Where the Red Fern Grows
Based on the 1961 children's novel by Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows is a family-oriented drama four years in the making. This project is co-directed by Lyman Dayton, who also adapted the screenplay and produced the 1974 filmed version. The story involves 12-year-old Billy Coleman (Joseph Ashton), who lives in the Ozark mountains with his mother, Jenny (Renee Faia), and father, Will (Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band). Billy's grandfather (Dabney Coleman) encourages him to save money to buy a hunting dog. For two years, Billy does odd jobs in order to save the money. When he finally gets enough, he buys two puppies and names them Old Dan and Little Ann. Billy eventually trains them to become hunting dogs and enters the Fall Hunting Competition. Also starring Kris Kristofferson and Ned Beatty. Even though principal photography started in 1999, Where the Red Fern Grows didn't premiere until the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival due to numerous production difficulties and law suits.