One of Canada's First FGC-Focused Esports Documentaries Arrives July 15

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Smash Forward, a unique look into the culture and world of esports, is catered for parents and newcomers

Press Release updated: Jul 11, 2019 09:00 PDT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 11, 2019 – ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Smash Forward: Growing the Vancouver Esports Scene is a first-of-its-kind documentary premiering Monday, July 15. Created by indie filmmaker Moon Ghost Productions, Smash Forward is an exploration into the world of esports and the personalities behind it. 

Moon Ghost Productions is made up of newly minted director and producer Melissa Dex Guzman and viral YouTuber Kial Natale of Megasteakman. The team spent a year diving deep into Vancouver's grassroots esports community and came to learn of many inspiring stories of overcoming, diversity, companionship and strength.

The film focuses on four main subjects including Brendan Pryde, Martin “Zerango”​ Byerley, Jen “​Llumiya”​ Zall and Courtney “​CourtFTW” Gilbert. Smash Forward also includes appearances from prolific influencers such as competitive Super Smash Bros. professionals Eric “ESAM” Lew, Vish “​Vish”​ Rajkumar and Julian “​Jtails” Martinez.

“It’s a unique documentary that hasn’t been done before,” director Melissa Dex Guzman stated. “It’s a light that not many gamers have seen themselves in and shines straight to the emotion and passion of these young individuals.  Our team is also proud to have addressed the inclusion and diversity issues in esports today, and things are rapidly changing ⁠— we hope that Smash Forward helps guide those conversations in growing the esports industry in a positive direction.”

Smash Forward is a TELUS STORYHIVE grant-winning documentary receiving $50,000 in funding through this exclusive program, as well as a top-up grant from Creative BC. STORYHIVE has funded productions, supported filmmakers with mentorship and support from the National Screen Institute and brought hundreds of films to life online and around the world. 

A free Premiere Event is planned for Monday, July 15, at The Gaming Stadium ( in Richmond, British Columbia. The event will include free-to-play PC gaming stations, Q&A with the cast and crew and a raffle with amazing prizes including a Nintendo Switch. The event is sponsored and supported by East Side Games, Archiact VR, Truly Social Games, Sam Kalensky, Breakout VR, Microsoft Store, Blackbird Interactive, Cloudhead Games, Vancouver Street Battle, Vancouver VR Community, East Van Game Jam and more.

Smash Forward: Growing the Vancouver Esports Scene will be available on TELUS Optik Video-on-Demand and on the STORYHIVE YouTube channel on Monday, July 15, at 12 p.m. Pacific. 

ABOUT: Moon Ghost Productions is a full stack indie creative studio based in Vancouver, Canada, specializing in virtual reality, VFX, 3D animation, videography, photography and communications. As a client-focused creative studio, Moon Ghost bolsters creators to share their own stories to the world through storytelling and high production visuals.


Melissa Dex Guzman (Director/Producer) – [email protected]

Source: Moon Ghost Productions

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About the Author: Asheley Owens

Ashley Owen holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Ashely writes primarily on Canadian political issues.