CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Webster County native says he sees a lot of film potential in the Mountain State.

“To me, West Virginia is just this totally untapped place when it comes to film. There’s been very little actually done there,” said Josh Stewart, a filmmaker who grew up in Diana. “There’s so few people that really understand the beauty of that state. It’s just the most amazing place.”

Photo courtesy Fortress Features

Josh Stewart

Stewart returned to West Virginia to film “The Hunted” — his directorial debut. “I wanted to keep it minimal. I wanted to have a small crew, a small cast, a very contained production,” he said of the project on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

In addition to directing the film, Stewart wrote, co-produced and starred in “The Hunted.”

It tells the story of Jake, played by Stewart, and Stevie who head into the woods of West Virginia with dreams of landing their own hunting show by finding a monster buck. They find the buck they’re looking for, but something else finds them.

“This movie’s based on an actual experience that happened to me and a roommate of mine and I just took that story and fictionalized it,” said Stewart. Such storytelling, he said, is a tradition. “There’s so much folklore about our state. There’s so many ghost stories about our state and we all grew up telling them, listening to them.”

Stewart’s acting resume includes roles in “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” along with television parts on “Third Watch,” “Dirt” and “Criminal Minds.”

He attended West Virginia Wesleyan and graduated from West Virginia University before moving to New York, N.Y. to study acting. “The longer that I’ve been away from the state, the more I long to come back and the more than I want to go back,” Stewart said.

Stewart may be back in West Virginia later this month. Screenings of “The Hunted” are scheduled for June 19 in Bridgeport and June 26 in Morgantown while the movie is set for wide release this September. The film was shown last weekend in Sutton.

More information about the movie is available here.

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  • B thomas KH 186

    Congrats to you and keep that mountaineer spirit going...fraternity brother of your dad's at Glenville State College

  • Donna Nutter Gilliam

    Congratulations Josh on your achievements. Webster County is proud of their native son.

  • Maxeer

    Awesome...looking forward to it.