The Snake River and Moscow native Joel Courtney are two stars in the film “The River Thief” premiering Thursday in Moscow.The independent movie is the directorial debut of Nate Wilson, a Moscow-based author and fellow of literature at New St. Andrews College. It was shot over 10 days in Lewiston, Moscow and Pullman in 2014, said the film’s production manager, Margeaux Wintz.
“There’s a lot of local businesses featured in the film,”
Wintz said, naming the Effie Tavern in Lewiston and Zeppoz in Pullman.
Geared toward a young adult audience, “The River Thief” is based on a screenplay by Wilson and stars Courtney as a teenage drifter and thief who settles in a small river town where he falls for a young waitress. He steals from the wrong people and the right people and is pursued to the end by both. It also stars Johnny Cash’s brother, Tommy Cash and MMA champion Bas Rutten.
Courtney was raised in Moscow where he attended Logos School. In 2011, when he was 15, he had his acting debut in the film “Super 8,” directed by J.J. Abrams. Since then he’s appeared in films and TV series including “Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn,” “Dear Eleanor” and “The Messengers.” Wintz said he is currently on location for a film in South Africa.
“The River Thief” was produced by Gorilla Poet Productions, a Moscow-based film company created by Wilson and Aaron Rench of Moscow. Writing as N.D. Wilson, Wilson is the author of several fiction books for middle school readers, including the “100 Cupboards” trilogy and his most recent novel “Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle,” released by HarperCollins last spring.
The 90-minute film will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu and other platforms through on-demand services nationwide Friday, Oct. 14, Wintz said. It will also be shown in some theaters nationwide but its Moscow screening will only be Thursday, she said. Eventually it will be available on Netflix, DVD and Blu-ray.
If You Go
What: “The River Thief”
When: 4, 6:30 and 8:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13
Where: Village Centre Cinemas at Eastside, Moscow
Cost: Regular movie theater prices apply.
Of Note: The film will be available via on demand services starting Friday.