On Jan.24th, our 16 yr. old grandson, Michael Stevantoni, premiered his thirteenth film, THE BROTHER, in Campbell River, B.C. With Michael being in school, it’s taken a year and a half to get this 25 min. film this far. Though he and I co-wrote the screenplay, it’s his vision that got translated from the page.
Along the way, there have been a lot of unsung heroes, who’ve supported his journey in film-making. Before he started school, his mother, Karen Stevan, who has some acting skills herself, helped him create little movies using Lego. She signed him up for two animation camps. Following that, she took him to Universal Studios, where at age 9, the sight of the statue of a film director cemented his dream of becoming one. We, his grandparents, hearing him voice his dream, bought him his first camcorder that Christmas. After that, there was no stopping him.
Through continuing support from family and friends, he made more films, at first emulating Spielberg with his Indiana Jeff series, then winning a B.C. Parks and Recreation competition, then more films with more friends.
At age 14, with his interest evolving into mature stories, he cast adult actors in CIPHER, which went on to win an award at the INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FILM FESTIVAL HOLLYWOOD. Other films he made in 2012, WRITER’S BLOCK and 12:47 were recently selected for the DAM SHORT FILM FESTIVAL in Boulder City, Nevada.
For both CIPHER and THE BROTHER, he also had the support of INfilm Commission for location scouting, and other community members who allowed him to use their homes, and their workplaces. Local actors donated their time and skills willingly.
This trailer of THE BROTHER will give you some sense of the story. If all you see is a black rectangle, please refresh this page. For some reason, the Vimeo trailer is visible at times, and sometimes, it’s not.
To dream of the creative arts, whether it’s film, painting, dance, writing, or music, you need people to believe in you, to believe in your dream, to have faith in your talent and support you along the way. As we all know, there are no guarantees in artistic pursuits. It’s a precarious business.
It’s been an exhilarating ride working with my grandson, but I know he knows how much his family and his community have helped him on his journey. It takes a village to support a dream. Perhaps it’s because we all know what it is to dream.