Young filmmakers impress Film Fest organizers

Organizers of the Hyart Film Festival are pleased with quality and variety of films slated for this year’s festival. The festival will be held Aug. 9-11 at the historic Hyart Theatre in downtown Lovell. This will be the third year for the festival, which will showcase films carefully selected by a committee from submissions in a wide variety of genres from action to animation and just about everything in between.

Festival organizer Jason Zeller is pleased with the variety of submissions he and his committee had to choose from this year. He was surprised to find a number of very high quality submissions from young filmmakers this year and has accepted three films made by teens for audience consideration.

“I am amazed that some of these young filmmakers are already using techniques that I didn’t learn until I was in college,” said Zeller.

Ben Kadie of Bellevue, Wash., made his first film at the age of 14. He is now 17 and has several films under his belt. One of his early films called “Molly and the Masked Storm” will be shown at this year’s festival. The film is set in 1920s and features an all-child cast of 12-15-year-olds. Zeller was impressed with the special effects used in the film, which has already been shown at numerous other film festivals.

Another film called “Letting Go” will be shown and was made by 14-year-old filmmaker Cameron MacKenzie of Fargo, N.D. Mackenzie not only directed the film but played the feature role and edited it, too. The film centers on a girl dealing with the death of her grandfather.

“It’s kind of a heavy topic, but I felt like the stages of grief needed to be addressed,” said MacKenzie. “It’s something people deal with all the time.”

MacKenzie is self-taught and has never taken a class in filmmaking. This was her first film and it was recently shown at a film festival in Toronto.

The festival will also include a film called, “4:02” by Tristan Jensen of Stillwater, Minn. Jensen was 14 years old when he made the film and this will be the first time the film is shown at a festival.

“It’s hard to describe the film,” said Jensen. “It’s a mystery for sure, a thriller with lots of twists and turns.”

Jensen took advantage of the generosity of the community cable channel in his hometown, using the equipment provided by the channel to make the film.

“The staff there was really nice,” said Jensen. “They mentored me on how to use the equipment and I figured out the rest on my own.”

Jensen is a movie buff who likes films with a lot of “action and excitement.” He hopes to attend the festival in Lovell with his family.

The festival does not accept films with nudity, bad language, especially the “f-word” or “super-gory” violence. Zeller hopes that by limiting this content, the festival will remain, for the most part, a “family-friendly” event.

For more information contact Zeller at (307) 272-9048.

By Patti Carpenter