The beauty of our existence is the education we learn from our very own exploration. And in the case where modern living interferes with how far we can explore, we learn from the people we meet along the way - people who offer their time, energy, struggle, resources, experiences, travels, and physicality so we may be enlightened by the answers and stories they find in their journey.
The story concept of the film Two Wheels and a Dream was given to me in confidence by the Executive Producers and after discussing with them the premise of their mission, I realized the importance of highlighting amazing transformation out of our ordinary lives. This film will remind us of the world outside our doors and simple things we tend to overlook like a stranger’s smile, embrace of a family and friend, wind and sunshine, coffee with friends, and cycling on the open road. This film will also provide a keen exploration into the complex experience of diabetes, its physical and mental strain, and the resiliency of the human spirit, and in this case, Deejay’s joyful and determined spirit to go beyond coping and thrive with a renewed sense of well-being.
I am a 34 year old Filipino American from Chula Vista, California and I’ve had Type 1 diabetes for 22 years. From being a teenager, to finishing college, to dating, to finding a job and pursuing a dream, I’ve maintained a constant belief that I would always be limited in what I could accomplish due to my disease. The only thing that was as consistent as this depressing belief was my love for three things: connecting with others through conversation, riding a bicycle, and telling stories through the medium of film.
I could not find a how-to book on making the things I love to do, a means to sustain myself with my preexisting condition. For a long time, I believed that having a job, whether I liked it or not, would be the only way I could get health care – something I needed to survive. It was that fear of not having health care that lead me chained to an office desk, overweight, stressed out, and unhappy for many years. November 2015 was when I finally said, “That’s enough! I’m going to take control of my life.”
My 500+ mile trek is more than a statement; it is a goal generated by whatever sliver of joy and energy I have left to do something great. The time has come for me to hit the reset button and let go of the old reality that I had built about myself. I am now choosing to believe that I can thrive doing the things that I love in the face of anything especially with the support from friends, family and community. This ride is not only for me but for the many people out there who dare to dream. During my ride from San Diego to San Francisco, I plan to collect and share inspiring stories from the people that I meet before and during my trip. Through the sharing of this experience, I hope to awaken the ambition of those who have killed their dreams, based on circumstance. So ultimately, this journey is not just for me, but for all of you as well.
Here’s to all of our journeys!
Sidelined by work, obesity and diabetes, a jolly young man named Deejay Viloria is going to bid his family and work farewell and ride his bike from Chula Vista to San Francisco (500+ miles) in the winter of 2016. Disadvantaged not only by his physicality and health, he will face the long isolated roads, unforgiving climbs and unpredictable winter weather conditions. Deejay is by no measure an athlete who trained for this kind of cycling adventure. Many years ago, this regular guy dreamt of visiting his relatives in San Francisco on a bike, so that he could surprise them. This personal dream project did not materialize because of his health and life situation at the time. “I need to work full time, so I can have health insurance and take care of my diabetes, and I was not getting healthier. I could not do anything else and it was depressing me,” says Deejay.
After his trip from the Philippines last December (2015), Deejay realized the need for a radical switch in his outlook. Instead of just surviving with diabetes, he wanted to take control of the disease and explore the possibility of being healthy both mentally and physically. In the end of 2015, Deejay decides to finally fulfill his dream to ride from the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA to the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, CA. It all started from a personal dream that became larger and more real than what Deejay has ever imagined. Deejay will carry the torch to bring light and awareness to the debilitating and complex disease that is diabetes. Deejay hopes to be able to promote a change in lifestyle for two audiences: people coping with diabetes, and people who need a little bit of hope and inspiration in changing their lifestyle into a healthier one.
The cycling community in Chula Vista will mentor and prepare him for his long distance ride. The blind cyclist from San Diego will inspire him through his stories and will ride alongside him on some routes. A patient with diabetes will follow him on his quest via YouTube. The cycling community along the route will anticipate his journey and ride with him on some sections of the ride. The cycling community of San Francisco will welcome him and will symbolize the bonding of two cities. The nation will be obsessed by his inspired tenacity and joy in the midst of physical pain and mental struggle along the way. The innate joy of his personality, the warm energy of the community surrounding him, the love of his family and the enduring affection of his girlfriend, Jenasi will drive Deejay’s dream of turning the pedal over the other until he sees the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco.
Benito Bautista is an award-winning filmmaker who has worked on various film projects in different parts of the world. He directed the documentary film entitled The Gift of Barong: a Journey from Within, which is now part of Stanford University’s Stanford Program for International Cultural Education. It won Best Cinematography at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival in 2006.
Benito’s first feature narrative film, BOUNDARY, received the 2016 Ani ng Dangal (Harvest of Honors) Award, a state recognition given by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts under the Office of the President of the Philippines. BOUNDARY is the NETPAC Best Film winner at the 2011 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. BOUNDARY also won the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature at the Guam International Film Festival in 2012.
In 2012, Benito’s internationally acclaimed feature documentary, HARANA: the search for the lost art of serenade, competed and made its international premiere at the Busan International Film Festival. It won the A.N.D. Distribution Grant Award at the said festival. Soon after, HARANA garnered Best Documentary nominations and won a number of Audience Awards for Best Documentary from international film festivals including the Hawaii International Film Festival and CAAMFEST in San Francisco. HARANA also received the Best Documentary film award at the Gawad Urian Awards 2013.
Benito is one of the recipients of the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Indie Bravo Award in 2012 and 2013 for creating global films that received international acclaim and recognition for the Philippines.
In October 2013, Benito received the CJ Entertainment film grant award from Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Project Market for his feature film satire inspired by true events to be shot tentatively in 2017 called Samuel over the Rainbow.
Emma Francisco is a resident filmmaker and Managing Partner at Wanderlustproject Films. She wears many hats in the company, working as a director, producer, writer, script consultant, casting director, and editor for short films, music videos, feature documentaries and narrative films. She has produced films and has worked under co-productions that have been filmed in different parts of the world including the Philippines, the United States, India, and France.
She worked as one of the cinematographers in the award-winning feature documentary film The Gift of Barong: a Journey from Within (dir. Benito Bautista).
She produced the award-winning film BOUNDARY and the feature romantic comedy Mumbai Love, both directed by Benito Bautista. She also served as the Script Consultant and Assistant Director for Bautista’s internationally acclaimed documentary film, HARANA: the Search for the Lost Art of Serenade, which garnered Audience Awards from prestigious international film festivals including the Hawaii International Film Festival and the CAAMFest (formerly San Francisco Asian American Film Festival).
Emma is also working on producing a feature satire whose story concept has won development funds from CJ Entertainment at the Busan International Film Festival's Asian Project Market in 2013.
Jeremiah is a cinematographer based in the Bay Area, whose work has earned seven NATAS Emmy's, 13 NATAS Emmy Nominations, two New York Film Festival finalist recognitions, multiple Telly Awards and has been recognized at the PromaxBDA Local Awards twice. Jeremiah started covering the news in 2005, and have branched into doing documentaries, commercials and features — ranging from sports, food, lifestyle, and social issues.
Jeremiah is proficient in operating various cameras like the SONY XDCAM, Sony EX-3, live studio cameras, Jimmy Jib, the Canon 5d Mark 3, Canon c300, Canon c100 and Red Scarlett. Jeremiah is also knowledgeable in Final Cut Pro and Apple Color. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts from the San Francisco State University
Daniel is a filmmaker and the Owner of Omnistories Event Cinematography. He has filmed over 100 weddings, directed eight feature concept films, and mentored many aspiring filmmakers over the last six years. He’s completed numerous video projects for nonprofit organizations such as: Pacific Arts Movement, Natural High, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation & The Filipino School.
Daniel was the Video Production Coordinator at Pacific Arts Movement (Pac Arts) from 2012 to 2014, where he led a team of interns and volunteers to capture interview footage of featured guests and capture video footage of the festivities going on at the San Diego Asian Film Festival and Pac Arts Spring Showcase. In 2013, Deejay became the Media Specialist for Oleas Design Inc.
Daniel had filmed and edited the opening titles/introduction for the Emmy Award-Winning show, Art Pulse TV. Not only did he film and edit some segments of the show, he also completed promotional, marketing videos for real estate companies & small businesses throughout Southern California.
In 2013, Daniel directed and starred in the short film, "Guns & Hoses", an entry for the San Diego 48 Hour Film Project. The film won an Audience Choice Award and Deejay was nominated for "Best Actor". In the 2015 48 Hour Film Project Competition, the short film "Dirty Sock" had won awards for "Best Special Effects", "Best Blocking" and "Best Use of Character" as well as the Audience Choice Award for the team’s screening group. "Dirty Sock" was also an official selection for the 2015 San Diego Film Festival, and an official selection at the 2016 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
Darlene is a filmmaker and the Production Manager of Internal Affairs for Omnistories Event Cinematography. She has filmed over 60 weddings, edited over 30 wedding highlights, and completed over 30 video projects for nonprofit organizations.The non-profit organizations that she’s done video work for include: Pacific Arts Movement, Feeding America, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, San Diego Center for Children & The Filipino School.
She has also filmed and edited pieces for the Emmy Award-Winning show, Art Pulse TV, and completed promotional, marketing videos for real estate companies & small businesses throughout Southern California.
Darlene has participated in the San Diego 48 Hour Film Project for three years, and two of her short films, have won the Audience Choice Award in her screening group. The 2015 short film entry “Dirty Sock” had won multiple awards, and it was also an official selection for the 2015 San Diego Film Festival, and an official selection at the 2016 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
Fun Fact: Darlene is an ambassador for gender equality in the film industry, so she wrote and produced a short film that inspires females to pursue a career in film production.
In 2012, 29.1 million Americans (9.3% of the population) had diabetes; that's about 1 out of 11 people. And currently, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.
HELP us reduce the number of deaths caused by diabetes by becoming a part of this very important film project. YOU will not only shed light and awareness about this deadly disease, but you will also give tremendous inspiration and hope to many individuals who are either coping with diabetes or trying to live a healthier, more active lifestyle through cycling. All you need to do is make a donation.
Your donation will help make this documentary film project possible. TOGETHER, we can create a legacy film that will educate and inspire both present and future generations.
Please spread the word about this film project. Thank you.
To support our film, please send your donation through our Kickstarter campaign link below.
Produced by Omnistories