Young filmmakers featured at Austin Film Festival

Hillary Hurst

Students from around the country submitted short films to the Young Filmmakers Program in hopes of having their work showcased at the Austin Film Festival this year. Fourteen winners were selected to screen their films and participate in the festival. The Daily Texan spoke with three of the 2013 winners who wrote and directed their own short films. 

Elena Maeurer, 16

“A Story Unfolds”

The Daily Texan: What is your film about?

Elena Maeurer: It’s a short film about four kids who are locked in a library and they find a book, which is completely empty inside so they begin writing their own story. It’s all about them trying to come up with this story [when] one of the kids doesn’t really want to cooperate. 

DT: What was the most challenging part about making the film?

EM: It was my first experience directing, so it was a completely new side of filmmaking for me being in charge of the whole film. 

DT: What aspect of “A Story Unfolds” do you think gives your film an edge over other young filmmakers? 

EM: I think it’s important to have a cohesive story. I’ve seen a lot of student films that really confused me because I wasn’t able to see the point of the film at all, and I feel that [mine] has a good story.  

Alec Brown, 19 

“Out of Order”

DT: What is your film about?

Alec Brown: Basically it’s like a “Twilight Zone” episode. Two students in love living with the threat of nuclear war find paradise in their school’s dysfunctional elevator. 

DT: What initially drew you to film?

AB: I think every family has that one nostalgic movie that they can watch time and time again. My family’s movie is “Raising Arizona” from 1987. The first time I watched it I laughed so hard, and I thought that it had excellent cinematography and editing. Then I realized, I kind of want to make a movie like this. 

Ryker Allen, 16 

“Lovesoup”

DT: What is your film about?

Ryker Allen: “Lovesoup” is a documentary about the question: What is love? I wanted to answer that question, and midway through I discovered you can’t really answer it. 

DT: What was the most challenging part about making the film?

RA: I had to go find and cue out the people with the best points. I interviewed over 100-something people. There were a few people that had viewpoints that I completely disagreed with, and I had to make sure I left some of those in to keep it unbiased. 

DT: What initially drew you to film?

RA: I used to live in Los Angeles and I lived there for four years of my life. I was a commercial child, and I was on Nickelodeon and little things like that. After that, when high school came along, I stopped getting parts and we moved back to Texas. I was like, ‘Well, I kind of want to work behind the camera now.’ I use all of the knowledge I learned in L.A. as an actor and I put that into filmmaking.