Ben Franklin Graduate, 14, Making Waves In Film Industry

Cameron MacKenzie Meek, who has just finished her eighth grade year at Ben Franklin Middle School, has begun to attract a lot of attention for achievements unusual to students her age.

Cameron is an independent filmaker, actress and musician. All at 14. And if it weren’t for the fact that her exploits with these activities have gone on display not just across town, but across the United States, Canada, and overseas, one could dismiss them as child’s play.

Her interest in filmmaking has produced two short films selected for presentation in 2012 at a number of U.S. and international independent film festivals. Letting Go, a 2011 silent film about personal loss, was selected as a part of the WorldKids International “Lessons in the Dark” Program in Mumbai, India. Last week, it screened at the Fastnet Short Film Festival in West Cork, Ireland, and will show June 16-17 at the NXNE (North By Northeast) Film Festival in Toronto. By August 22, the 8-minute film will have shown to indie film enthusiasts in eight U.S. cities, including the World Music and Independent Film Festival in Washington, DC. 

Not One of Us (different is weird), is a 2012 two-minute anti-bullying short she created by casting members of her garage band that took 3rd place at the recent F-M Access Film Festival. It screened at a North Carolina festival last week, and has been accepted for both the Columbia Gorge IFF and for the Mumbai WorldKids program in the past month.

Cameron’s exploits in entertainment (Twitter:!/camimac) have not been limited to lens work. Her efforts in front of it garnered a Best Actress Award in May at MSUM’s Juried Film Exposition, for her role in The Li(f)e of Evelyn. In all, Cameron has landed acting roles in over two dozen independent films since 2006, and has been an audition finalist for roles in the Coen Brothers’ film True Grit and in the TV series, The Starter Wife, starring Debra Messing.

Cameron was a featured solo performer at the Paul Wellstone Center in St. Paul in April. She is the 2012 recipient of the Trollwood Performing Arts School Matthew Thibedeau Scholarship, and will appear on the TPAS stage this summer in a supporting role for Legally Blonde. Other upcoming summer performances include a short set at the Red River Valley Fair on July 15, and the Fargo Park District’s Music Montage event on August 9.