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MHS graduate stars in independent film

Movie will be in local theater next week

October 18, 2009

Craig Luttrell is coming home - and so is his movie.

The 1996 Marshalltown HIgh School graduate stars in the movie "The River Within," which will be shown Oct. 23 through 29 at the Plaza 9 theater in Marshalltown.

The movie was being made by Luttrell's friend, Zac Heath, who asked him to be a part of it.

Article Photos

Craig Luttrell, right, is a 1996 Marshalltown High School graduate and stars in the film “The River Within,” which will be shown at the Plaza 9 theater in Marshalltown Oct. 23 through 29.

Luttrell has always been interested in acting and was involved in community theater and school plays growing up in Marshalltown.

He will be coming back to at least catch the first two days the film is shown locally.

"I'm proud of this film and I'm glad I get to share it with some important people from my past," Luttrell said.

The Christian movie centers around a character who comes home to study for the bar exam and reconnects with people from his hometown. Luttrell plays a friend from the main character's past.

Jennifer Daniel, pastor at Conrad United Methodist Church, was responsible for getting the movie to be shown locally as she worked with Plaza 9.

"I personally have seen the movie and feel its message is imperative and timely for the church and is inspiring

for all believers and unbelievers," Daniel said. "My family laughed and cried as we saw this movie. It had a strong salvation message and a strong message to reach out to those who are hurting."

Luttrell said the movie was made for about $34,000 - which is very cheap even for low-budget films - but said it does not look like it is low-budget.

It was filmed in Arkansas last summer and has been shown at about 12 theaters in the country.

"I told Craig you need to show it in your hometown," Daniel said.

Luttrell is currently is working on his master's degree in divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky.

He said he is not sure about what he wants to do in the future but does not see himself pursuing acting full-time.

There are plans to have Heath direct another film and Luttrell plans to be a part of that.


Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or



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