Friday night Main Street Cinema 8 was one of only a few select theaters in Missouri to host the state's opening of 'WaterWalk,' a new independent film that was shot on location in Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri.

"It's a beautiful tale," said Assistant Director James Sparling, who attended the Hannibal premiere. "It's a tale about a father and son who have been a bit distant as the father's been working, and the son is just finishing his college and decides he wants to reconnect with his dad, and he comes up with this crazy idea to recreate the journey of Father Marquette and Joliet the fur trader."

Part of that trip brings the characters down the Mississippi, past Hannibal, which is featured in a short sequence of the film. "Some of my favorite favorite shots from the movie were shot around here on the river and in the town," said Sparling.

'WaterWalk' is showing nightly at 7pm, through Thursday, at Main Street Cinema 8.


'WaterWalk' is an ambitious project. Assistant Director James Sparling describes the film as a "5 million dollar movie that we did awful lot less than that."

Much of the the project, technically is very good. The photography rarely looks low-budget, though there are a few issues here and there with the quality of the audio that were slightly distracting.

Without a doubt, the strongest aspect of WaterWalk was the interaction between the main characters. Both lead actors were completely believable in their roles and there is some terrific humor and memorable moments between the two.

The weakest portion of the film is the inclusion of too many unnecessary scenes and subplots. It may be an instance of filmmakers trying too hard to preserve every little detail of the book from which the movie was adapted. Many of these scenes were perfectly fine, enjoyable and outright funny independently, but when put all together fail to advance the plot, and drag down the main narrative.

'WaterWalk' is impressive for the level of quality that has been achieved with the limited resources of an independent film. There is more good in the movie than bad, but it is a film that needs to be more focused.

Assistant Director James Sparling stands next to the poster for WaterWalk at Hannibal's Main Street Cinema 8
Assistant Director James Sparling

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