Dylan Banfield started making movies and films when he was 12 using his cellphone and a video camera from his mother, and he dreamed of one of his creations making its debut at a film festival.
“I didn’t have any idea that my film would make it this far. I’m pretty excited,” he said.
Banfield, 17, is the youngest student in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district to have a film selected for the Texas high school shorts category at the festival. He is a junior at Trinity High School and takes advanced audio/visual classes at the school district’s Gene A Buinger Academy.
Lance Moran, who teaches the advanced class, said Banfield is his third student to have a film selected.
“We challenge our students to explore, and Dylan knocked it out of the park,” Moran said.
“The Silent Paracosm” tells the story of Faust, a young boy who is blind and how he awakens to a strange humming sound. He follows the sound and finds a box in his closet.
Faust opens the box, reaches inside and finds a dream catcher, but the dream catcher feeds off of children’s nightmares. When he took the dream catcher out of the box, it unleashed an evil monster that attacks him.
When Faust awakens he can see, but the monster is still beside him, and Faust has to come to terms with the evil creature.
“I was looking at childhood nightmares and the mystery behind them,” Banfield said. “Parents really don’t believe their kids when they talk about nightmares.”
Banfield said he is fascinated with horror and wanted to make a film that would draw from the monster movies from the 1930s and 1940s.
He wanted a blind child for the main character because people with disabilities aren’t featured much in horror films, he said.
“There aren’t really many horror movies with people with disabilities in them. Most show dumb teenagers partying,” Banfield said.
Banfield and his younger brother Jackson, who played Faust, made “The Silent Paracosm” for under $20, and Dylan said he is already making plans to shoot another movie this summer in hopes of getting chosen again for SXSW.
Banfield’s film didn’t win a jury award, but “it was an honor to be chosen” for consideration, he said.
Banfield is serious about his decision to become a filmmaker, and he eventually wants to move to Los Angeles.
He already has a website. Some of the directors he admires are Quentin Tarantino and Ridley Scott.
Kelly Petrone, Banfield’s mother, accompanied him to Austin.
“I am really proud of him,” she said.
Petrone said she talked to her son about portraying a disabled child in the film without being condescending or exaggerating.
Petrone, who teaches kindergarten at Bedford Heights Elementary said they spent five days in Austin so that her son could meet people and network.
“He is on a roll now. There is no telling what will come of this,” she said.