"It takes a community
to rebuild a community"

The Beast was imagined as a short-animated film, and a wellness, resilience and mental health resource to help children, families, and communities who have experienced a disaster, and are coping with grief and loss. The Beast, is to engage children and families, allowing them to discuss and reflect on their grief and loss as many people as possible in a manner that gets them to reflect and discuss their emotional experiences created by recent Wildfire disasters.

In order to bring that vision to life, we are crowdfunding the funds to create supplementary tools to support the children and families who will watch the film.The support resources include: classroom discussion guides and activities, family / parent discussion guide, resources on disaster preparedness / coping with grief and loss and more.

The Team

Michael Mankowski

Michael Mankowski

Michael Mankowski is a screenwriter, producer, and owner/operator of Wood Buffalo Productions, Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Prior to embarking on commercial, for-hire work, Michael and his business partners self-financed, wrote, directed, edited, and acted in two feature-length comedic films, earning multiple awards in the film festival circuit for writing and directing.

Michael has worked with clients such as Vice Media, Bell Media, Shell Canada, Red Cross Canada, Franklin Covey’s Leader-in-Me, Fuse Social, Alberta Tourism, Nexen Inc., Fort McKay Group of Companies, Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, Rotary Club of Fort McMurray, Oranj Fitness, the region's 3 local school boards, and over 20 other local small businesses. Wood Buffalo Productions received the 2017 Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Award for best creative collaboration. He has been nominated for the 2016 Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce Artpreneur Award and was also nominated in 2015 for the Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Award.

Michael produced the short film, God’s Acre, premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and winning several awards including the Best Short Film at the 2016 Alberta Film and Television Awards. The Road Behind, a feature based on the short, will make its theatrical debut in 2018 and will be released on the Movie Channel after its festival run. Michael Mankowski was selected for the 2016 Top 50 under 50 by YMM Magazine.

Michael consistently gives back to his community through his art. With a bigger need now more than ever after the fire, Michael is committed to giving back, and that’s where the idea for the animated film, The Beast was born.

Born and raised in Fort McMurray, Michael is a proud member of the community and is committed to its betterment.

Charmaine Hammond

Charmaine Hammond: Raise a Dream Team

Charmaine Hammond, MA, BA, CSP, has a lengthy background in mental health, resilience, collaboration, and speaking industries. She has worked as a correctional officer in young offender facilities, managed a youth custody facility and family crisis shelter, was a program lead in a psychiatry and provincial mental health department, created a mobile mental health response program, was a family (and corporate) mediator for many years, and developed youth/family personal development skills programs for many government and nonprofit clients.

An entrepreneur at heart, she has had her own business for 21 years and has worked on many disaster management and recovery based projects in communities, schools/school divisions, and with municipalities. Her work included delivering presentations on resilience, teaching compassion fatigue for school personnel and caregivers, and facilitating community resilience processes. Her extensive background with first responders has also included providing training, facilitation, and mentoring to Fire Departments, Police, and RCMP.

She is a Certified Speaking Professional (less than 12% of the 5,000+ speakers worldwide, who belong to the 14 member associations of the Global Speakers Federation (GSF), currently hold this professional designation).

Rebecca Kirstein

Rebecca Kirstein: Raise a Dream Team

Rebecca Kirstein is a serial entrepreneur who is the owner and founder of several businesses and is the founder of Rethink Thinking, a social profit organization that supports young people in developing the skills needed for today’s era of rapid change and interconnection. Their philosophy and approach is designed to empower youth and support creativity, innovation, holistic well-being, and resilience. Their first event featured Sir Ken Robinson as the keynote and the organization works closely with a number of mental health organizations, schools, and educational partners.

Together, Charmaine and Rebecca Kirstein have over 30 years of combined experience in building collaborative relationships and partnerships in business and community projects to accelerate the growth of their own businesses and nonprofits (over 10 of them between them) and the businesses and projects of 100’s of others through their consulting, training, and mentorship programs. They have come together through their shared belief in lifting others as they climb. They’ve co-founded Raise a Dream to share their knowledge and expertise in collaboration, partnership, and sponsorship and to combine their teams to form an even more comprehensive and collaborative group of professionals (the “Raise a Dream Team”) to help you Raise your Dream. They are delighted to be a part of raising Michael's dream…The Beast.

Victoria Bennett

Victoria Bennett: Bennett Milner Williams Consulting

Victoria Bennett has over twenty years of experience in marketing, working on many major brands including Tide, Pampers, ENMAX, and TD. She headed up marketing for Institutional Pampers and Attends in the UK and Ireland and was on their National Management team, working directly with the National Health Service in the UK. Her educational background is in health with her degree in Biochemistry from the University of Edinburgh Medical School.

Victoria ran her first successful crowdfund campaign over six years ago, a long time in crowdfunding years. A strategic marketer by training, her company still provides strategic marketing consulting for numerous international clients. She has used her skills as a marketer to identify the solution the product or service provides, the target market, the so-what, and to communicate clearly, effectively, and consistently to the crowd; all skills vital to crowdfunding. She has run successful campaigns in Canada and in Europe, her team is currently consulting for a number of Canadian equity and rewards crowdfund campaigns, and she has spoken at the Global Crowdfunding Conference on women in crowdfunding.

Daryl Hatton

Daryl Hatton: FundRazr

FundRazr's story starts in 2009 with an enthusiastic team led by CEO and crowdfunding pioneer, Daryl Hatton. FundRazr understands the difficulties of raising money and their team is passionate about providing an alternative funding source for startups, charities, and personal causes. They believe in the power of community support and sharing personal stories with the world. Ultimately, FundRazr wants to build a great company, have fun, and help people in a meaningful way.

So far, their online fundraising platform has helped raise over $130 million for over 200,000 campaigns in dozens of countries around the world. FundRazr believes in creating a platform that is easy to use, inexpensive, and that leverages the power of the internet community. Contrary to some other crowdfunding platforms, their platform does not limit the type of campaigns they host. They want to be flexible and available to everyone for an extensive list of causes from multiple areas around the globe.

Daryl is a sought after expert speaker on crowdfunding, the future of crowdfunding, bringing purpose into corporations, and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs. He speaks frequently at national crowdfunding events and is a speaker at Bloomberg Live.

John Schneider

John Schneider

John Schneider is a film, television, and multimedia producer and artists' manager based in Los Angeles, California. Currently representing comedian/actor/TV host Tom Green and a number of up-and-coming movie and television directors, John also serves as creative consultant to filmmaker/actor/musician Fred Durst.

Born in San Francisco and raised in Pacifica, California, John made his first foray into show business when he took on the positions of manager and producing partner for his brother -- comedian and actor Rob Schneider.

Over the course of his career, John has produced such hit movies as The Hot Chick, The Animal, and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, alongside executive producers Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo, and films including Big Stan and The Chosen One. Subsequently, John teamed with executive producer Richard Middleton to get the Oscar-winning picture The Artist into production and served as a producer of the Oscar-nominated film Hitchcock.

Having produced the CBS-TV show Rob, which aired in 2012, John recently completed four seasons as the executive producer of AXS TV's weekly talk-show, Tom Green Live. Now, he has television programs in development at Showtime, the CW network, TBS, and AXS TV.

Help Fund The Beast

Help fund the beast
help those communities
to rebuild their lives

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