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Film spotlights what it means to be a Husker Fan

Documentary to be shown at Sun Theatre.

Ryan Tweedy grew up in the heart of Husker territory, Lincoln, where he lived before moving out to Los Angeles, CA.

“Growing up, I took the Nebraska lifestyle for granted,” Tweedy said. “The people in Nebraska are just different and I never recognized it.”

However, in a new film, “Through These Gates,” he showcases the different people in the state in an 86-minute documentary.

Tweedy and David Max of HuskerMax.com will show “Through These Gates” on Tuesday, Sept.3, at 7 p.m. at the Sun Theatre.

Proceeds will go to the Gothenburg Booster Club, Destination Imagination and the Sun Theatre.

“The way this film was made, is actually in part, what the film is about,” Tweedy said. “Farmers let me use their land to shoot and shop owners and fans all over let me interview them.”

The people were perfect, said the Wayne State graduate, because they are part of Nebraska and huge Husker fans and their stories needed to be known.

He admitted at first that he knew people would be interested in being part of it but he didn’t know how serious they would take it.

“Once I interviewed Eric Crouch, and it was treated like an actual project, getting interviews became easier,” Tweedy said.

Max offered to help spread the video trailer Tweedy had put together. It ran on the front page of the website and instantly thousands of people viewed it each day.

The project headed forward, fast. Some 70 hours of interviews and another 60 hours of B-roll included Tom Osborne, Johnny Rodgers and Tommie Frazier.

Max said there are 50 screenings in Nebraska and an additional 15-20 screenings in other states.

“This film is about what it means to be a Nebraska native, not just the athletics aspect. It explains being a Nebraska fan,” Max said.

After two years of filming and editing, one of the first screenings was in Scottsbluff.

A half-day before the screening there were only 190 tickets sold for the show, Tweedy said. By 7 p.m., 359 people were watching “Through These Gates.”

A highlight for Tweedy is that interest wasn’t only generated in his home state but throughout the United States.

This has turned into a nationwide request and experience, Max said.

“We started in San Clemente, CA, and will end up on the East Coast in November, he said.

Each of the stops is a local fund-raiser for the city or town booster club or another non-profit organizations.

“Our goal is to raise $100,000 for different organizations across the country,”Max said. “We calculated that each screening will produce $7-10 dollars per person.”

Tweedy said he’s received calls from people in Iowa, Colorado and Texas, all interested in seeing the film.

“I thought they were joking when they asked for dates to see it,” Tweedy said. “Requests didn’t stop in the United States. There is interest in Japan, Germany and London.”

Max said there’s a certain sensation people get when they can relate to the film.

“The only place I have expectations for the film is in Lincoln,” Tweedy said. “That’s where I’m from and is the reason I began making this film.”

Gothenburg Booster Club member Nancy Slack said the group is glad to do whatever it can to help the students at Gothenburg Schools and ease financial burdens.

Sun Theatre co-manager Jill Rubenthaler said she’s excited to show the film and that any Nebraskan would enjoy the film. Some proceeds raised will go towards the Comfort Counts Fund, for new chairs inside the theatre.

Tweedy and Max will answer questions and sell and sign books and DVD’s.

“The series of interviews were set up with different topics that may make you laugh, may make you cry but will all produce an ‘oh yeah’ type of moment,” Max said.

Tweedy stressed the film isn’t about football but more a highlight of the Nebraska fans.

The Sun Theatre, the booster club and Destination Imagination are selling tickets now, Khris Jinks said, and that they can be bought from her, Nancy Slack or at the Sun Theatre.

“Make sure and buy a ticket to this event, before they are all sold out,” she said.

To purchase tickets call Khris Jinks at (308) 529-7894, Nancy Slack at (308) 529-1928 or stop by the theatre.

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