On Saturday, November 11th, the Silver State Storytellers Board of Directors embarked on a transformative journey at the Cordillera International Film Festival’s Future Filmmakers Challenge. Nestled within the creative haven of the McKinley Center for the Arts in Reno, our board members had the distinct pleasure of mentoring a group of bright minds from the Washoe County School District. Together, we delved into the intricacies of filmmaking, guiding these young visionaries through the process of bringing their imaginations to life on the big screen.

Seated around a spacious conference table, creativity flowed as seamlessly as the Truckee River that winds its way through Reno. Our mentors, seasoned storytellers themselves, collaborated with seven kids ranging from 5th to 8th grade. The room buzzed with energy as we collectively brainstormed ideas, ultimately birthing a poignant concept centered around a young girl grappling with grief after the loss of a family member.

The narrative took a unique turn with the creation of a “Grief Monster,” a whispering presence that embodied the mean thoughts echoing in the young girl’s mind. Together, we shaped a script that would not only captivate audiences but also serve as a therapeutic outlet for young filmmakers to express complex emotions.

With the script in hand, we transitioned into the fascinating realms of costuming and makeup. The young minds in our midst actively engaged in crafting a makeup design for the Grief Monster, working closely with talented makeup artists to bring their conceptualized character to life. This hands-on experience was pivotal in illustrating the convergence of imagination and technical execution in the filmmaking process.

Next, armed with enthusiasm and big dreams, we ventured to the scenic locales along the Truckee River to bring “It Lies Within” to life. Navigating the challenges of shooting outdoors, our budding filmmakers learned to adapt in real-time, managing curious onlookers while maneuvering substantial film equipment.

The culmination of this incredible journey is set for Thursday, November 30th, at the National Automobile Museum. On this evening, the fruits of our collective labor, including “It Lies Within” and other films birthed that day, will grace the big screen. We invite you to witness the magic, cheer on our young talents, and be part of the unveiling of dreams in a cinematic showcase like no other.

The Future Filmmakers Challenge not only kindled a passion for storytelling but also empowered these young minds to grasp every facet of the filmmaking process. It’s a testament to the enduring power of mentorship and the belief that, with guidance, every imaginative spark can evolve into a compelling narrative. “It Lies Within” is more than a film; it’s a testament to the boundless potential within our future storytellers.

Join us on November 30th for an evening of cinematic wonder and the debut of “It Lies Within” — a testament to the creativity, resilience, and dreams of the next generation of filmmakers. Don’t miss the chance to cheer on Team “I’m Ready For My Close-Up!”

Lyric Burt, the President and Co-Founder of Silver State Storytellers, is not your average storytelling maestro. By day, he navigates the creative seas with strategic finesse, but when the moon rises, he's a horror film devotee. Amidst conquering the Roman Empire through documentaries and historical biographies, grooving to early 2000's jams, and painting the town pink, Lyric infuses a quirky charm into the art of storytelling, proving that whimsy and professional prowess make a magical blend.

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