Still in his suit after another day at his dead end job, Mikael Kawa (played by Kordo Doski) plays soccer in a Los Angeles park.
Logline: Far past his prime at age 33, Mikael pursues his lifelong dream of a professional soccer career. Left with one option, Mikael travels from Los Angeles to Kurdistan Iraq, his ancestral home, in an effort to redeem his once prodigious potential and heal his soul.
Length: 76 minutes
Director: Kordo Doski
Producer: Kordo Doski, Jose Moreno Brooks, Nameer Al-Durrah, Michael Ciulla
Writer: Kordo Doski
Kordo Doski: Kurdish-Canadian filmmaker/Actor. Currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Lina Hanson. Together they co-founded the "Lina Hanson Global Beauty" skincare line. Kordo acts as the Creative Director for the Brand.
Jose Moreno Brooks: Mexican American actor producer and editor from the Bay Area best known for his role on NBC’s Telenovela starring opposite Eva Longoria.
Key cast: Kordo Doski, Jose Moreno Brooks, Randall Park, Sitara Hewitt, Mivan Hasan, Nadi Duhok Soccer (professional) Team
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists
Funders: Kordo Doski, Jose Moreno Brooks, Jon Martin St. Valery
Release date: North American Premiere June 2016
Where can I watch it? North American Premiere at Dances with Films Festival in Los Angeles, June 11th @ 7:15p at the TCL Chinese Theaters.
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you very much. We wanted to tell a unique story about a part of the world that is usually represented in a very different light while creating a vehicle for ourselves as actors.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Our film gives the audience a lot of credit for being intelligent and doesn't spoon feed them. In a time where the story is often sacrificed for big gimmicks and explosions, we feel our film is a refreshing alternative. It's a universal story of perseverance and seeking happiness, that all of us can relate to.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I think most of us want the same things in life. We all have regrets and things we wish we could have done differently. Mikael is just that, a story of a man who has neglected a dream of his and now realizes that the only way he can heal that wound is to do everything he can to reach it. It's not exclusive to sports. We all have things in our life that we desire and there are always challenges that we need to overcome. That's what this movie is about.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
Due to the nature of this project we had to conceive of non traditional methods to get this film made. Firstly, we were shooting in Kurdistan, Iraq with a 3 man crew so we had to be very creative. Our approach blurred the lines between shooting a narrative fiction and documentary.
We had a clear idea of the pieces we would need to make the puzzle work but understood that the majority of the crafting would have to take place in the editing room. It was a great way to work. It forced us to be creative.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
We've been thrilled with the feedback. The reviews have been great and most importantly many have approached us and said how inspired they were after watching our film. It's made a lot of people question if they are truly happy or settling.
Others seem to really enjoy the different perspective of the people of the Middle East that our story depicts. That was one of our main objectives. We wanted to shine a light on how similar people are as opposed to spotlighting negative stereotypes and differences as is so often done. Our audience seems to appreciate that.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The feedback has been humbling. The audience understands and appreciates the story that we are trying to tell. This was very encouraging as first time filmmakers.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
For independent filmmakers, visibility is key. We poured our energy, hearts and credit into this film and we want to share this story with as many people as possible. To make a hip-hop analogy, this is our mixtape; what we can do with nothing but our own ingenuity. Hopefully, this can help to generate an audience for Mikael and all our other upcoming projects.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
As for this project, we would love to find like minded people (sales agents, buyers, distributors, film fest directors, journalists) who connect with our story. Our hope is to take Mikael to many other festivals and eventually make it available to the public. As we continue our festival run we are confident we will find a great home for the film.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
The ultimate goal is to engage with as many viewers as possible. Its universal nature allows each viewer to have their own personal experience and hopefully begin a discussion both internal and external.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
We hope the film makes the viewer question the media’s one sided characterization of the Middle East and expand their own. On a more personal level, we hope it inspires the viewer to look at their life, whether or not they are happy, and what they can do to make a change. It’s never too late.
Would you like to add anything else?
The art of this film is mirrored by the realities of its conception. In this story of a man against the odds, our hero’s journey to make his dream a reality, echoes ours as filmmakers with Mikael.
A special thank you to all those who have helped along the way. We couldn’t have done it without you.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
We can't wait to share a really fresh dark comedy TV pilot that we just finished principal production for. The response has been great and we hope to find a home for it in the near future.
A few others are in the early stages so we can't say too much about them. We have 2 features currently in pre-production that we are super excited about. One is a documentary about an iconic screenwriter in Hollywood and the other is a narrative set in Thailand.
If you enjoyed reading about 'Mikael' please check out our platform: www.wearemovingstories.com We embrace new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you are a filmmaker - we'd love you to contribute. More info: Carmela (firstname.lastname@example.org)