By Erin McCracken – Victoria News
Published: April 17, 2012 1:00 PM
Updated: April 17, 2012 1:24 PM
At just 16 years old, Hannah Kruzel doesnâ€™t aspire to become a filmmaker.
She is one.
In fact, two of the Victoria residentâ€™s films â€“ one she did on her own and another she collaborated on with friends â€“ are nominated for awards, and will be shown along with several other films at the 17th annual Eyelens Film and Animation Festival, April 21.
Films screened at the festival were created by some of the 350 to 400 youth and adults who attended camps offered by the Gulf Islands Film and Television School, on Galiano Island last year.
This year the festival will be held for the first time outside of Vancouver.
Oak Bay Highâ€™s theatre was chosen as the venue due to the record number of films created by Oak Bay High students who have attended the film school over the years. The film camps are also popular with Victoria High students.
â€œIt just seemed to make so much sense,â€ film school director George Harris said of the decision.
Kruzel, a Grade 10 student at Victoria High, likely wonâ€™t be able to attend the event due to a prior commitment, but she said watching her films on the big screen would be an incredible experience.
â€œIâ€™d really like to be there (and think) â€˜I canâ€™t believe I did that,â€™â€ she said.
Kruzel is leaning towards a future career in the military rather than one in the film industry. Still, her passion for filmmaking is evident when she speaks about the projects she created last year, including the documentary Me, which she made with two friends.
â€œItâ€™s talking about peopleâ€™s insecurities with themselves, and how it actually makes them who they are,â€ she said of the five-minute piece.
For her second work, Kruzel wrote, edited and directed Story of the Accused, which tells the story of a boy accused of murdering his family.
â€œI like working with people, but I just thought it would be neat to really see how (the process) worked â€“ to do it by yourself,â€ she said of the experience. â€œIt was definitely fun.â€
In creating Story of the Accused, especially editing five hours of material down to six minutes, Kruzel gained a greater appreciation for professional filmmakers.
â€œYou see how hard they work to do it,â€ the teen said.
Itâ€™s this hands-on experience that attracts students from across North America to the Gulf Islands Film and Television School each year.
â€œItâ€™s not a standard school where you do a lot of classroom stuff. You learn how to actually make a movie,â€ Harris said. â€œAnd thatâ€™s, we find, the best way to teach how to make a film â€“ you make one.â€
Admission to the Eyelens Film and Animation Festival is free.
Films will be shown Saturday (April 21), from 1 to 5 p.m. at Oak Bay Highâ€™s theatre, 2151 Cranmore Rd.