Down Down The Deep River marks the directorial debut of Will Sheff, lead singer
and songwriter for Okkervil River. Shot in Sheff’s hometown over one year with
local non-actors, the dreamy, dialogue-free short film is a story of childhood,
imagination, alienation, and loss as two young boys form a friendship and spur
the unfolding strange events in 1980s small town New Hampshire.
Impeccable art direction brings magic to nostalgic, dreamlike, fictionalized
representations of Sheff’s own childhood memories, filtering them through the
aesthetics of the cornerstone children’s fantasy films of the era — E.T., Explorers,
and The Goonies to name a few.
Sheff scored the film to a musical landscape drawn from his band’s song “Down
Down the Deep River” from their 2013 album The Silver Gymnasium