Mural Movie gets national distribution option

By Wayne Allen

December 19, 2013

Wayne Allen

Common Staff Writer

Beyond these Walls, a documentary about the Portsmouth Flood wall Murals will be airing on WOSU in Columbus in February.

After viewing the film WOSU worked out a deal with Dr. John and Nathan Lorentz of Lorentz Productions for national distribution rights.

“We got some great news from WOSU, I talked to the programming people there and they were interested in airing the film and screened they film. After they viewed the film they really liked it and are going to show it in February,” Lorentz said. “Not only will they show it, they are asking us for distribution rights.”

John Lorentz said the distribution rights would allow WOSU to put their name on the film and provide it as a feed to other Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) across the country.

“They did have a condition; the program has to be 57 minutes long to fit in an hour time slot. Our film is currently 68 minutes long,” John Lorentz said. “Nathan and I have been playing around with it to see if we could make that cut and still maintain the integrity of the story. We’ve decided it will be painful, but we can.”

The film premiered in November at Shawnee State University’s Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.

At the premiere John Lorentz said,” It (Beyond these Walls) tells a story in which the major theme is the role that public art has to play in developing a sense of community. We’re really looking at is the interaction of the community and viewers with the wall. Part of that story is how this (Portsmouth Murals) came into creation. How do you take a blank piece of concrete and turn it into something beautiful that people react to and are connected to in someway?”

At the premiere Nathan Lorentz said, as a filmmaker and musician, he was interested in how art can change a perception of reality and understanding of the world.

“What I began to realize when I looked at everything we shot, was that the murals really were having an impact. It’s just that impact was not as evident in a physical or economic sense,” Nathan Lorentz said. “What I’ve seen in Portsmouth is that art was changing people, how they were thinking, how they were seeing themselves and how they were seeing this town. To me, that was the most interesting part of the story because real change and understanding being internally.”

John Lorentz told those in attendance at the premiere the making of Beyond These Walls had been an extraordinary journey.

Copies of the film are available at the Scioto County Welcome Center Gift Shop for purchase.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.