Kiersten Myers is like many middle school students in Southwest Riverside County. She’s preparing spring projects, studying hard for tests, but unlike fellow students, she’s sponsored by Hewlett Packard and busy at work editing film project from her recent trip to Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
“My daughter isn’t one of those kids who is searching for what they want to do with their lives when they grow up,” said Kiersten’s father, Matthew Myers. “She’s already doing it.”
At the age of 13, Kiersten entered the 2014 Temecula Valley International Film Festival with a dream of making the world a better place, and ended up winning first place in the “Young Filmmakers” category. The 8th grade Shivela Middle School student’s short film, “Future Earth,” gave a depiction of what is, and the horror of what could be.
“Kiersten hoped to touch others with her film,” Matthew said. “What has happened since has been a bit of a dream, itself.”
Describing his daughter’s whirlwind tour of the SFF, Matthew spoke of the mentors who have taken his daughter under their wing.
“Kiersten’s short documentary was discovered by HP during the TVIFF,” he said. “That led to their sponsorship of her at Sundance.”
At the TVIFF, Creative Future Executive Officer Ruth Vitale noticed reached out to Kiersten. She asked if she would be interested in attending the SFF.
“Of course, the answer was yes,” Matthew said.
Hewlett Packard outfitted Kiersten with the latest technical tools to assist her filming and editing process, according to her father.
The Sundance trip was a true VIP experience, where Kiersten met “YouTubers” directors and editors, her father said.
“Even though there were movie stars walking by, it was the behind the scenes people who really brought her to pause,” Matthew said. “We were given full access, not to just observe and people watch, but to really meet people who could help shape Kiersten’s future.”
Kiersten took part in videoing the experience and conducting interviews with experts in her future industry, according to her father.
“It was surreal watching her work,” Matthew said.
One person who took her underwing was Getty Image photographer Jeff Vespa.
“She did an actual Sundance photo shoot,” Matthew said. “Thanks to Jeff, she is now ingrained in the Sundance Film Festival’s history.”
At the A-List film festival, Kiersten was too busy to go to many screenings.
“We met and interviewed so many people,” Matthew said. “Kiersten has the passion for being behind the camera, for the editing process where she spends most of her time.”
Now, Kiersten has been tasked with recording the 2015 Reality Rally, with “Survivor” Gabon’s Gillian Larson.
“We recently met with Larson to discuss the plans, at Old Town Temecula’s Happy Café,” Matthew said. “Kiersten once again has a large role to play in recording the event.”
After Sundance, a large middle school video project, and Reality Rally, there may be an opportunity to exhale, according to Matthew.
“Kiersten is happiest when she’s editing. It’s such a huge part of her filmmaking process.”
Next stop for Kiersten is a trip to Hollywood, courtesy of Jeff Vespa.
“We are looking forward to what is on the horizons for Kiersten, and will be with her every step of the way,” Matthew said.
Watch Kiersten short film, “Future Earth,” on YouTube by visiting www.youtube.com/user/KDawgProductions101.