McConaughey Narrates Texas Wildlife Movie | Arts & Culture
Longview native Matthew McConaughey recounts deep in the heart, a visually stunning film about the wildlife and unique natural features of Texas. The film is written and directed by Ben Masters of Fin and Fur Films and will premiere at 6:45 p.m. Thursday, May 12 at the EarthX Film Festival in Strauss Square in the Dallas Arts District.
Local screenings begin June 3 at theaters in Grand Prairie, Longview, Tyler and Waxahachie. A special screening was held on June 25 at the Pint and Barrel Drafthouse in Palestine.
The film celebrates what makes Texas unique – its varied landscapes and remarkable wildlife found nowhere else in the world. The story is told through the eyes of wildlife ranging from the mysterious blind catfish to the elusive mountain lion. The story follows our changing relationship with the natural world and the ability of humans to destroy, conserve and recover the wildlife and habitat we mutually depend on.
Two sequences from the film spotlight the Upper East Side of Texas. The crew filmed the alligator gar at the Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area, located in Anderson and Freestone counties. Producer Katy Baldock says the film focuses on the ancient fish’s unique spawning tactics.
“This footage highlights the importance of healthy rivers to ensure alligator gar continue to have floodwaters to spawn,” she says.
Another segment shows the biodiversity in Big Thicket National Preserve, America’s first national reserve and one of the most diverse habitats in the country. The film also highlights the need for forest conservation.
“[We filmed in] Angelina National Forest to showcase the regrowth of forests – particularly the longleaf pine forests – after the majority of the forests were cleared by logging in the early 1900s,” Baldock says.
The family-friendly film features cutting-edge cinematography on a journey from the peaks of the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas through the state’s aquifers, rivers and bays, and deep into the Gulf of Mexico. deep in the heart aims to conserve our remaining wild places, show water and wildlife connectivity, and recognize Texas’ conservation importance on a continental scale.
Director and screenwriter, Ben Masters is a filmmaker and writer specializing in wildlife and adventure stories. He made a documentary titled The river and the wall in 2019 and produced Unbranded in 2015. Masters studied wildlife biology at Texas A&M University and founded Fin and Fur Films in 2015. He is the author of two books published by Texas A&M University Press and has written for National geographic and western rider.
Baldock is producing the film with Jay Kleberg. Skip Hobbie is directing photography and the film’s editor is Sam Klatt. deep in the heart features original music by Noah Sorota. For more information, visit www.deepintheheartwildlife.com.