On Oct. 7, 2008, then-Henderson resident Kim Dreske was visiting her father in Park City, Utah, when she fell from a four-story balcony. On Jan. 26, a pair of Las Vegans screened “Redemption of the Fall,” their film about the incident, Dreske’s recovery efforts and her father’s inventiveness, during the Sundance Film Festival, within a few hundred feet of the balcony from which she fell.
Darren Sieben, Dreske’s boyfriend at the time of her fall, searched for someone to tell her story. He found Jeremy Settles, a Summerlin-area producer who felt the story was compelling. Settles brought in Sunrise Manor resident Robert Cochrane to direct.
Settles is a hands-on producer.
“I seek out projects and do a lot of work to find them,” Settles said. “I also handle all of the creative teams and work with the director, post-production and the crew members. I’m there for the financing and distribution, too.”
Settles and Cochrane sidelined another project they were discussing to devote their full resources to “Redemption of the Fall.” Cochrane has created several documentaries related to the general subject of health, and Dreske’s story seemed perfect for him.
“It’s an interesting documentary subject,” Cochrane said. “On the one hand, it’s about the story that leads the film, but it’s also about the invention her father made.”
Eddie Dreske is trying to patent an assisted walker to help people such as his daughter.
In the film, interviews with Sieben and Kim Dreske’s parents make it clear that she was troubled for some time before the incident, but she seemed to be getting ready to turn her life around. A bad moment on the evening of her fall led her to climb over the balcony and plummet to the cement.
She spent a year in a coma before she started to slowly come out of it, but she was partially paralyzed. The following years, she went from one care facility to another, slowly gaining movement. It was during this time Eddie Dreske came up with the idea of an assisted walker to help his daughter on the road to recovery.
While Dreske’s recovery has been slow, the creation of the film was not.
“Jeremy first talked to me about it in late July of 2012,” Cochrane said. “We wrapped up production in October, and we were screening it three months later in Park City.”
A sneak peek of the film was screened Jan. 24 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The two premiere screenings were put on in a restaurant in Park City Jan. 26.
The film was not part of the Sundance Film Festival because it wasn’t completed until a month after the festival’s submission deadline.
“That didn’t really hit me until we got up there, and the other filmmakers were talking about years of production,” Cochrane said.
The film was unique among those screened at the time of the festival in that it had a strong geographic connection to the city. Locals who remembered reading about Kim Dreske’s story in a newspaper attended the screening. Some of the emergency crew, the airlift team and doctors who had saved her life were on hand, too.
“The mayor of Park City and other community leaders were there,” Cochrane said. “I don’t think being part of the festival would have brought in more people because it happened there.”
While the university provided the screening room at no charge, renting the restaurant was a significant expenditure.
“We rented out the Wahso (Asian) Grill, which is a very nice restaurant up there,” Cochrane said. “It isn’t an inexpensive city during the rest of the year, but during Sundance, the roof goes off the prices.”
Cochrane noticed an interesting phenomenon in the Park City screenings that he feels shows how well the film was received.
“We had food, beer and wine there, but no one went to get it because they were champing at the bit for the Q-and-A,” he said. “They really wanted to talk about it. We had to cut it off after a half-hour with people still having a lot of questions because we had a second session lined up that was also to a packed house.”
Cochrane, Settles and their backers are pondering their next move. They are looking at other events, including the Las Vegas Film Festival in June. They are also waiting to see what happens with Eddie Dreske’s assisted walker.
“The story of the film is very connected to the invention,” Settles said. “It’s possible the invention will drive the film, and it’s possible the film will drive the invention.”
Kim Dreske plans to keep moving forward and improving herself. She hopes to go to medical school because she feels that’s a profession where she can make a difference.
For more information, visit redemptionofthefall.com.
Contact Sunrise/Whitney View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4532.