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Filmmakers share inspiration behind festival films

By by camille m. doty/
March 14, 2012 at 12:01 p.m.
Updated March 13, 2012 at 10:14 p.m.

Steven Klein is a bi-coastal filmmaker between Los Angeles and New York.  He produced the film, "Make Believe," which follows around six magical prodigies on their way to the World Magic Seminar. Film critic Roger Ebert considered it to be one of the best documentaries of 2011.

Steven Klein has always kept one foot in the world of magic.

The former teen performer has traded in his wand for a camera lens.

He is now the bi-coastal producer of "Make Believe." The documentary will show at the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival on March 24.

A host of directors and producers will be in Victoria to talk about the inspiration for their projects.

In the film, six dedicated magicians embark on their journeys in hopes of attending the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas.

Film crews followed magical prodigies who struggle with isolation and success while going through adolescence.

Klein wanted to tell the story of mystique through the eyes of a child as they come of age.

"It's about young people all over the world trying to figure out who they are," he said.

Double dose of New York

Filmmaker Daniel B. Levin wanted to bring New York flavor to the Crossroads in the March 23 double feature of "Dirty Old Town" and "Captured."

"Dirty Old Town" follows a merchant who has 72 hours to pay his rent.

His dilapidated tent is facing extinction. A group of outcasts add to the spectacle of the fleeting downtown community.

"Captured" was spawned by Clayton Patterson. He's devoted his life to documenting the final era of raw creativity and lawlessness in New York City's Lower East Side since 1979.

"New York is cultural capital of the world. It keeps you on your toes," said Levin.

Producer/director Jenner Furst, who worked with Levin, said the two films reflect a part of an era.

The tent that was once a fortress for misfits no longer exists. His team was able to capture a part of history.

"You guys are really getting a dose of authentic, underground New York," he said.



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