For an industry obsessed with youth, Hollywood still fears the fresh and untested. Young filmmakers are left floating in a seemingly endless purgatory, fresh out film school with all the talent but no one willing to take a chance on their skills. Sure, maybe that sounds pessimistic, but it seems like with every Michael Bay production the industry is slowly turning pessimism into reality and optimism into naivety. But there’s a third option, those who see the negatives and seek to take action to turn them into positive. One of those people is Sebastian Rea, the 24 year-old filmmaker who founded 30UNDER30, which plans to yearly showcase 30 directors all under 30 years old, including 6 feature films and 24 shorts.
30UNDER30’s inaugural event is happening this December in New York City, with the intention to stage a yearly festival in July. The youngest filmmaker to be featured so far is Matthew Krekeler, only 20, with his short Color Fade. A film major from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Krekeler’s short takes inspiration from 1998’s Pleasantville to paint the picture of a young man discovering the freedom and expressionism of colour in a colourless world, only to find himself facing the consequences of breaking the status quo. 30UNDER30’s inaugural event also has billed the notable short Writer’s Block, starring Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston. It’s director, Brandon Polanco, was only given the chance to make the short after Hurricane Sandy delayed production on the Cranston-starring feature film he was working on as Production Assistant. Cranston, instead of giving himself a well-deserved break (that guy never stops), opted instead to produce a short film in the meanwhile and asked the crew to submit scripts. No prizes for guessing what happened next.
Clarisse Loughrey is a film journalist and actress whose written for Grolsch Films Works, Vérité Magazine, and Flickfeast. You can catch more of her spiky take on contemporary film culture at http://thesilverliningclub.blogspot.co.uk/ and follow her on Twitter @clarisselou.