Teen to make movie debut Sunday

Samantha Hill

A Park High School student will be premiering two short films at the Livingston Film Series event Sunday after years of practice with the camera.

Sam Saarel, currently a senior in high school, will be featuring films about the Powder Puff football game this past fall and another on preserving public lands.

Saarel would often walk around in the woods with his twin sister, Larissa, as children, making their own adventures. When he was around 12 years-old he realized he wanted to document those moments to share with everyone.

Since then he has made probably ten films on various topics, and entered many of them into contests like the Boy’s Life-Sierra Trading Post 2017 Summer Fun Video Contest. He even made a video of him asking his girlfriend, Elle Olsztyn, to the Winter Formal in October. The video went viral and he was interviewed about it on a local news channel.

“My girlfriend has always been supportive of my films and she likes being a model for it,” Saarel said.

While he has been progressing his filmmaking, Saarel has incorporated new technology, such as the use of drones.

He bought the drone last year with the help of his parents and it was just recently used for the Powder Puff film “Seniors 2018.”

“Since I am still an amateur I have been thinking about how to further my projects,” Saarel said.

He plans to study at Montana State University in the fall of 2018, in the film studies program. But in the meantime, he wants to continue to make more movies, one of which includes his dad.

“I want to focus on sort of heaven on earth,” Saarel said.

His hope is to travel around the world after he is done with college, documenting people’s stories.

“Seniors 2018” and “What Brings Us Upward”will be at the Shane Lalani Center for the Arts starting at 7 p.m. Sunday followed by the Livingston Film Series showing of “Queen of Katwe.”

The Livingston Film Series is free and open to the public.