Rebound The Film is a documentary on the Miami Heat Wheelchair basketball team. Like all good stories, this one goes beyond basketball. This story is about family, life, and more importantly, how we choose to rebound from it all.
Back in May of 2014, I was fortunate enough to meet Shaina Koren and Mike Esposito at a summit in Colorado where we connected and really got to know each other. They had mentioned they were working on this documentary, but I never thought it would come back around full circle to me, here in New Jersey. As it turns out, one of the main characters of this documentary, Mario Moran, was raised in Union City, only two blocks away from where I've lived my whole life and they were visiting Jersey to get some footage for Mario's story. I didn't realize who he was until I finally met him and heard his voice. Although we never really knew each other we played in the same sports leagues together and went to the same high school.
As we sat, back at the hotel, Mario started telling me all about his story. (Around the neighborhood, we had heard many different versions of what happened to him, but never really found out.) Unfortunately, Mario got caught up in the wrong crowd when he was a teen and ended up getting shot in the chest by a kid he didn’t know. As we spoke a little more, he mentioned that he was just starting to see things differently and trying to get out of that world, until the incident paralyzed him from the waist down.
He paused for a second and said "Getting shot was the best thing that ever happened to me." It was that one statement that absolutely hit me hard and brought the whole night together for me; I couldn't fathom how surreal and serendipitous it was to be traced back from a summit, in Colorado, to 'Mario from 45th street,' (as we used to call him.)
The next day I was able to run Mario through a strength training session at the Crossfit gym I coach at. All the while I was able to learn from Shaina, Mike and Chad (Andreo) about film, photography, lighting and so much more (As I'm looking to take The Movement Project in that direction.) I really enjoyed the time we spent together and really can't wait for this documentary to come out. Needless to say how inspiring this whole experience was - Mario, Shaina, Mike and Chad all inspired the hell out of me and I'm forever grateful to have been part of Rebound The Film. More behind-the-scenes photos of our session below. All photos on this post belong to Rebound The Film.
Check out their work:
Bonus video that Shaina and Mike created for The Movement Project.