A compelling newly-wrapped project through Red Deer-based Unveil Studios explores the concept of what it means to both have and pursue a dream.
The episodic series, which was shot by Matt and Dan Kooman, consists of inspiring stories of children, women and men from around the world.
A pilot documentary about the series as a whole will be screened in Red Deer (hometown of the Kooman brothers) on June 14th at the Welikoklad Event Centre downtown (4922 49th St.) There will be two screenings – 6:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.
General admission tickets can be purchased at www.rdctickets.universitytickets.com and VIP Passes can be booked at www.unveilstudios.tickit.ca.
Single episodes focusing on each of the subjects previewed in the pilot will then launch this fall.
“We are pretty excited to be able to show it to a local audience and to see what they think,” explained Matt of the June 14th premiere. “I think when we set out with this project, we really wanted to do something that was really positive, inspiring and uplifting,” he said. “We were looking at how we could send a positive message throughout the film – so we focus on the positive sides of purpose and dreams. That is really refreshing for us.
“I think in a time when much of news is trending to be the bad sides of stories, it’s nice to focus on what brings us joy and what inspires us. That’s where we wanted this to trend.
“So the pilot (documentary) essentially covers the characters that will be featured in the episodes. You’ll watch the pilot, and then maybe you will say, ‘Okay, I want to see more of that particular person’s story’.”
Meanwhile, the idea for the series came up after plans for a different documentary following some Tanzanian school children fell through, explained Matt, who has planned to take along his young son Elijah.
In the meantime, it turns out Elijah had been learning how to sew at school, and had come up with some pretty cool stuffed elephants toys. “I was thinking is there any way he could use these as a fundraiser to maybe make this trip about something bigger,” explained Matt. They launched a GoFundMe to ultimately help a Tanzanian family start a small business.
“That was really the genesis of the project.”
The brothers later headed overseas and profiled how Elijah worked alongside a young woman by the name of Milka in launching a small business.
From there, the concept for the project continued to head in an exciting and different direction.
The brothers reached out to an array of people they thought would be ideal to share what they believed was the nature of having a dream and seeing it come to fruition.
These include Robb Nash, who was involved in a devastating collision at 17.
”Bitter from the loss of his dream to be a successful musician, and reeling from the pain of recovery, Nash eventually found that his purpose was to inspire people, particularly youth, and talk about mental health through his music.”
The guys also profiled Bryan and Katie Torwalt – Grammy-nominated artists with Jesus Culture Music. Then there is Phil Comparelli, the former lead guitarist of rock band 54/40. His story exemplifies the journey of building a dream, succeeding, losing it all, and starting over.
Paul Yin is the award-winning author of Explosions of Joy, a memoir about the grief counselor to families of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370.
Also featured is Brittni De La Mora, who was once named a Top 12 Star in the adult film industry.
“Dream follows her journey of redemption to living her true dream, empowering women to live bold and free.”
Monybany Dau, who lives in Red Deer, shares about the journey he endured as a lost boy of Sudan before becoming a child soldier under the SPLA during the brutal Sudanese civil war.
Finally, there is the story of Kayle Mumby, who took the Kooman brothers on a tour of Mexico City from five-star hotels to back alley brothels. His dream? Restoring the dreams of women and kids.
Matt’s journey as a filmmaker has taken him inside straw huts in rural Kenya, to squatter pipe-villages in Hyderabad, India while directing and producing his first feature film E for Everyone. His second feature She Has A Name played in theatres and festivals around the world.
Meanwhile, the brothers are thrilled to see Dream hit the silver screen.
“This project has really made me think about dreams in a different way and ask more questions about intention and purpose. Why are we pursuing a dream? Is it for the right reason? If it is for the right reason it can have incredible positive impact.
“As filmmakers, we see it as the culmination of the journey we’ve been on since we began telling stories.”