More honours for Red Deer-produced film, She Has a Name

Creators hope acclaim leads to more screenings of the movie

A tense scene from She Has a Name film.

She Has A Name is racking up acclaim, winning a Central Alberta Film Festival award and now five nominations for Alberta Film and Television Awards.

“I’m thrilled,” said the film’s co-producer/director Matthew Kooman. “It’s encouraging and really exciting to be recognized… especially when your local community is valuing the work that you’ve done, and it’s impacting them the way you intended.”

The movie about human trafficking, made by Red Deer’s Unveil Studios and shot in Thailand, won the Audience Choice Award for a feature film at CAFF last weekend.

Now it’s chalked up an Alberta Film and Television Award nomination for Best Dramatic Feature or Made-for-TV Movie. Matthew Kooman, who worked with his brother Daniel Kooman, is nominated in the directing and editing categories for a drama over 30 minutes (Daniel is ineligible for the Alberta award since he lives in B.C.)

And the film’s production designer, Shari Aspinall and makeup and hair stylist Debbie Vandelaar are nominated as well.

Matthew hopes these accolades will prompt more people to see She Has A Name, which draws attention to an important subject — the international trafficking of people for the sex trade.

The screenplay was written by Matthew’s other brother, Andrew Kooman, and based on his original stage play. The movie version was shot in 2016 with an international cast, including Will Yun Lee (The Wolverine, Hawaii Five-O), Eugenia Yuan (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and Gil Bellows (The Shawshank Redemption, Ally McBeal).

Matthew said She Has a Name now has a U.S. distributor and is also available for groups showings. He believes audiences will want to start a conversation about how to stop human trafficking after seeing the film. (For more information, please visit shehasanamefilm.com or bookings@unveilstudios.com).

Here is the list of other CAFF winners from last weekend:

Benny the Brick (director Peter Kominek) won Jury Best Short Narrative and also received Audience Choice Best Short Narrative

Generation Hope (director Charles Francis Kinnane) won Jury Best Short Documentary and also received Audience Choice Best Short Documentary

Elder in the Making (director Chris Hsuing) won Jury Best Feature Documentary

The California Golden Seals Story (director Mark Greczmiel) won Audience Choice Best Feature Documentary

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com