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Where the Red Fern Grows (2003)
I saw the film May 3, 2003 at it's World Premiere/Tribeca Film Festival, New York
I had the privilege of being at the World Premiere of "Where The Red Fern Grows" May 3, 2003 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. I have worked for three years to help bring the film out of the financial problems that has kept it from being finished and released. There were many others who dedicated so much of their time doing the same thing, one of which was not fortunate enough to make the credits, Julie Davis. We owe her great gratitude. There were so many who did all they could to see the film come to fruition. All believed in this film and the final product speaks for itself.
Joseph Ashton, who played the lead role Billy Coleman, did a fantastic job. I spoke with him at the premiere and, not only is he a great actor, but he is an extremely nice young man. Joseph definitely has a great future in the film business. Also the rest of the cast gave great performances. Dave Mathews was perfect in his role and showed that he too has a great future as an actor in the film biz if he so desires. A damned good job for the first time out.
Lyman Dayton, who was the producer on the 1974 version of "The Red Fern" was the beginning director/producer/screenplay writer of the new version. He was with it when it fell into financial troubles and tried constantly to save the film. I presented the film to a fine producer/businessman Bob Yari, and after a couple of years of various negotiations, he brought in Crusader Entertainment(who had tried to make a deal before) and the film was brought out of financial problems and made ready to finish. Sam Pillsbury, a well respected director, was brought in to finish "The Red Fern". Sam did a fantastic job finishing the film and taking it to the silver screen. The extraordinary contribution of these two great directors, that led to the finished product, can be seen and felt throughout the film.
At the premiere, everyone was struck by the emotions, humor, suspense, and the heart felt feelings experienced from this film. And at the end I will guarantee you that there was not a dry eye in the audience. Yes, "Where The Red Fern Grows" will finally be on the big screen, and is destined to be a Classic Family Film for many years to come. I am extremely proud to have the credit as one of the executive producers.
Wayne Mooneyhan Executive Producer