Mushroom Hunter Press Release

The Mushroom Hunter–Torg & His Buddies Have Hunted Morels for Over 50 Years

Selected to Appear at Indy Film Fest

July 20th & 24th, 2013

 The Mushroom Hunter is a documentary short of thirty minutes that tells the story of Martin “Torg” Torgerson and his buddies who have hunted morel mushrooms for over fifty years. The film splits time between basement scenes of storytelling among friends with a local hunt to France Park near Logansport. Hunters share stories including rattlesnake sightings, confrontations with land owners, one hunter’s bout with Lyme Disease, and memories of fellow hunters now passed away. The Mushroom Hunter is a film with themes related to friendship and the challenges that come with getting older.

morel mushrooms, documentary film, Winamac, Indiana, Indianapolis, France Park

On taking part in the documentary, Martin Torgerson reflects, “I’m thankful for the permanent record of our years hunting mushrooms that will be available for the rest of our lives and for the lives of our children and our children’s children. More than just stories of mushroom hunting, the film reveals valuable themes about camaraderie, bonding with family and friends, and the great outdoors.”

Mushroom hunter Vic Heater of Winamac, Indiana looks back on years of hunting with his friends and explains, “The only ones able to hunt, and it’s a sad thing with our older friends, are Torg and me.” Heater explains why he still hunts even after a battle with Lyme Disease that can make for tough going, especially when there are hills. “I’ve got 11 grand kids and when we go into the woods, we can keep alive the thrill of the mushroom hunting and keep alive all the tales I’ve gathered with Torg, Casey and the guys. We have many memories, and it’s kind of nice to share them with my grandkids. I want that to last forever.”

The score for the film was written and performed by Jeremy Vogt.  “Vic and Torg are such memorable characters,” says the Indianapolis based musician. “They really took me in a unique way to a place I’d never been through their quirky personalities.  I had heard of mushroom hunting before, but I never knew the cult following behind this pastime and some folks really take it to another level.” Jeremy explains that he was interested in working on the project because, “I’ve wanted to do a very organic, very raw, set of songs, and this film just had all of the elements for me to realize that style.  Honestly, I’ve always been interested in scoring films, writing sound textures, and composing music to become part of the scenes in a film with a sort of spontaneity.”

“We are really excited to be showing The Mushroom Hunter,” says Indianapolis Film Festival director Craig Mince. “The film really speaks to one of those treasured experiences a lot of us ‘Hoosiers’ grew up with.” The festival screens films from all over the United States and from more than 50 countries around the globe. This year the film festival celebrates its tenth anniversary.

The Mushroom Hunter was partially funded through the website Kickstarter and has financial backers not only from Indiana, but also states including New York, Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, and California. The film will screen at the Indianapolis Museum of Art on Saturday, July 20th at 8:30 p.m. and Wednesday, July 24th at 4:15 p.m.


Bill Torgerson is the son of The Mushroom Hunter who gives the film its title. He’s an Indiana native and former basketball coach who now is a professor in the Institute For Writing Studies at St. John’s University in New York. His novel-in-stories Horseshoe is set in a fictionalized version of his hometown of Winamac. His debut novel was Love on the Big Screen about a college freshman whose understanding of love has been shaped by late-eighties romantic comedies.  His screenplay adaptation was awarded the Grand Prize of the Rhode Island International Film Festival Screenplay Competition.


Jeremy is an Indianapolis-based musician who has opened shows for artists including the Goo Goo Dolls, Counting Crows, and John Mayer in venues such as The Vogue, Lucas Oil Stadium, and Verizon Wireless Music Center. Jeremy has released two albums: Villains & Vocoders and People in Strange Places.


Martin is a 1956 graduate of Winamac High School who coached basketball and taught English for over thirty years at schools including Logansport, Caston, and Winamac.


Vic is a 1958 graduate of Winamac High School, served in the Air Force, worked as a carpenter, and then as a foreman at Winamac Steel. He has four daughters and eleven grandchildren.


Casey Jones is a 1950 graduate of Lucerne High School and worked at schools including Metea, South Caston, and Caston as a teacher, coach, and athletic director. In the film, Casey reads an except from his article “A Tale From the Mushroom Woods” published in the Pharos Tribune March 29, 2012.

morel mushrooms, documentary, Winamac, Indiana, France Park, film festival


Kenny Hattery, Casey Jones, and Vic Heater

Additional images and quotes from those connected to the film are available by contacting Director Bill Torgerson at <>.

PDF of Press Release

One Sheet For The Mushroom Hunter


The Mushroom Hunter

A Son’s Story of His Father’s Passion

The Mushroom Hunter is a Doc Film of Thirty Minutes

Torg and his buddies have hunted morel mushrooms for over fifty years. In this documentary shot in North Central Indiana, hear their stories, learn some of their secrets, and join them for a local hunt. This is a story of friendship and the trials that come with getting older.  


mushroom hunters, morel mushrooms, Winamac, Indiana

from left to right: Casey Jones, Martin Torgerson, Kenny Hattery


morel mushrooms, France Park, Indiana, mushroom hunting, documentary, film

Vic Heater on the left and Martin Torgerson on the right head into the woods for a hunt


Onesheet more Information about The Mushroom Hunter (pdf)

Bill Torgerson pdf filmmaker bio

Media Kit for Bill Torgerson provided by Cherokee McGhee Press


Picture Gallery

Dear Reader,

Ever since a former professor of mine introduced me to the idea that writing floats on a sea of conversation, I’ve thrived on the energy that is derived from interacting with others who care about stories and the teaching of writing. I’m a writer and filmmaker who teaches in the Institute For Writing Studies at St. John’s University in New York. I’d really appreciate it if you wrote me a note to say hello. Thank you so much for stopping by the website!

     Yours in Books,

     Bill Torgerson




Which novel title would you be more likely to be interested in?

The latest:

For the Love of Books

funny, documentary film, Nick Hornby

This documentary film is about Kathy Patrick, and the Pulpwood Queens Book Club. Featuring the work of musician Jeremy Vogt and photographer Natalie Brasington, you can watch the trailer here.  If you’d like to order the film, it’s $10 and you can write to me at <>.

Love on the Big Screen

Eighties music and movies themed novelMeet Zuke, a college freshman whose understanding of love has been shaped by late-eighties romantic comedies such as Say Anything and Sixteen CandlesRead the first chapter of Love on the Big Screen as a (downloadable pdf). Listen to a sample from the audio book. Read a sample and purchase from Amazon or purchase a signed copy from me.


Midwestern Gothic, after Flannery O'Connor, Updike, Empire Falls, Winamac, IndianaThis Midwestern Gothic novel explores themes related to sin, guilt, redemption, and belief in God.  Read a Horseshoe story “Sanctuary” as a (downloadable pdf) or listen to it here.  There are also sample pages where you can purchase from Amazon or a signed copy from me.

The Twilight Rate

Flushing Queens golf sports New York

I’ve got a story in this sports anthology. Six years ago when I first moved to Queens, I worked at the cash register in the pro shop of a golf course. The events of this story are fictionalized but certainly were inspired by some of the cultural tension I sensed working at the course. You can purchase the collection from me here or through the website of the Main Street Rag.



Good News: Documentary Will Play Phenom Film Festival

My documentary, For the Love of Books, has been accepted to screen at the Phenom International Film Festival.  For the Love of Books tells the story of Kathy Patrick and the Pulpwood Queens’ Girlfriend Weekend. The Queens throw a book-loving party each January that features outrageous costumes, great storytelling, and many inspiring literacy projects.  The majority of the still photography in the film was taken by Natalie Brasington and the music was done by my former high school basketball rival, Jeremy Vogt. The festival will be held in Shreveport, Louisiana from Sept. 6-9, 2012. I plan to share more information as it comes, and I hope you’ll help me spread the word.  Special thanks to Kathy Patrick, the Pulpwood Queens, and all the talented authors who appear in the film. If you sign up for regular updates below, I’ll write you a note  and say hello!

Shreveport film movies industry screenwriter scripts William Torgerson Kathy Patrick Pulpwood Queens Book Club film festival Texas

Two of the Many Friendly People I Met in Jefferson, Texas

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