Nestled deep within British Columbia, the Gostlin family finds solace in the spirit of the mountains after an unexpected tragedy changes the family’s dream forever.

“Dreaming of a Better Place” co-stars Canadian skier Mark Abma with a sensational soundtrack by Liam Mour, recorded in Berlin’s Funkhaus Cathedral in partnership with Sony Music Europe. 24-year-old Cannes YDA nominee Cameron Thuman directed the film.

Director’s Vision for ‘Dreaming of a Better Place’

The prop plane engine ignited and shook me awake. I was off to British Columbia to direct a documentary, thinking about my father’s recovery from blood cancer and our everlasting bond over skiing. The wheels touched down on an icy runway, and I was met with blistering-cold temperatures and endless snow. I’d be meeting Jeff Gostlin, raised as a die-hard skier in the Monashee Mountains by his father, who recently passed from cancer.

The soul of the mountains fueled our international team with boundless optimism; the challenges were steep, but it was never a “no” and always a “how.” Our BC-based cinematographer captured visuals that existed between reality and a dream; we framed the story to play as a heartfelt winter tale told around a roaring campfire.

Another wave of passion struck when Canadian skiing icon Mark Abma arrived. From surreal slow-motion to hyper-realistic speeds, we photographed him skiing inches from our vintage Russian lenses for a visceral cinematic experience that covers all the senses. Powder skiing is a moving meditation, and Mark’s emotional role encapsulates the universal heart of the snow-to-human connection.

Hours before my flight home, Jeff revealed his father’s decision to undergo a medically-assisted death and shared a letter his father wrote right before passing. Though we are 25 years apart in age, the raw emotions were mutual. In that final moment, the story became complete.

What started as a documentary about a cat skiing lodge revealed itself to not be about the lodge, but rather a family driven to uphold a legacy and discover what matters most in life. The film was an artistic journey crafted by a global team and made out of love for the Gostlin family and Canadian snow culture.