In 2005, Zeno Mountain Farm was operating in Los Angeles as a film camp called The Cheshire Project. At first, the idea was to bring a group of friends together for 2 weeks and make our own movie; something that could be shared with family and friends and generally feel the Hollywood vibe. We did just that but we also ended up making films that were funny and unique. We realized that no one was making films that featured people with disabilities, particularly ones that do not focus on the disability. Our films were about pirates, time travelers, and Zac Efron and people loved them!
We began to have screenings in Los Angeles, Boston and NYC. These events were packed and always ended with dance parties with the cast and crew. Celebrities started showing up, too! Screenings also served as much needed fundraisers for future film camps as well as our growing Zeno community.
In 2012, at the Los Angeles premiere of FINDING ZAC EFRON, Michael Barnett from Superfilms approached us and raised the idea of making a feature documentary about our upcoming project, a western called BULLETPROOF. We had no idea at the time that he would create a masterpiece called BECOMING BULLETPROOF. We travelled the world with BECOMING BULLETPROOF which went on to win over 20 film festivals and premiere on SHOWTIME in 2013. The pressure was on to further step up our game for the next Zeno movie.
We have always loved classic American teen musicals. Grease, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, High School Musical and others are always on high rotation at movie night in our community. It seemed to make sense that we would give the teen musical genre the Zeno treatment.
After more than 2 years in the works, in the spring of 2020 Zeno BEST SUMMER EVER premiered at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Complete with 8 original songs, BEST SUMMER EVER is our first feature film and the first film of its kind. Our goal with this film is to “change the world while singing and dancing”. Hollywood has ignored the disability community all too often and mostly got it wrong. Instead of talking about it, we decided to make a movie that proves to the world that disabled talent needs to be involved in every aspect of film making.