15-year-old Film Maker About to Make Her Dallas Film Festival Debut

Vanessa Brown

As stars walked the red carpet to premiere their opening night films, a group of North Texas students are hard at work to make their festival dreams a reality.

"I'm here trying to learn how to do it and they're doing it right now," said Amanda Tomeldan, who is digital film student at Mediatech Institute.

Many drive hours to get to the Studios at Las Colinas for film school. After one year, many students hope they'll have what it takes to be a part of something great like the Dallas International Film Festival.

"It's this major nationwide festival, but here it is in our home town where we all have access to it and are all able to enter into it," said J.D. Davis, a film student.

Their instructor, Eric Jewell, has also premiered films. He says achieving that goal doesn't come easy.

"The expense end of it is getting better for students and people who are interested in filmmaking, but the end of getting it into festivals and making it, that's tough. You've got to have talent and you've got to have luck," he said.

Talent and luck are two things his daughter seems to have.

At just 15, Gabbi Jewell wrote an essay that beat 2,000 kids and won her a crew spot on a Hollywood project called Gloria. That film is about to make its festival debut.

"I'm going to be so happy. I am going to be excited. I am going to be dancing in my seat," Gabbi said.

"I'm so proud. I can't even think of anything that makes me more proud than to see that," said her father.

Gabbi says her ultimate goal is to see her name roll in the credits of a blockbuster movie. She'll get a taste of that on Tuesday.

"Being in a film festival and seeing my name up on a screen already definitely making me want to set my goals higher and reach further because I'm fifteen and I'm already here. I can't wait to see what I do with the rest of my life," she said.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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