Far From Home isn’t just about snowboarding. Or just about Brolin Mawejje. The documentary is about a team as well as communities from Uganda to Utah coming together.
From the day I met Phil Hessler (Producer) and Galen Knowles (Director), I knew they were on to something. That was in January of 2013, and it wasn’t that either of them were the most talented filmmakers — Phil had never picked up a camera and Galen was still shooting on a Canon Rebel — but it was the ambition I saw in both of them that drew me in. We were all undergraduate students at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, and the idea was to make a short film telling Brolin’s story. Brolin and Phil had met through snowboarding in Boston, and since Phil’s sophomore year of high school had been living together with Phil’s family in Jackson Hole.
The project started as a short film, but within three months the team we had compiled recognized that the story had far more potential. After a successful Kickstarter campaign to send Brolin back to Uganda for the first time in ten years, the production ramped up. Two and a half years later we’ve found ourselves with a feature length documentary film that will be shown on Vimeo (released November 11 on Vimeo on Demand) and Red Bull TV.
The thing is, everything we decided to do required a team, whether it was going to Africa, editing the film, or getting Brolin to a trampoline gym for dry-land training. Hundreds of people have chipped in to make this film, be it through a couch to crash on or a dollar on Kickstarter, and that is what has inspired me to push on throughout the process and see it to completion.
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