Bitter River Film & Media Releases The Sheol Express on iTunes

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Award winning NYU Tisch film The Sheol Express, which explores both faith and fatalism in a fantastical train ride, has just been released by Bitter River Film & Media on the iTunes store:

A journey through faith and fatalism on The Sheol Express – Now Available on iTunes.

After its successful journey through film festivals and competitions, "The Sheol Express", an award-winning short film that follows a fantastical train ride through the afterlife, is now available on iTunes.

The Sheol Express has played at a number of screenings and festivals, and won the Audience Choice Award at NYU’s First Run Film Festival. It is the first project from Bitter River Film & Media, a production company co-founded by writer/director duo Michael Koehler and Ryan Patch that engages provocative narratives across platforms.

Koehler and Patch first met in NYU's Film Production program in 2005. Both were raised in Christian families, but when discussing questions of faith throughout their college years, they often found themselves on opposite sides of the fence. This led them to collaborate on their NYU senior thesis film, which they hoped would enable them to explore the intersection of their worldviews.

What emerged was The Sheol Express, a fantasy film set aboard a train traveling through the afterlife, following a passenger faced with an impossible choice. At its heart, The Sheol Express connects a wary traveler’s dilemma to fundamental questions about knowledge, truth, and faith: What can we know for sure? Does truth exist? What must we do if we believe that it could?

While a growing number of young people in the West are identifying as "atheist" or "agnostic", an increasing amount also express interest in "spirituality". The Sheol Express explores the ebb and flow of this question of faith and the journey through these seemingly contradictory points of view.

The film uses the fantasy genre to explore this dichotomy in an approachable and engaging way. With its impressive production design (the team actually built the interior of a train set on the NYU campus), brilliant cast (including a Dionysian peddler played by Michael Selkirk), and transporting visual effects, the film uniquely plays like a theater piece and looks like a video game.

For a generation increasingly suspicious of the faith religion requires but intrigued by the possibility of “something more”, The Sheol Express asks poignant and telling questions, which it does not pretend to answer.

Watch The Sheol Express on iTunes at the following link on iTunes:

Watch the trailer at the official website at

About the filmmakers:

Michael Koeher (Co-Writer and Co-Director) grew up in Uganda, East Africa, where he spent much of his childhood outdoors creating stories. With a degree from NYU in Film and Television Production, Michael has worked on narrative and documentary film projects around the world, most recently in the war-torn jungles of Southeast Asia. Michael now lives in NYC, where he is pursuing screenwriting, collaborative film endeavors, and community in the city. He is particularly interested in exploring the intersection of storytelling and humanitarian aid.

Ryan Patch (Co-Writer, Co-Director, Producer) cut his teeth telling campfire stories in the mountains of his native Colorado, and then moved to New York to attend NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Despite longing for the mountains, Ryan fell in love with New York City, where he writes, directs, and produces documentary and narrative content, which often takes him to places like Brazil, Thailand, Russia, or India. Along with Mike Koehler, Ryan founded Bitter River Film & Media, a company devoted to telling compelling narrative content across multiple platforms. Ryan is passionate about collaborating with and equipping creative people to tell the stories that they are passionate about, and through his production company Storytellers Ink, Ryan has recently helped produce multiple New York-based independent narrative features and shorts.

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