The world is coming to the Foothills to celebrate cinema as a part of the 2022 Okotoks International Film Festival.

Along with it, two Foothills Composite High School / Alberta High School of Fine Arts (FCHS/AHSFA) students are hoping to get industry eyes on their latest project. 

15-year-old Kiyan Karimaghaei and 16-year-old Wynn Brown submitted their thriller short The Mechanic as a part of the Zooom Youth Films section of this year's festival.

"It's about a mechanic getting a call late at night to go do a job that seems a little bit off. He decides to take it, he goes to it and some really weird spooky stuff happens." says Wynn.

It's a part of their schools' media program to make a short film at school but they've been itching to submit something to a festival.

"We wanted to do it for a while now and I think just having this opportunity to this is good timing and to have it in for the late inputs for the festival was just a great coincidence. We submitted it on the day of their final submission date. The 31st of March, so it's super last minute, but I think it turned out well."

The Zooom Youth Festival used to be separate from the main international event. However, this year they are including young filmmakers to be featured among the selected filmmakers of the Festival.

a shot of the short film the mechanic. A nervous looking man in the dark A still from the short film The Mechanic.

They work under the keen eye of Foothills Composite teacher Ben Stevens who they view as a mentor as well as an important critique of their work.

"He's really good with us," says Wynn, "he's very experienced. He's done this before, he's worked in the industry. He knows his stuff and is supportive of what we do and just generally a great person." 

Kiyan also adds they are fortunate he allows them to use quality gear. 

"It's nice that our school has a budget for our media program to afford actual good gear. We got some nice cameras, a lot of nice microphones and that we are able to take it out and they trust us to use it over a weekend."

The Mechanic screens Sunday, June 5 at 2:00 p.m. at the Okotoks Cinemas as a part of the Zooom Youth Films section. They are looking forward to people coming out to see their film as well as taking in the other features and shorts.

Something Kiyan thinks will benefit the community.

"All you're usually used to is the big blockbuster movies at the huge cinemas. It's nice to see something that's been made in your community because it brings people together and it kind of forms like a bond that I think we lost in COVID. It's nice team building, you get to meet new people. It's a good experience. It's fun so you know, come on down."

The Okotoks International Film Festival will run from June 2-5, and online content will be streamed from May 29-June 12.
Find tickets on their website.