Nebraska filmmakers set to premiere movie series
shot along the Niobrara River

Free screening at The Ross - Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m


Contact: Tom Bouse at 402-310-2087; or Rebecca Rose at

(Lincoln, Neb.) Local independent film producers extend an invitation for outdoor enthusiasts and movie fans to experience the beauty of Nebraska's Niobrara River as they premiere a labor of love at Lincoln's independent movie theater, The Ross.

Niobrara, a Film Perspective, will be screened at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, located downtown on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus at 313 N. 13th St. on Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. The screening is free and film fans are invited to attend.

These three pieces, shot over the last four years, highlight the natural beauty and scenic landscapes along the 535 mile long river. Running from Wyoming's Niobrara county and joining with the Missouri River in the northeastern part of the state, the Niobrara River crosses iconic Nebraska terrains ranging from the fossil beds & buttes of the panhandle, to the forests and recreational areas popular with visitors.

The film series includes:

Niobrara Sweet! - Be surprised and delighted by the beauty of the Niobrara River and the plants, animals and unique vistas found along its banks.

Niobrara, Jewel of the North - Rich with historical content and accessible to students of all ages, this film highlights the Niobrara's contributions to Nebraska and U.S. history. The Niobrara's complex river system is explored through the scientific prism with interviews from geography, geology and hydrology experts, biologists and planetologists, and stories of how human cultures have relied on the river over time.

Snowbound - The Niobrara is increasingly popular with tourists who enjoy tubing and tanking down the river in the summer months; this film invites viewers to experience a different setting along the Niobrara. Filmed during the winter, it features whimsical music composed for the movie.

The Niobrara film series is produced by Thomas A. Bouse Productions and RichLoamyMusic. Tom Bouse, certified Nebraska Master Naturalist and president of Nebraska Independent Film Projects, provided artistic direction for the series. It was scripted and edited by Rebecca Rose, and features original music by The McNeeLees.

Trailers and related content are available at



Niobrara Celebration, All are invited

(Valentine,Ne.) The Friends of the Niobrara, Inc. are hosting an event celebrating the Niobrara River and the great people who live in the area. The evening will consist of two parts: presentation of a RIVER KEEPER award to Roy and Florence Breuklander and the first public showing of a new film, Niobrara Jewel of the North.

The event will be Saturday, May 21, 7:00-9:00 pm in the Curtis Hoover Event Center, 2nd and Main in Valentine. There is no charge, no free will offering, and no sales pitches.

Friends of the Niobrara is a non-profit organization, which evolved from the Save the Niobrara organization after the successful effort to cancel the Norden Dam.

The River Keeper award is given to the Breuklanders for outstanding leadership and stewardship in the Niobrara River Valley.

Roy Breuklander, rancher and canoe outfitter on the Niobrara River, was born in 1926 and lived in a log cabin located along the Niobrara River road for ten years. His great-grandfather had sailed to America from Holland in 1844. Roy's grandfather, Elbert, came from Pella, Iowa in 1884 and homesteaded four miles north of Valentine. Roy's father, Henry, homesteaded on 480 acres near Merritt Reservoir. Both grandfather and father were blacksmiths.

Breuklander attended Rock Ford School. He commented that his family used the river for bathing as well as swimming. Roy was the youngest in the family, and stayed home to help his parents on the ranch while siblings went their way. When he started on his own, he rented land near Sparks and started farming and ranching.

Roy met Florence, his wife, at a school box social. The romance began when he bought Florence's lunch box. At the time, Florence was teaching school; she taught the daughter of Fred Krzyzanowski, the owner of the land where Smith Falls is located. Roy and Florence were married in 1955 and continued farming and ranching on the land near Sparks. In 1973, Roy bought his own land along the river where he raised cattle and hogs. The four children who came along helped their parents. Roy commented that the three girls, Shirley, Twyla and Rhonda all began haying at age nine. Steve, the youngest, started haying at age eight.

The canoe outfitting started slowly at a time when ranching business had slowed. Roy helped Loren Wilson, then bought three plastic canoes and wanted to buy more. When the bank declined him a loan, he began to trap coyotes, beaver and raccoons to raise money. He sold their furs for $650 and bought three more canoes and a trailer. So began Sunny Brook outfitters.

The issue of the Norden Dam came up in the mid -70s and Roy said he went to all the meetings of "Save the Niobrara." When he realized that the proposed dam would put his land under water, he supported the group that opposed it. Roy and Florence would like their land along the Niobrara to continue its traditional agricultural use and maintain its scenic value. Working with the Nebraska Land Trust, they are now confident that this will be the case. Their son, Steve and daughter-in-law Gina are buying the ranch, and will continue its operation. Roy, Steve, and Gina, operate the Sunny Brook outfitting business. They advertise their business as alcohol-free.

The film, Niobrara Jewel of the North, has recently been completed. This 42-minute film is the culmination of over three years of work by the Friends and Thomas A Bouse Productions. Support for the film came from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Environmental Trust, Friends of the Niobrara and several private donations. The Friends took on this project to further their goal of education and protection for the Niobrara's unique natural and scenic values.

In the spring of 2008, Tom Bouse, Rebecca Rose and the McNeeLees found themselves tracking the Niobrara River in "paradise", on the Nunn Ranch, Sioux County in the panhandle of Nebraska. They practiced their cinematic trade from Coffee Park in Sowbelly Canyon near Harrison to Niobrara State Park, filming the river, valley, and the Sand Hills region throughout the four seasons, producing Niobrara Jewel of the North.

Tom Bouse combined his love of nature and the Niobrara with expertise in visual art. Bouse has a degree in art education from the University of Nebraska with a specialty in black and white photography. He has participated in various film productions, including the film Man from Aberdeen about Norman Geske, former curator of Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery. Bouse also has produced short films of Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, some of which were presented to their top donors by Audubon Nebraska.

Directing cameras, placing microphones, rising before dawn (to get the light) or staying up late to track the full moon, this team did what it took to get the job done. It was in this environment the score was composed. Original music by the McNeeLees reflects the energy and power of these adventures. As the film progressed so did the score. Niobrara Sweet and Snowbound were recorded on grand piano, then orchestrated at Studio 9, adding texture including strings, percussion, French horn, bassoon, oboe, large gong, and banjo.

The showing on May 21 will be the first public screening of this beautiful film. Persons across Nebraska who cannot be in Valentine that evening will be able to see the film on Nebraska Public Television. Tune into NET2 on June 9, 8 PM; June 12, 2 PM; June 16, 7 PM, or June 19, 1 PM. Starting June 10, the film will also be available for viewing on a computer at .

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