This animated short film takes viewers into the magical world of a dreamcatcher, reminding children to always follow their dreams.
Dream Catcher is a passion project - a story that was born from my imagination many moons ago.
In my second year in the dreamlike bubble that is Film School, I was prompted to pitch an idea for a short film. As it happens, just a week earlier a dear friend of mine had woven together a beautiful handmade dreamcatcher, which she gifted to me for my birthday. And it now hung like a delicate treasure on the wall above my bed.
When I returned to my abode that day after class, I laid down on my bed and stared at the ceiling. After a moment, my gaze lazily drifted to the wall where I proceeded to gaze abstractly into that mystical dreamcatcher. Without so much as a sudden breath, my mind’s eye dove straight into the microscopic world, seeing the story of a Young Sorter who works inside the dreamcatcher and goes on this wildly mislead adventure to catch a Nightmare. Looking back, I see how the story manifests as a cute portrayal of my fears of the unknown world at the time. I feared what every undergraduate student fears at the end of an era - the daunting reality of the real world that lurked beyond the safety of student living. And yet, despite these Nightmares, I felt I could not be led by my fears, but instead I became determined to grow from a place of LOVE for the work I do and the content I produce, which has paid off in spades.
Turns out the real world isn’t so bad after all! With a sprinkle of good timing and a dash of good luck, I was able to assemble a Dream Team of talented young filmmakers to help me bring this special vision to life.
May all who view Dream Catcher allow this message into her/his heart:
Do not follow your nightmares. Follow your dreams!
The dreamcatcher is a sacred instrument of protection invented by our Native American ancestors who believed the magical web would catch one’s good dreams, while the bad dreams slipped through the hole in the center and disappeared into the night.
In one Lakota legend, it is said the dreamcatcher was delivered to a spiritual leader through a vision cast by the spider spirit, Iktomi. High on a mountaintop in pre-colonized America, this tribal elder spoke with the ancient weaver who told him of the cycle of life. He told of how people begin their lives as infants, grow into children, adults, then elders, and soon need to be taken care of as infants once more. The spider spirit, the great teacher of wisdom, said,"in each time of life there are many forces - some good and some bad. If you listen to the good forces, they will steer you in the right direction. But, if you listen to the bad forces, they will hurt you and steer you in the wrong direction."
Though this short film is entirely fiction, and was written before I myself had much knowledge about the Native American myth, the theme is serendipitously the same. Listen to the good forces in your heart, and good spirits (or little elves inside your dreamcatcher) will protect you.
Now that the short film is complete, one might ask herself: What do I do now?
Well now, the first step after any short film is born, is the Film Festival Circuit! Learning how to crawl our way through Press Kits and Director Statements is like feeling out how strong the legs are on this thing. For instance: Why is our story important? Why does the world need this story right now? These are the big questions. From conception to final cut was our creative incubation phase. And now, it is time to package our film together with the right tricks of the trade and send it off into the world to have a life of it’s own beyond the production house.
Dream Catcher is in the submission process for every major Academy Qualifying film festival. In addition, we have submitted a nursery rhyme adaptation of the short film to various Book Publishing Agents in the Children’s Book sphere.
The Big Dream, though, the one we have been following all along, is to cultivate a sense of interest from an animation studio or production company that would want to work with Enlighten Productions to bring Dream Catcher to the big screen as a feature length movie.