by Bella Zafer
Photos by Stella McCain
Abby Utley, Stella McCain, and Lily Cloud will have their dark, shocking and socially conscious films screen at the Indie Memphis Youth Fest this weekend.
Martin Scorsese picked up a camera when he was eight. Spielberg made his first home movie at age twelve. Tim Burton directed his first short at thirteen. These accomplished directors partially owe their success to their ambitious younger selves. Choosing to pursue one’s passion early is rewarding in any field, but especially in filmmaking.
We may have the next Spielberg or Kubrick right here at 60 Perkins Ext. Aspiring filmmakers Abby Utley (12), Stella McCain (12), and Lily Cloud (10) received news that their short films will be screened at the annual Indie Memphis Youth Fest Sept. 8 at the Orpheum Theatre Halloran Centre.
These cinema enthusiasts agree that film is undeniably one of the best mediums not only for storytelling, but also bringing to light issues that need to be addressed. Everyone seemed to agree with Stella McCain when she said “The whole reason I want to do film is to lift up more diverse voices so we’re not hearing the same old stories again and again.”
McCain proved she is achieving her goal already when she described her two nominated short films by claiming, “‘Study Buddies’ spreads LGBTQ+ voices and ‘Pop’ spreads awareness about gun control.” While “Pop” is only thirty seconds long, it holds a deep message about gun violence and school shootings.
In true St. Mary’s fashion, she said, “I want to make another short film using a spinoff of “Frankenstein” and focus on the theme of what happens if you don’t own up to your creations.”
While these three turkey filmmakers’ short films are all fundamentally different, their passion and goals are similar. All three hope to continue making films until they achieve their own spot in the professional filmmaking industry. In addition, they all were motivated to enter their films into the festival after alumna Vivi Gray (‘18), described by Lily Cloud as SMS’ former resident “Film Goddess,” won the grand prize in last year’s competition.