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“You got any dreams you wanna catch?” Sundance award winner DREAMCATCHER takes us into a hidden world of prostitution and sexual trafficking through the eyes of one of its survivors, Brenda Myers-Powell. A former teenage prostitute with a drug habit, Brenda defied the odds to become a powerful advocate for change in her community, and works to help women and young girls break the cycle of sexual abuse and exploitation. DREAMCATCHER lays bare the hidden violence that devastates the lives of these young women, their families and the communities where they live in Chicago and Brenda’s unflinching intervention that turns these desperate lives around.

With unprecedented access, multi-award winning director, Kim Longinotto (SISTERS IN LAW, ROUGH AUNTIES, SALMA) paints a vivid portrait of a community struggling to come to terms with some of its most painful truths and of the extraordinary woman who uses her past to inspire others to survive. With warmth and humor, Brenda gives hope to those who have none in the four magic words she offers up to everyone she meets: “It’s not your fault.”

"Like its subject, this documentary is powerful, honest, and empowering. Bravo."
The Guardian

"Myers-Powell has a fierce wit and forthright intelligence that brightens even the darkest moments of Kim Longinotto's intensely moving documentary."
The Chicago Tribune

"The power of DREAMCATCHER…unfolds in cinema vérité style, putting you up close and personal with its subjects and the world they inhabit. See the film."
Huffington Post

"Intensely moving...a real-world version of movie-star magnetism…remarkable for the honest, intimate rapport it achieves with highly vulnerable human subjects."

"...a moving portrait of someone who might just qualify for secular sainthood… Longinotto deftly balances character and context, capturing telling moments where subjects reveal themselves in an instant."
The Hollywood Reporter

"Raw, powerful, and downright inspirational"

"Dreamcatcher is a powerful and harrowing character-led documentary from start to finish."

“Remarkable...calm, non-judgmental and engaging...deeply moving."
The Guardian

"Dreamcatcher, is first and foremost a film about real people."
Interview Magazine

“Everyone should watch Dreamcatcher… it offers a refreshing, illuminating counterpoint to the standard noise about sex work. It’s not fly-on-the-wall filmmaking, it’s participatory revelation.”
Chicago Magazine

"Astonishing in its intimacy and wrenching in its emotional rawness."
Anthony Kaufman

"It's a compelling, harrowing and utterly uplifting story of redemption."
International Documentary Association

"DREAMCATCHER is raw, gripping and emotionally challenging… masterfully examines the intersections between sexism, racism, and classism, and how these injustices perpetuate the cycle of abuse that leads to violence against women …heart-wrenching and compelling."
The Adelaide Review

"DREAMCATCHER provides intimate insights into the complex drivers and perpetuators of human trafficking and exploitation and is an extremely valuable resource and tool for public health professionals across all sectors."
Naomi Ranz-Schleifer APHA Global Public Health Film Festival

“Kim Longinotto is one of the most criminally under-appreciated absolutely fantastic documentary that touches on many of the themes and ideas visited in David James’ The Interrupters and Werner Herzog’s Into the Abyss but I think it actually manages to do much better than either of those films."
Ruthless Culture


Main credits

Longinotto, Kim (film director)
Longinotto, Kim (photographer)
Leifer, Teddy (film producer)
Stevens, Lisa (film producer)
Myers-Powell, Brenda (on-screen participant)

Other credits

Editor, Ollie Huddleston; cinematographer, Kim Longinotto; composer, Stuart Earl.

Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

Criminal Justice, Public Health, Sex Trafficking/Sex Work, Violence Against Women, Young Women


Prostitution, sex trafficking ; "Dreamcatcher"; Women Make Movies