By Rick Dayton

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The world premiere for a movie called “Amazing Racer” was held Tuesday evening at the Waterfront.

The movie is being released today on DVD around the world and stars some nationally known actors, but has strong local ties.

When you see it, you’ll recognize lots of local scenes and when you watch the credits, you’ll see KDKA’s Larry Richert is one of the writer-producers along with his good friend, John Mowod.

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The movie is about a young girl who goes to live with her mother, who she never knew, on a horse farm in western Pennsylvania and how she grows to love her mom and her horse.

Richert and Mowod began working on the screenplay, which is based on a true story, in 2000.

“I was out in Los Angeles in mid-to-late 90s and my brother was training horses at the Meadows. While I’m out there I’m hearing this story about a horse that he had that they were very attached to only because he was so tough and such a good racer. It’s a very emotional story about how this horse was injured and instead of letting the horse go – the business move to make at the time was to let the horse go – he made a decision which cost him money,” Mowod said.

Initially, the plan was to rehabilitate the horse so that it could live out a normal life. However, the story took a Hollywood turn.

“What happened throughout the next year is he rehabilitated the horse to get him to walk again. Jump forward to a year and he wins a big race down in Kentucky called The Red Mile,” Mowod said.

Richert and Mowod eventually met Frank Johnson, who became the director for the film.

You’ll notice a lot of local places in the film as it was entirely shot in western Pennsylvania.

“It was our mantra to do it in western Pennsylvania for the local film industry and to showcase what we have. Washington County was really the star with some of those great farms down there and of course, the Meadows as the race track,” Richert said.

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“Amazing Racer” is on sale now exclusively at Walmart. It will be available at Redbox on Jan. 22 and on-demand and online later this month.

The world premiere will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC/Loews Waterfront in West Homestead.

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