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'The Water Man' stars actors David Oyelowo, Rosario Dawson, currently filming in the small town.

COURTESY PHOTO: TRACY EASLON - Film crews are set up at Vernonia Lake for 'The Water Man.' Film crews are in Vernonia this week, filming scenes for an upcoming Disney movie produced by Oprah Winfrey.

Vernonia Voice, a monthly newspaper based in Columbia County, reported on June 4 that crews were filming at Vernonia Lake and in downtown Vernonia, which lies about 30 miles west of Forest Grove on Highway 47.

The film is said to be the "The Water Man," a fantasy film about a boy who runs away from home to find the Water Man, a creature with the power to cheat death, in order to cure his ill mother.

"While extremely close to his mother, he and his father Amos have an adversarial relationship and are forced to learn about each other as Amos goes on the search for his son," Disney said, describing the film.

The film is executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and stars "This Is Us" actor Lonnie Chavism as well Golden Globe-nominated actor David Oyelowo, who also directs the film. Known for his role as Martin Luther King, Jr. in "Selma," Oyelowo will star as Chavis' father and the film. The film also stars Rosario Dawson, Maria Bello and Alfred Molina.

Production on the film began in April. That month, a call for extras for "The W" was put out by Adam and the Backgrounds, a group based in Portland headed by Adam Rosko.

No release date has been announced for "The Water Man." Filming is expected to continue to film in Portland and surrounding areas.

This isn't the first film crew to be on location in the area. The 2008 film "Twilight," shot some scenes in Vernonia, and the current teen drama "Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists" filmed its pilot episode at Pacific University and Forest Grove.


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