A 2010 summer retreat in McCall resulted in the making of Among Ravens, the often funny and sometimes heartbreaking consideration of the American middle class.
"It's based on a real event, four summers ago," writer, co-director and co-star Russell Friedenberg told Boise Weekly. "Family and friends were spending a weekend on the lake, and in the middle of our weekend, in comes this stranger. He was a very nice person, but a little off rhythm. I always thought that how we chose to react to him and each other would make a great script."
Fast forward to the summer of 2012, when Friedenberg returned to the shore of Payette Lake, this time with co-director Randy Redroad to film the story of how a stranger comes into a group of friends, and changes their lives one-by-one.
"I always wanted to write something about the state of the union of my peers and contemporaries," Friedenberg told BW.
And now, two summers later, Friedenberg says he's particularly excited that Among Ravens will be screened at The Flicks, not far from the Boise home he shares with wife (and co-producer) Heather Rae and daughter (and co-star) Johnny Sequoyah. The Idaho screening comes after an international premiere at the Galway (Ireland) Film Festival and distribution in New York and Los Angeles.
"I couldn't be happier. Think of this: There were probably 3,000 films made in the U.S. last year and only 6 percent of them got distribution," he told BW. "We made a film that has been picked up for domestic and international distribution and, more importantly, resonates with the audiences."
And Friedenberg insists that Among Ravens is definitely not a "critic's movie."
"The literati aren't coming into the theater with an open heart. They're coming with a pen and paper, looking for a way to deconstruct the film in the smarmiest, socially political way possible," he said. "This is an audience film."