Award, Ashland Independent Film Festival

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 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

April 1, 2010

Behind-the-Scenes of “The River Why” Green Program

The River Why was managed and produced by Steel Head Films, based out of Marin County, California. Shot on location in Portland, Oregon, the filming took place in areas surrounding Portland, Wilson River and neighboring communities over a 1-month period from June – July 2008.

The River Why was a small size production of approximately 100 people incorporating small crews, cast, extras and other resources including Location & Unit Crews, Production Office, Transport and Logistics, Special Effects, Art and Construction and Catering Services.

The producers of the film made a commitment towards sustainable production practices, so throughout the project, Steel Head Films and Ambush Entertainment granted Reel Green Media consultants access to key departments, shooting locations, waste management monitoring and water management. The outcomes of the green filmmaking program are detailed in a Green Report.

The green program concentrated all departments with an emphasis on water systems and recycling management. Improvements for reducing, reusing and recycling waste types and quantities were recommended for having a smaller carbon and waste footprint. Key changes included:

  • using a film-less digital camera
  • using Biodiesel, bikes and carpooling for transportation
  • serving local/organic food and sharing the leftovers at the end of the day
  • scouting fewer locations
  • and, occasionally, encouraging the crew to camp on location when possible!

As a result, there was approximately a daily 40-50% diversion rate of solid waste throughout the production of The River Why.

The quest to “green” the production of The River Why is portrayed in GREENLIT, 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). Check out 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.

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  Contact: Kristi Denton Cohen c/o Peloton Productions
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