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Steve Robitaille, “Ocklawaha: Tales My Father Told”

John and his Dad cruising the river.
John and his Dad cruising the river.

This episode features a new documentary entitled “Ocklawaha Tales My Father Told.” It’s a symphonic poem by John Gottsch that focuses on his boyhood memories on the mystical Ocklawaha River. It tells the tale of a river and the people that were yearning to be free. The film features Gottsch’s symphony, the cinematography of Ocala-based filmmaker Mark Emery and narration by the renowned Peter Coyote.

Producer and writer Steve Robitaille shares his experiences collaborating with the composer on narration and exploring the theme that both nature and humans residing along the river aspire to be free. The film includes a diverse cast that explores the various culture and histories impacting the river including Seminole Indians and enslaved Blacks who were freed after the Civil War. The film was edited by Emmy Award-winner Dan Bramm and is followed by a 30-minute program focusing on the making of the film with a Q & A from PK Yonge Laboratory School students.

The documentary premieres Wednesday, March 20 at 8 p.m. on WUFT-TV 5.1.

Sue is the host of Tell Me About It and the voice of Health in a Heartbeat.
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