Red Deer native lands grant towards digital short

  • Oct. 26, 2016 3:04 p.m.

Melissa Kreil, a Red Deer native, is part of a team that has received a $10,000 grant from TELUS’ program, STORYHIVE. With help from the community, a total of 30 finalists were selected from B.C. and Alberta to bring their digital short projects to life.

Kreil will be the producer for the film HENNA, described as, “An experimental short film symbolizing the struggle between darkness and light inside one woman’s mind.”

This STORYHIVE edition called on female directors in B.C. and Alberta to push the limits and pitch out of the box, genre bending ideas, according to a release.

Kreil has been a part of several STORYHIVE projects including Plight, Heartsong and Codependent Ghost Girl. Her focus is on producing, assistant directing and production management.

“It’s an amazing opportunity, so we thought let’s go for it – let’s get our pitch in there and get some really cool people involved,” she explained during a recent chat. Fami Kaur wrote the project, and will also be directing the short, said Kreil.

Ultimately, HENNA will be about five minutes in length, but the amount of time and intricate attention to the tiniest of details that goes into that is striking.

“We are thinking of doing five shoot days,” she explained. “We’re are going to make a strong, shorter project that’s very crazy – it’s a really unique idea in the works.”

The team is now well into pro-production which includes casting the project, find locations, hiring crew and such.

One winning digital project from each province (one from B.C. and one from Alberta) will be eventually selected to receive customized career training and mentorship programs, attendance to the Banff World Media Festival and distribution on a select TELUS platform.

As to the film itself, the synopsis reads, “We all have our own power struggle within ourselves; sometimes the struggle between darkness and light in the brain is too real.

“HENNA is an experimental short film symbolizing the struggle between darkness and light inside one women’s mind. Using the symbol of Indian Henna, traditionally representing life and light, we explore a deep struggle of darkness and death. One wrong step towards the darkness means we can lose the light forever. When darkness is the only way out, which side will you chose?”

For Kreil, it’s all a fabulous way to bring a project to life – and she’s been honing her skills for some time now.

She’s been creating videos for YouTube for more than five years, she said. “I graduated from high school in 2013 – and I took a year off to really think about it, and I was like, I might as well pursue something that I’m really passionate about,” she said, adding then she then m0ved to Edmonton to attend NAIT.

In the years prior to her formal education in the craft, she was quite self-taught.

And it was also via a stage managing stint at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School that she also learned she liked the leadership role. “That was where I really found my element – that I really liked being in charge, being friends with people while also bossing them around,” she added with a laugh.

She’s also not lost on the absolute importance of collaboration.

”We’re fortunate enough that we’ve got so many cool connections and a good community of people who definitely know how to tell a story.”

Meanwhile, fans will now vote and select one winning digital short project from each province.

For more information about HENNA, check out