REACHING FURTHER - The locally-produced film She Has A Name continues to resonate with audiences and pick up awards along the way.                                photo submitted

REACHING FURTHER - The locally-produced film She Has A Name continues to resonate with audiences and pick up awards along the way. photo submitted

Locally-produced film She Has A Name continues to receive accolades

Acclaimed film has added five Top Indie Film Awards to its growing acclaim

The locally-produced and highly acclaimed film She Has A Name continues to garner awards and recognition several months after its initial release.

She Has A Name has added five Top Indie Film Awards to its growing acclaim. The Alberta-made production was recognized in the global competition with awards in the following categories – Best Feature, Best Actress (Teresa Ting); Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Music.

It was also nominated for Best Directors, Best Writing, and Best Editing.

The film, which is about a human trafficking incident in Thailand, also stars an international cast of actors including Will Yun Lee (The Wolverine, Hawaii Five-O), Eugenia Yuan (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Sword of Destiny, Memoirs of A Geisha) and Gil Bellows (The Shawshank Redemption, Ally McBeal).

Rounding out the cast in the lead roles are Vancouver-based actor Giovanni Mocibob, New York’s Teresa Ting and Singapore’s Vanessa Toh.

The film focuses on an investigation into a shocking human trafficking incident in southeast Asia and explores the layers of corruption that enable the global commercial sex trade to thrive, at the expense of young girls’ and women’s futures.

The story is also based on an incident in Thailand where a storage container transporting more than 100 people ran out of gas and was simply abandoned.

Ultimately about 50 people lost their lives.

That tragedy was a kind of a trigger for the plot. Jason poses as a john to build a case against a brothel trafficking girls into Bangkok. He must win the trust of a young girl forced to work as a prostitute who is known as ‘Number 18’ and convince her to risk her life to testify for the sake of justice.

“It’s rewarding to see the film continue to garner attention,” says Matthew Kooman, who co-directed the film with brother Daniel Kooman from the screenplay by Andrew Kooman. “We’re excited that She Has A Name is being recognized for its performances, in the technical categories and as a story.

As mentioned, She Has A Name was produced in Red Deer, filmed in Thailand and features an international cast and crew.

“We are excited about the continued momentum and that there are audiences around the world that continue to connect with it – filmgoers and critics as well,” explained Andrew.

“I’m always excited for the film to get exposure – it’s exciting to see that the story is resonating with people,” he said.

“There were two reasons why I wrote (the screenplay) – to entertain people with a great film experience, and to bring people to come to terms with the fact that children are trafficked in our world and I wanted to do something about it.

“An award is great, but anytime that a story that I really believe matters gets exposure it’s a big win. I’m just really grateful to the creative team and all the people that helped make it happen and who believed in this – helped to make this film a reality.”

She Has A Name was released in December 2016 in select theatres globally and is currently expanding to exclusive screening engagements across North America.

Andrew also credits a hard-working team that continues to work on getting the film out there.

“Part of it is the commitment of our team to continue to pound the pavement and put the film forward, because we are truly an independent film – we are made in Alberta, made in Canada and it’s also privately funded,” he said.

“We don’t have a big studio behind us so we are really doing our best to put it in front of as many people as we can, and to have as many conversations as we can,” he said. “There’s that effort to ‘unturn’ every stone so that people can know about it. And then it’s also a powerful film that people are responding to – it’s touching people’s hearts.

“There’s also a staying power with the film because it is a story that really resonates with people.”

As to the recognition the film continues to garner, it’s a reminder of how important the cause truly is as well.

“It does re-energize us and it’s a reminder that it’s really a worthy story to continue to fight for,” he said.

“We are passionate about it – independent filmmaking isn’t for the faint of heart; you have to really believe in the project,” he added.

“For any artist who really wants their work out there, you really have to believe in it. I’m constantly thankful as well for the people of Red Deer and Central Alberta who so embraced the story and championed it.”

For more information, check out www.unveilstudios.com.

Just Posted

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

Three calves were recently shot dead in Lacombe County near Mirror. (Photo from Facebook)
Calves shot and left for dead in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP investigating three shootings

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Most Read