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The Mistover Tale

Official Trailer, 1:49, 2015.

We are thrilled that The Mistover Tale is now completed and had its first private screening in New York in late February. We are looking forward to sharing the film with you at upcoming film festivals and screenings throughout 2015. Please stayed tuned and follow us on social media (at the links above) for the latest updates!

THE MISTOVER TALE is a modern interpretation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel, The Return Of The Native, set “some time ago” on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where it was shot in entirety. The pristine beaches and open moors of Martha’s Vineyard set the mood for first-time writer-director Harry Tappan Heher’s haunting indie drama. “The Mistover Tale” tells the story of the frustrated and ambitious Cliona MacEgan (Naomi Packard Dunn), trapped by circumstance on the island of her birth. Her lover, Ned Luce (Kevin Rice), a handsome ne’er-do-well, is forced into a shotgun marriage with the prim and sincere Tamsin Goodrich (Heidi Pulkkinen), daughter of the disapproving matron Mrs. Priscilla Goodrich (Lee Fierro). Mrs. Goodrich is equally horrified when her only son, the idealistic but flawed Henry (Harry Tappan Heher), returns to the island. Henry has left behind a promising career in New York City for a simpler island life. Cliona wrongly perceives Henry as her chance to escape to the City. Her ongoing affair with Ned catches the eye of caretaker Redmond (Patrick Henaghan), setting off conflicts that lead to tragedy. “The Mistover Tale” shows us how our own natures - and the natural forces around us - can determine our fate, and transform death into rebirth.

Nature is Fate.

Photo: © Molly Peters

Photo: © Molly Peters

Writer / Director Statement

A tale is a story that is exciting or dramatic; it might not be completely true, or told only in the subjective, unique perspective of the teller. Stories of the inner-workings of relationships and marriages fall into this category, as do ghost stories. There is no one to deny, or accuse of falsehood, for the one that lived it believes his or her story. A tale is told to inform, teach, warn. On an island out at sea, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, do the natural forces around us determine our fate? Or is our fate a consequence of our own individual natures?

The hardy, weather-worn people of New England have been full of tales for centuries. From the Pilgrims of the “Mayflower”, to Paul Revere, and beyond to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Edith Wharton, Robert Frost...legends have been recounted. The island of Martha’s Vineyard shares this spirit, and stories abound of the natives of Noepe (the Wampanoag name for the island); of the island’s “discoverer” Bartholomew Gosnold; of Thomas Mayhew and the English settlers, colonists and missionaries; of whalers, widows and farmers; of fashionable “summer people”, their yachts, shingled mansions and cocktails parties, their young well-educated kids who work and party on the island each summer, and of their household staffs; of the island’s workers, the fishermen, farmers, merchants, house and boat builders, chefs, waiters, housecleaners; of frozen harbors and hurricanes, late-night births and accidental deaths; of the Ted Kennedy “Chappaquiddick Incident”, and “Jaws”, and the airplane crash that killed John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his wife Carolyn just off the island’s coast. These have all contributed to a wellspring of myths, legends, anecdotes. These tales continue to inspire and inform and warn and entertain. THE MISTOVER TALE may join these formidable ranks. For this work is at once inspired by the natural forces of the island, by a Victorian English novel, and also by the people who have lived or summered on Martha’s Vineyard. 

Human presence on the island is just a passing thought, a flickering image, to be captured, and then it is gone...over the winter, over the the year, or for ever. The island, Noepe - Martha’s Vineyard - whatever name we give it - remains: constant yet ever reforming, enduring....

If someone in THE MISTOVER TALE seems like someone you once knew, it is a coincidence. But the real counterparts of these archetypal characters are all to be found living today, on the grass plains, dunes, beaches and in the scrub oak forests of Martha’s Vineyard, in the moors of Hardy’s Dorset, and in other lonely places where nature reigns.

“The island of Martha’s Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts. Some time ago...”

Thus begins our tale.

As such, all scenes were filmed - and all dialogue, and nature and wild sound were recorded - on location on Martha’s Vineyard, to capture the truest essence of this ethereally beautiful, magical, wild, haunted island. 


Harry Tappan Heher

Photo: © Molly Peters

Photo: © Molly Peters


Photo: © Molly Peters

Photo: © Molly Peters


Photo: © Molly Peters

Photo: © Molly Peters


Harry Tappan Heher (Writer, Director, Producer) - see Cast.

Michael McDonough, ASC (Director of Photography), is a Brooklyn-based native of Paisley, Scotland, whose cinematographer credits include WINTER’S BONE (director Debra Granik, starring Jennifer Lawrence), ALBERT NOBBS (director Rodrigo Garcia, starring Glenn Close), and the upcoming ELSA & FRED (director Michael Radford, starring Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer). He was nominated for a 2011 Independent Spirit Award, and won the Chlotrudis Award, for Best Cinematography for WINTER’S BONE.

James Demer (Boom Operator), is a Falmouth, Maine native, whose credits as Sound Mixer include WINTER’S BONE, HIGHER GROUND (director and star Vera Farmiga), and on many episodes of reality television series, including “Survivor”, and “The Apprentice”. His daughter Ava, at age 3, played Tamsin and Ned’s daughter in THE MISTOVER TALE.

Tyler B. Stephens (Sound) is based in Portland, Oregon. His sound and boom operator credits include WENDY & LUCY (director Kelly Reichardt, starring Michelle Williams), GONE (director Heitor Dhalia, starring Amanda Seyfried), and many dramatic and documentary series for television, including “Grimm”, “Leverage”, “Nature”, and “Nova”.

Petra Lent (Co-Editor), lives on Martha’s Vineyard, where she is an editor and producer for the island-based social documentary production company Galen Films. She has an M.A. in Victorian English Literature from Columbia University. Her credits include the Len and Georgia Morris-directed documentaries STOLEN CHILDHOODS (narrated by Meryl Streep), RESCUING EMMANUEL (starring Wangari Maathai and Desmond Tutu), and the upcoming THE SAME HEART (featuring President Barack Obama, Desmond Tutu, and Jeffrey Sachs).

Loïc de Lame (Co-Editor, Additional Camera) is a Stockton, New Jersey-based native of Brussels, Belgium, whose editing, directing, and cinematography (including SteadiCam) credits include the Bert Shapiro-directed SPEAKING FOR MYSELF and ELLIOTT SHARP: DOING THE DON’T, the web series “Wrapped”, and many advertising, music video and rock concert shoots.

Jérôme Leroy (Music Composer), a graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, is a native of Paris. Through his partnership with film composer William Ross, he was music programmer for THE HUNGER GAMES (director Gary Ross, starring Jennifer Lawrence), and he has written additional music for A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS (director Todd Strauss-Shulson, starring Kal Penn and John Cho) , and was orchestrator on THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX (director Sam Fell, Robert Stevenhagen). He also has many indie film, shorts, and television credits.

Jimmy Parr (Sound Mixer), is an accomplished Martha’s Vineyard-based sound producer, mixer and musician. His credits include music videos, albums and songs for Carly Simon and James Taylor, book narrations for Mike Wallace and Walter Cronkite, audio books for six Pulitzer Prize-winning authors including David McCullough, sound mixes for the documentaries of Galen Films, and many indie albums, music videos and films.

Gail D. Dodge (Production Designer), grew up in Rockport, Maine, and is a commercial and architectural photographer based outside of Philadelphia. She is a graduate of the University of the Pacific, and of the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara.

Roshelle Berliner (Set Decorator), is a Los Angeles-based production designer with numerous credits including CHINESE PUZZLE (“Casse-tête Chinois”; director Cédric Klapisch, starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tatou), PRECIOUS (director Lee Daniels, starring Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’nique), and LIFE DURING WARTIME (director Todd Solondz, starring Shirley Henderson and Allison Janney).

Chesca Rynn (Costumes), is based in Moorestown, New Jersey and is a designer, textile restorer, knitter and costumer. She graduated from Connecticut College. Cliona’s groovy vintage 70s duds and Scottish kilt, and Redmond’s work clothes, came direct from the cedar closet of her parents, the Old Saybrook, Connecticut-based antiques dealers, Stephen and Carol Huber.

Jeremy Mayhew (Camera Assistant, Additional Camera), is a Martha’s Vineyard-based cinematographer, editor and director. His cinematography and directing credits include STRIKER’S PASSING, a documentary about his father, one of the island’s last harpoon swordfishermen, as well as many commercial and promo pieces.

Jonathan Manzo (Line Producer), is based in San Francisco, where he is an architect and designer. He graduated from Connecticut College. His Line Producer credits include CHASING THE DRAGON (director Alexander Samaan) and HAPPY HERE AND NOW (director Michael Almereyda). 

Fay Dearborn (Script Supervisor), is a Boston native, now based in San Francisco, where she is the documentary programmer for SFIndieFest. She also wrote RETREAT (director Brad Jacques, starring Alicia Brockwell), a thriller set on Cape Cod.

Jonathan Goldman (Additional Camera), is a Woods Hole-based filmmaker, animator and media artist. He graduated from Connecticut College, and has a Master of Science degree in Visual Studies from MIT. Jon has produced documentaries and an Emmy-nominated short form animation for organizations such as Al Jazeera International, WGBH-BOSTON, and the Discovery Channel. He is currently directing and producing a documentary, OIL IN THE FAMILY.

Thomas Mayhew (Additional Sound), is a Martha’s Vineyard-based videographer, writer, editor, location scout and producer, with many island credits. He graduated from Connecticut College, and like his distant cousin Jeremy (also on the crew list), he is descended from the island’s original English settler.

Denise Fitzgerland (Casting), is a New York-based casting director. Her credits include PI (director Darren Aronofsky) and HARLEM ARIA (director William Jennings, starring Damon Wayans).

Sarah Nevin (Additional Casting), lives on Martha’s Vineyard, where she has been involved in island theatre, including productions directed by Lee Fierro, for many years. A Scarsdale, New York native, she studied at the University of California at Berkeley. She is a metaphysical psychic and channel based in Edgartown. 

Molly Peters (Photographer), is a Martha’s Vineyard native, and a graduate of the Photography Program at Bard College, where she studied under Stephen Shore and Larry Fink. Molly grew up at the farm where THE MISTOVER TALE was mainly filmed. For more information about her work, visit her website at

Garrick Gott (Graphic Designer), is a well-known New York-based graphic designer, with a focus on book design. His clients include Rizzoli, the Whitney Museum, Gagosian Gallery, and Friends of the High Line, and many book and magazine publications.

Edward Einhorn (Teaser Editor), is a Brooklyn based editor, with a panache for teasers, trailers, and advertising. His clients include PBS, American Express, IFC, Sam Adams, and many indie films.

Photo: © Molly Peters

Photo: © Molly Peters


Harry Tappan Heher studied art history, and in shooting THE MISTOVER TALE he and the cinematographer Michael McDonough looked at many images of art, to inspire the shots and feel of the film. 



Jérôme Leroy’s haunting original soundtrack for THE MISTOVER TALE will be available for purchase here and at soon.

The following songs, a mix of American, Canadian, Irish and British rock, folk and country, were heard during the writing and filming of THE MISTOVER TALE (often for the first time), on house radios and computers that were permanently tuned to the island’s famed radio station, WMVY. These songs were inspiring and in many ways captured the mood of the story and of the island. The lyrics also seemed to hit right on the various emotional joys and pains felt by the six main characters. They should be credited and their creators thanked. 

WMVY has a devoted international online following at Long live WMVY!  

Photo: © Molly Peters

Photo: © Molly Peters

Photo: © Molly Peters

Photo: © Molly Peters

    © Pan+Hera Pictures; Photo: Gail D. Dodge

    © Pan+Hera Pictures; Photo: Gail D. Dodge