Andrew Kooman is a Canadian writer who writes for the page, stage, and screen. His writing has garnered awards and acclaim around the world and is translated into more than 10 languages. Andrew’s work for the stage has been produced across Canada and in the United States.
Andrew is the author of the critically acclaimed play She Has A Name which is now an award-winning feature film that critics have called a "riveting, fast-paced political thriller." Andrew wrote the screenplay and produced the Unveil Studios' film which was directed by Matthew and Daniel Kooman.
With Matt and Dan, Andrew was given the New Filmmaker Award at the 2018 ICVM Crown Awards in Nashville, TN.
Andrew's follow-up screenplay, Delft Blue, which is set in occupied Holland during World War II was a Finalist in both the 2019 Pitch Now Screen Play Competition and the 2018 Upper Room Screenplay contest in Texas, a Semi-Finalist in the Filmmatic Screenplay Contest in Los Angeles and was nominated for Best Screenplay in the 2018 Top Indie Filmmaker Awards. The screenplay has not yet been slated for production.
She Has A Name – The Film
She Has A Name premiered globally in select theatres on December 2, 2016 on the UN’s International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. The film opened in London, England; Belfast, Ireland; Capetown, South Africa; Ottawa, Ontario; Courtenay, BC and Andrew’s hometown of Red Deer, Alberta.
Described as a "riveting, fast-paced political thriller" (Calgary Herald), She Has a Name was declared a "Cinematic triumph" and a “simply stunning“ film. It marks Andrew’s screenwriting debut. The film is endorsed by a wide range of influencers, including Her Royal Highness Eugenie Princess of York, Canon Andrew White the “Vicar of Baghdad”, The UK’s first ever independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland, to name a few. [Read endorsements and reviews here].
The film is available to watch online and for purchase on Amazon Prime and at www.shehasanamefilm.com. The motion picture soundtrack features music by a list of talented artists, including The Brilliance, New Portals, Luca Fogale, and Isaac Haines.
She Has A Name – The Stage Play
She Has A Name sold out every show of its February 2011 World Premiere in Calgary, Alberta, and followed up with a sold out run in Red Deer, Alberta in March of 2011. Burnt Thicket Theatre, in partnership with Raise Their Voice produced a 13 city cross-Canada tour of the play in 2012 that travelled from Halifax to Victoria.
During the 2012 Canadian Tour, She Has A Name was named the "Pick of the Fringe” at the 2012 Victoria Fringe festival and was nominated for the 2012 Centaur Theatre Award for Best Anglophone Production at the Montreal Fringe Festival. She Has A Name was also given the 2009 SAW/APN Award.
Since the premiere and tour, She Has A Name continues to be produced across the United States. Andrew adapted the script for a US/Mexico context in 2016. The first professional production of this version of the script was performed Off-Broadway January 2017 with a second run in September of 2017, produced by Ripple Effect Artists in New York City.
Andrew’s other theatrical works
In 2016 Andrew signed up with the US theatre phenomenon The Skit Guys which distribute his faith and family plays throughout the United States. Andrew's growing selection of plays have been produced hundreds of times in communities across the United States and continue to be produced on Sundays.
Andrew’s play We Are the Body about political prisoners in solitary confinement in 1950s Romania, had its World Premiere in May 2015. Produced by Burnt Thicket Theatre, the play toured to Red Deer and Calgary, Alberta then to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Given 4 Stars by the Calgary Sun, the Calgary Herald declared that “Andrew Kooman’s We Are the Body is a thoughtful, harrowing drama,” while the Red Deer Advocate wrote that “The lyrical, intense script delivers an emotion-packed evening of theatre.” [Read more Reviews]
The play was nominated for three 2015 Calgary Theatre Critics’ Awards including Best New Script.
Stories making a difference: commissioned work
In November of 2013 Unveil Studios presented Andrew’s Three Monologues, directed by Stephen Waldschmidt in Red Deer followed by a performance in Didsbury, Alberta in March. Since then, Andrew was commissioned to write three other original works for CAPCC‘s annual Easter productions.
The inaugural Easter productions was That Towering Cross which premiered in Red Deer to sold-out audiences in March of 2015. After Hymn!, the second commissioned work in the series, based on the history of well-known hymns, was performed to great reception in March 2016. What We Didn’t Know was be produced in Red Deer in April 2017.
So far, the four productions (Three Monologues, That Towering Cross and After Hymn! and What We Didn't Know) have helped the organization to raise more than $350,000 for their charitable work.
Andrew’s plays Shelter, Joseph and She Has A Name were official selections of Scripts At Work in Red Deer, the workshop founded by Lynda Adams and Tanya Ryga that gave Andrew his start as a playwright.
Film Scripts in Development
Andrew is currently developing new work, which includes, Delft Blue set during the Nazi occupation of Holland, a thriller set in the stark reality of the post-apocalyptic near future, and a first century forensic drama that he describes as a cross between Gladiator and Sherlock Holmes.
Books and Novels
Andrew is also the author of the YA series Ten Silver Coins. The first book in the series, The Drylings of Acchora. Described by the Red Deer Express as thoroughly engaging and refreshing original" the book is available on Amazon.com and as an ebook.
The beloved book is enjoyed by audiences of all ages. [Read the first 3 chapters for free here]. The second book for the series, The Battle for Acchora, was released in November 2018 and has been called "a rich, adventurous tale."
Andrew is the co-author of New Zealand born adventurer Kel Steiner’s mission biography entitled Adventures in Saying Yes to God, which was published in 2014 and has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. In 2015 the book was translated into Korean and then translated into both Spanish and Thai in 2016
Andrew authored the stories for Disappointed by Hope: Migrants and Refugees in Search of a Better Country about migrant issues in Malaysia that has been translated into Mandarin. The book helped to establish a school for the urban poor in Penang which offers education to refugee children who because of government policy otherwise do not receive an education.
Hope in Action, the follow up book that further explores migrant and refugee issues in South East Asia, including an examination of the plight of the Rohingya was published in the Spring of 2016 in English and Mandarin and was officially released in Malaysia on World Refugee Day, June 20, 2016.
Hope In Action has been declared a “must read” for Malaysians by the former High Commissioner from Malaysia to Canada, Dennis Ignatius.
Andrew also writes poetry and is the author of God/he a collection of poetry that was first released in a limited edition hand-crafted book. His is also author of a handcrafted chapbook So Far. Andrew also wrote the popular feature Fridge for Thought, which is an exploration of verse through the limitation of fridge magnets.
Andrew began writing on justice themes with the internationally best-selling publication 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless, contributing a series of creative non-fiction short stories, which has sold more than 100,000 copies in English and has been translated into more than seven languages.
Andrew’s work as Producer and his Non-Profit work
Andrew is a co-director of Unveil Studios, a production company he operates with his brothers Matthew and Daniel. With Unveil, Andrew produced the critically acclaimed feature She Has A Name in 2016. In the summer of 2014 With Unveil, Andrew co-executive produced E for Everyone: The Mouse and the Elephant, a feature length film that asks 9 questions of people all over the world in areas of extreme wealth and poverty.
Unveil produced Daniel Kooman’s A Filmmaker’s Search for Revival and in 2012 released The Ladder of My Life, a documentary film about the true story of Monybany Minyang Dau, a former child soldier, and his journey back to Sudan. Unveil, is currently developing a slate of new feature and documentary films. Unveil's new documentary series Dream, was filmed on location in Tanzania, Mexico and in the United States and Canada.
Andrew speaks and teaches on a variety of subjects, including creativity and justice issues and was one of the speakers at the inaugural TEDx event in Red Deer, Alberta in 2012. He has had the privilege to teach and speak in Kenya, India, Malaysia, Mongolia, England, the USA and Canada.
Andrew holds a Masters Degree in English with a specialization in Transitional Justice from Western University in London, Ontario, a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Calgary (via RDC) and a Diploma in Biblical Studies from the University of the Nations. He teaches on writing and communications at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario and is a guest lecturer with the University of the Nations.
In 2018 Andrew received a Graduate Thesis Research Award for his research project about the distribution and publishing tactics of the original abolition movement. He adapted the research for a chapter now available in the Palgrave Handbook on Human Trafficking (2019) entitled "Aesthetic Whistle-Blowers: The Importance and Limitations of Art and Media in Addressing Human Trafficking."
He also received a Lynne-Lionel Scott Scholarship and was nominated for a Graduate Student Teaching Assistant Award.
In 2016 Andrew was bestowed the Distinguished Alumnus Award by Red Deer College for his personal and professional achievements, as well as public service.
In 2012 Andrew was recognized by the Association of Alberta Colleges and Technical Institutes as an Outstanding Alumnus, and was given the Provincial Award Celebrating Excellence. Through the award Andrew created the Raise Their Voice Leadership scholarship for future students at Red Deer College who demonstrate leadership, creativity and a commitment to helping others.