Idaho Company Saving Small Town America

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A Nampa, Idaho based production company is planning to shoot a movie in Council, Boise, Lewiston, and other areas of Idaho next summer. They recently launched a grassroots campaign to raise the $800,000 budget. The story is about recovering from the events of the last decade: 9/11, wars, disasters, the economy. The story has been called “Capraesque” in that it evokes everything from laughter to tears, and leaves the audience with a sense of hope (at least in screen tests and pre-rehearsals). Complete information is available at

Arnie and Elsie Ytreeide (left) of Jericho Pictures, and Ken Bell (right) President of the Council Chamber of Commerce, applaud as Mayor Bruce Gardner launches the fundraising campaign that may bring a movie production to his city.

We've all been sitting around waiting for someone to fix America

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Every good recession must come to an end. That’s the motto of an Idaho film company as they launch a campaign to turn the country around, one small town at a time.

“We’ve all been sitting around waiting for someone to fix America,” said Jericho manager Arnold Ytreeide. “We’ve had a tough decade since 9/11, and we just want someone to make the horrors of that day, and two wars, and natural and man-made disasters, and the problems with the economy go away. But that someone is us!” Tired of waiting for a solution, Ytreeide, with his wife and partner, Elsie, is trying to do something about it. That “something” is a somewhat quirky plan that involves a somewhat quirky movie in a town the size of a 1980’s phone booth.

“We had a story in mind designed to inspire and encourage America right out of its recession,” Ytreeide said, “but needed the perfect setting. We found it when we saw a news report about Council, Idaho.”

Council, a town of 816, was on the ropes even before the current recession because of a mill shutdown. The last two years have almost dealt it a knockout blow. Jericho Pictures’ film Saving Council may be its salvation.

“Though the place is real, the story is fictional,” Ytreeide said. “It’s about a mayor trying to save his town through some crazy schemes. What he discovers in the process is what we all need to discover – that the cure for what ails America can’t come from the government, but from within ourselves.”

Ytreeide, a popular author and university film professor, said the company is raising the $797,000 for the film from ordinary people, twenty dollars at a time. “It’s a grassroots story about people taking charge of their own lives, and we’d love to have it funded through a grassroots campaign involving tens of thousands of people,” Ytreeide said.

By shooting the fictional story of Saving Council in the real town of Council, Jericho Pictures will give the town an economic boost even as the film itself gives the rest of America an emotional boost. “Here in Idaho we believe in helping each other in tough times,” Elsie Ytreeide said. “That’s the motivation behind this whole project, and the motivation we hope to instill in everyone who sees the film.” For complete details visit

Arnie Ytreeide
Jericho Pictures


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Jericho Pictures
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