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  • For Immediate Release:

    Said Who? Productions & Lina Hanson Media Present
    The World Premiere of Kordo Doski’s
    Mikael
    A Film That Explores the Triumph of the Human Spirit
    Against the Odds
    At the Duhok International Film Festival in Kurdistan, Iraq
    Friday, September 11, 2015
     
    Potential is just that… potential.
    On a long enough timeline, it eventually fades to zero.

     

    LOS ANGELES, CA – August 26, 2015 – Said Who? Productions and Lina Hanson Media proudly announce the World Premiere of Mikael at the 3rd Duhok International Film Festival in Kurdistan, Iraq on Friday, September 11, 2015. The feature-length indie drama follows the story of 33-year-old office-worker Mikael, who travels to his war-torn ancestral home (Iraq) to pursue a lifelong dream of playing professional soccer, in an attempt to heal his soul. Directed, written, and starring Kordo Doski as Mikael, the personal and intimate 79-minute film draws on Doski’s own personal history as a promising young soccer player. The Duhok International Film Festival runs September 9-16, 2015. Doski will attend the Duhok festival and participate in a post-screening Q&A session. For additional information, please visit http://www.mikaelfilm.com.

    The film stars Canadian, American, and Kurdish actors, as well as actual players from the FIFA sanctioned Duhok Football Club. Mikael features Sitara Hewitt (Little Mosque on the Prairie), Randall Park (The Interview, Veep, ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat), and Jose Moreno Brooks (NBC’s Hot and Bothered), who also served as editor and a producer on the film. The film will continue to screen on the festival circuit over the coming year and is currently entertaining distribution offers.

    Mikael Banner

    “Ultimately, this is a coming of age story; soccer is the vehicle,” says Doski. “The film also offers a window into Iraq, shedding a positive light on the region, in stark contrast to prevailing stereotypes of the Middle East.”

    Mikael (2015, Drama, USA/Canada/Iraq/UAE, 79 min.) –
    Mikael is the story of a 33-year-old former college soccer star who is coasting through life, working in an office job that he hates. In the film, he faces the harsh reality that he settled for security instead of pursuing his dream. Ten years past his greatest accomplishment of training with the national soccer team, and far from peak physical condition, Mikael finds himself in a job he despises. To make matters worse, his fiancé, who he has been with for twelve years, is leaving him. At a major crossroads in his life, he decides to give one last go at his abandoned dream of playing soccer professionally. Quitting his job, selling his car, and living off his meager savings, he starts to train full-time and sets his sights on playing for a team in his native Kurdistan. With no guarantee of a spot on the team, Mikael leaves his familiar world of Los Angeles for the distant home of his ancestors.

    The film is an honest, gritty look at the arduous journey of a man taking action against all odds. At our hero’s age, most would consider his quest impossible and foolish, no matter how talented he once was. Mikael also faces language and cultural barriers as he navigates the playing field in Kurdistan.

    Made on a shoestring budget with a skeletal production crew that travelled to political hotbed Iraq during uncertain times, this film tells a story of hope. Devoid of the prevailing negative stereotypes of the Middle East that are so often perpetuated in the western world, Mikael, one of the first co-productions of Kurdistan, Canada, the United States, and the UAE, takes a close personal look at the people and beauty of the region that most outside the country are unfamiliar with. Blurring the line between documentary and drama, many subjects in the film are not actors but the actual members of the internationally recognized Duhok Football Club. Actual events that transpired during the training sessions very much shaped the story. Filmed in Los Angeles and Kurdistan. In English and Kurdish.

    Training_450Mikael
    left: “Mikael” played by Kordo Doski; right: “Jesse” played by Jose Moreno Brooks


    Credits –

    • Director – Kordo Doski
    • Screenwriter – Kordo Doski
    • Producers – Nameer Al-Durrah, Jose Moreno Brooks, Kordo Doski
    • Associate Producers – Michael Ciulla, Nadav Streett
    • Cinematographer – Michael Ciulla
    • Editor – Jose Moreno Brooks
    • Original Score – Tim Martin, wavetourists

    Cast –
    • Mikael – Kordo Doski
    • Kristina – Sitara Hewitt
    • Shawn – Randall Park
    • Jesse – Jose Moreno Brooks
    • Haval/Hotel Clerk – Mivan Shaban
    • News Announcer – Michele Tredger
    • Sportscaster – Dwayne Perkins

    Kordo Doski (Director, Screenwriter, Producer, “Mikael”) –
    Born in Kurdistan, raised in Canada, and currently residing in Los Angeles, Kordo Doski holds a BA in Communication Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University. He currently has two projects in the works that have garnered interest from established production companies looking to shoot with Doski attached as director and lead actor. Doski has also been hard at work developing a web series called The Grind, coming out later this year. In addition to telling stories, Doski is the co-founder of Lina Hanson Beauty, an all-natural skin care line that is known for giving back and celebrating the concept of global beauty. The skin care line has received rave reviews by renown publications such as Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, andTeen Vogue, to name a few. Doski’s objective with Mikael was to explore and expose Iraq as a land of opportunity, which is largely contrary to the common perception of the country.

    Jose Moreno Brooks (Producer, Editor, “Jesse”) –
    Born in San Jose, California, Moreno Brooks graduated with a degree in Economics from UCLA, on the straight and narrow path towards the family business of law. Realizing, just in time, that all he had ever wanted to do was to tell stories for a living, he hung a sharp left and has been doing so since he met Doski in an acting class. In Doski, he found a fellow actor tired of waiting in line. Doski had a film that he wanted to make and Moreno Brooks could not have been more ready to jump. His understanding of the character’s journey as well as the story Doski wanted to tell, combined with his willingness to sit in a dark room, alone, for long periods of time, made him the perfect candidate to edit this film. He recently signed on to play a starring role in NBC’s upcoming Eva Longoria project, Hot and Bothered.

    Nameer Al-Durrah (Producer) –
    Born in Baghdad, raised in Abu Dhabi, and emigrating to Toronto at the age of 9, Al-Durrah’s interests are as diverse as the landscape in which he was raised. After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University, he moved to Nigeria, working in the oil sector for two years before deciding to go back and pursue higher education. That idea did not last long as the allure of starting his own business was too attractive, calling him back to the Middle East where he established CBM in the Kingdom of Bahrain. A serial entrepreneur in a variety of industries including construction, telecom and manufacturing, saying no to a good business idea has always been difficult for Al-Durrah. He had been waiting for an opportunity to enter the film industry since his time at Wilfrid Laurier with Doski. What started off as a casual discussion 10 years ago led to his producing role for Mikael.

    Sitara Hewitt (“Kristina”) –
    Sitara Hewitt (aka Tara Hewitt) is a Canadian film and television actress of Pakistani ethnicity. Originally from Toronto, Canada, her performing career began in dance and she is trained in classical ballet, jazz, hip-hop and modern, with dance roles in productions like Deepa Mehta’s Bollywood/Hollywood. She is also a model who has appeared in countless magazines in North America. She can be seen starring as the intelligent and devout “Rayyan” in Canada’s hit series Little Mosque on the Prairie. She was also the co-host of the Comedy Network’s You Bet Your Ass. Along with her acting roles, Hewitt has also hosted shows like Playtime on Sportsnet and Double Down on Global.

    Randall Park (“Shawn”) –
    Randall Park is an American actor, comedian, writer, and director. He played Kim Jong-Un in the 2014 film, The Interview, Minnesota governor Danny Chung in Veep, and is Eddie Huang’s father, Louis Huang, in ABC’s television show Fresh Off the Boat. He was born in Los Angeles, to Korean parents, and graduated from the Humanities Magnet Program at Hamilton High School. Park went on to receive a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing and a Master’s degree in Asian American Studies from UCLA. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

    3rdDIFF

    Said Who? Productions –
    Said Who? Productions is a family of artists and entrepreneurs dedicated to telling the human story through cinema. The production company’s independence allows Said Who? to challenge the status quo dictated by the larger studios through authentic and accessible narrative film.  Ingenuity, passion, and creativity allow participating artists to ask the question, “Said Who?”

    Lina Hanson Media –
    Lina Hanson Media is an extension of the Lina Hanson brand of hand-blended, organic beauty products. Much like the skin care brand’s mandate to celebrate global beauty, the media component of the organization spotlights universal stories that connect us all.

    Links –
    • Official Film Site – http://www.mikaelfilm.com
    • Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mikaelthefilm
    • IMDb – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2692134
    • Duhok International Film Festival – http://duhokiff.com

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    For more information, photos, a screener, or to schedule an interview, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201, lynn@greengalactic.com.

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    ~ What Folks Are Saying About Mikael ~

     “As an antidote to fast paced blockbuster films, this subtle, powerful, very human, and deeply moving film also manages through its subject matter to have a unifying effect upon the audience. Mikael… a lovely indie gem.”

    – Tim Sika, President, San Francisco Film Critics Circle

    “[Kordo Doski’s] background gives him a window to themes and cultures that most of us only know from the news. His instincts are to make such material accessible and entertaining to a broad audience. His talent allows him to achieve this goal. Kordo Doski is a fresh, charismatic voice for the future, one highly worth embracing.”

    – Daniel Waters, Writer/Director (Heathers, Batman Returns, Sex and Death 101)

    “An Iraqi-American Rocky: Mikael is a winning paean to ignoring the odds and chasing dreams.”

    – Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews

    “I can say with certainty that his filmmaking is not just good, it’s the work of a unique and confident voice that knows it’s supposed to be heard.”

    – Joseph M. Smith, Producer (Falling Up, See This Movie)

    “10/10 I loved this movie! Especially how it shows another culture in such a kind way. Too many Americans are so close-minded and scared about the world.”

    – Audience Member, Test Screening at Camera Cinema Club

    “10/10 Tender, thoughtful, a treasure of a film. Touches some universal chords within. Bravo!”

    – Audience Member, Test Screening at Camera Cinema Club

    Posted on August 26th, 2015 lynn-hasty No comments

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