(with special guest Mike Ramsdell)
Documentary Filmmaker and Director, "The Russian Five"
May 15, 2019 (Segment One)
THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB...
When you make your first sports documentary as a filmmaker and director you don’t automatically assume it’s going to be both a classic of the genre, and a ground breaking creative gem to boot. But then again, most filmmakers aren’t Josh Riehl.
A native of Port Huron, Josh grew up watching the Detroit Red Wings win Stanley Cups, and he generated a fondness and love of hockey, The Red Wings, and the city of Detroit. Most especially he recognized the truly unique element of those legendary teams--the presence of five Russian players roaming the ice simultaneously.
So when he started thinking about making a film documenting this incredible story, he knew he had to do it, and do it right.
And do it he did! The film not only captures the spirit of the team and the times, it does so in a very dramatic, entertaining and captivating manner. The Flint connection to the story and the film runs deep.
Not only is Flint geographically close to the epicenter of the story in Detroit, it’s also the place where Flintstone, and Flint Northern Viking John Wharton manned the Trainers vest for the team and participated on much of the on and off ice drama that became the fabric of the story.
Indeed, the roots of the project touch Flint and “ Fish and The Flint Chronicles” in a myriad of ways. Wharton and I not only did a radio show together, but we hosted a question and answer session during the Flint area premiere of the film held at the historic Flint Capitol Theater.
During the second showing at The Capitol I was privileged to share the stage with Josh and Film Producer Jenny Petrovic and it was a smashing success. I was taken by Josh’s commitment, energy and dedication to telling a GREAT STORY. And boy did he ever.
From the great interviews to the innovative animation, the in-depth storytelling, and the overall charisma of the movie that leads to loud cheering during the film, it’s a tour de force of documentary filmmaking, sports storytelling, and Michigan-based history all rolled up in to one beautiful RED package.
Next up for Josh is another project with truly exceptional and deep Flint ties. He wants to tackle the Flint Sit-Down Strike story, and he intends to do it with the same skill and beauty that he brought to the "The Russian Five". If he can pull that off, he’ll undoubtedly etch his own name in the pantheon of people who have taken the Flint story to the world stage and came back with the accolades due to one who keeps the fires of story and history burning bright in The Vehicle City.