A compelling new project in the works through Red Deer-based Unveil Studios will explore the concept of what it means to both have and pursue a dream.
The episodic series, which was shot by Matt and Dan Kooman and is in post-production, will consist of powerful and inspiring stories of children, women and men from around the world.
The brothers are currently seeking additional support via a Kickstarter campaign to put the finishing touches on the series, which they tentatively aim to start releasing later this year.
The idea for the series came up rather unexpectedly 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,” he said, pointing out that Elijah raised money for two sewing machines for a family in Tanzania.
The brothers headed overseas and profiled how Elijah worked alongside a young woman by the name of Milka in launching a small business.
“Today, Milka’s dream of attending University is becoming a reality through this unique partnership that exemplifies the power of purpose and calling in association with our dreams,” notes the Unveil web site.
From there, the concept for the overall project continued to head in an exciting and different direction.
“We were thinking how could we flesh out this project to be a bit broader?”
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.
“We are also hoping that we can get more down the road,” he said, pointing out that Dream could be a long-term type of project with a wealth of fascinating, challenging and inspiring stories to tell.
As to the others featured, Matt said it was a matter of simply reaching out and gauging interest.
“We had a list of people and started to just make some calls,” recalled Matt. “We told them that the way we were telling the story was from a more narrative and cinematic angle.
“We weren’t so much sitting down and interviewing everybody and getting this ‘back and forth’ dialogue. We were more trying to ‘hear’ their stories from their own narrative perspectives.”
These include, according to the web site, a man by the name of 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 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.
For the Koomans, it proved a very brisk and busy shooting schedule last year.
“We went to Tanzania in May, and then we went to Mexico City. We went to Portland, to Winnipeg and San Diego.”
Budget constraints kept the visits short, but there is no doubt the stories will pack an influential and enduring ‘punch’.
In the meantime, the guys have their own dreams of how Dream could wield an impact on audiences and extend, as mentioned, well into the future with follow-ups and ground-breaking new stories.
“If people like the way we are telling the stories through the episodes, it will be easy to duplicate the method. Hopefully, that’s where it goes.”
Meanwhile, funds raised via the Kickstarter campaign will help Matt and Dan wrap up post-production.
Check out www.kickstarter.com and search for ‘Dream – an inspiring film series – post production’.