Little Johnny Jewel

Little Johnny Jewel is a left-field black comedy, the first American feature film from award-winning British writer-director Jude Rawlins.


When drifter Johnny is inexplicably attacked and the left for dead whilst apparently trying to make his way home to Marshalltown, Iowa, his estranged parents Bambi and Freddie are forced to take responsibility for their son once again. As they become aware of their own previous parenting shortcomings, they resolve to do a better job this time, and in an attempt to truly understand who their son is they enlist the help of the person who knew him best, his eccentric former sweetheart Dotty. Together they set about trying to piece together the clues to Johnny’s life, and in doing so start to learn some awkward truths about themselves. However, with the support of the small but energetic Marshalltown community, and a little bit of supernatural help, it is surely only a matter of time before they will solve the mystery of Johnny’s return and discover the identity of his assailant…


The plan is to shoot the film entirely on location in Marshalltown and Des Moines, utilising as much local talent as possible. Most of the principal cast were in place before the screenplay was even written. Juliet Landau will star as Dotty, with Ian Seeberg as Freddie, both actors in roles specifically written for them.


During the 3-week shoot the production will be based at the historic Orpheum Theater in Marshalltown, hopefully bringing a boost to local businesses and the local community at large, and a much needed lift for our beloved Marshalltown following last year’s devastating tornado.


If you’d like to know more about Little Johnny Jewel, production details, investment opportunities, screenings, sales and distribution enquiries, etc. please feel free to contact the filmmakers at


You can support the film by donating through the link below, or by mailing a check to: Des Moines Film Society, 304 15th St., Suite 201, Des Moines, IA 50309. Please note on your check that the donation is for Little Johnny Jewel.


When you click the Donate button below, be sure to select Little Johnny Jewel from the drop-down menu.