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Cameron MacKenzie (b.1998) is an actor, director, writer, singer, songwriter, dancer and choreographer. Born in San Francisco, Cameron moved to Otter Tail, Minnesota, then to Fargo. Cameron began performing on the stage at the age of five. Currently 15 years of age, Cameron has performed in movies and on stage throughout North Dakota and Minnesota, as well as in Wisconsin, LA and San Francisco. Other than a few commercials in previous years, Cameron's first foray into television came in 2010 in a stint as "Weather Kid" for Hutch Johnson, meteorologist for KVLY-TV. Cameron did two auditions for the Coen Brothers in late 2009 when the Coens were looking to cast the character Mattie Ross in their remake of True Grit. A feature on Cameron by John Lamb appeared in the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead on August 24, 2010. Cameron was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Shutter Happy, an entry in the 2011 Fargo 48 Hour Film Project and took home a Best Actress award at the 2012 MSUM Juried Film Exhibition for her performance as Evelyn in The Li(f)e of Evelyn, a film written and directed by Chance Cole, who won Best Director honors, and filmed by Jared Myers, who snagged Best Cinematographer.
Cameron's 2011-12 short film, Letting Go (written and filmed in the second half of 2011 with a minor re-edit with HD-enhancement in July 2012) was picked up in January 2012 by the WorldKids Foundation in Mumbai to play in schools all over India in WKF's "Lessons In The Dark" program. In early March 2012, Letting Go was selected by the 9th annual Davis Film Festival to screen in DFF's Shorts Program on April 7, 2012 in Davis CA. In late March 2012, Letting Go was chosen by the 8th annual Siouxland Film Festival to screen in Sioux City IA on April 28, 2012 and by the 4th annual Fastnet Short Film Festival to screen in Cork, on the southern tip of Ireland, on May 24, 2012. In early April 2012, Cameron learned the World Music & Independent Film Festival elected to screen Letting Go during its 3rd annual festivities in late August 2012 in Washington DC, also being nominated as Best Student Film. In early May 2012, the 11th annual NXNE (North by Northeast) Film Festival announced Letting Go would screen on three different days in Toronto in conjunction with NXNE's 18th annual Music Festival: on June 14 amongst several other international Canadian premieres; following a new Yoko Ono short on June 16, as intro to a new PS22 Chorus documentary by Jonathan Kalafer; and on June 17 (Father's Day) to intro a new Saul Holiff (manager to Johnny Cash) documentary by son Jonathan Holiff entitled My Father And The Man In Black. On May 16, 2012, an on-line announcement declared history-was-made in that Cameron became the youngest director ever to screen at the NXNE Film Festival. Following the surprising get with NXNE, and also in early May, the 14th annual Artsfest Film Festival announced Letting Go would screen in Harrisburg PA along the Susquehanna River on May 26, 2012 during its Memorial Day weekend festivities and the 10th annual Utah Arts Festival (Fear No Film Festival) selected Letting Go to screen in Salt Lake City on June 22, 2012. On May 23, 2012, Lighthouse International Film Festival notified Cameron that Letting Go would screen in Beach Haven NJ on June 2, 2012 at what IndieWIRE calls "one of the 17 best film festivals in the world in June". To top off the merry merry month of May, the Oceanside International Film Festival notified Cameron just before month's end that Letting Go would screen in San Diego County on four different screens on August 17 & 19, 2012, having been nominated for Best Student Film.
In early June, the Northwest Ohio Independent Film Festival notified Cameron that Letting Go had not only been chosen to screen at the 2nd Annual NWOFF in Lima OH on July 7, 2012, but had also been selected as a contender for Best Student Film. While attending the screenings of Letting Go at NXNE in T.O. (Toronto, Ontario as the natives refer to it) from June 13-18, 2012, Cameron learned that Letting Go had been chosen to screen on August 11, 2012 at the Hyart Film Festival in Lovell WY in its 3rd run and at the 7th annual Southern Appalachian International Film Festival in Kingsport TN during its November 12-18, 2012 festivities.
Cameron spent the month of July in back-and-forth conversation with several international film festivals about Letting Go. Two outside-the-US film festivals selected Letting Go for their 2012 festivals, with certain parameters needing to be in place and formal announcements made closer to the festival dates. During these informal talks, Cameron formally picked up two more film festival gets with Letting Go: in mid-July, the WorldKids Int'l Film Festival selected Letting Go for it's 2012-13 film festival in Mumbai, India; and on July 23, the Ruby Mountain Film Festivalselected [[Letting Go[[ to screen at its 2nd annual event on September 30, 2012 in Elko NV.
During the first week of August, Cameron was notified that Letting Go would screen at the debut Phenom Film Festival in Shreveport, LA on September 9, 2012 and had been chosen as an Official Selection of the Junior IFF Showcase of the Tampa Bay Independents' Film Festival, to be televised to an audience of 700,000 cable TV subscribers in the Tampa FL area during December 2012. On August 13, 2012, Cameron was informed that Letting Go was headed back to Canada as an Official Selection of the Brantford Film Festival, screening in Brantford, Ontario on November 3, 2012. Later that same day, Cameron learned that both of her shorts, Letting Go and Not One of Us (different is weird), as well as The Li(f)e of Evelyn, a 2012 short by Chance Cole with Cameron as "Evelyn", had all been selected to screen at the St. Cloud Film Festival in St. Cloud MN on September 17, 2012. On August 20, 2012, a phone call came from The Other Venice Film Festival that Letting Go would screen in its 10th annual event in Venice CA on October 13, 2012.The first day of September brought news that Letting Go would screen at the 11th annual Great Lake International Film Festival in Erie PA from September 20-30, 2012, considered one of the top 100 most popular film festivals in the world. Although the East LA Film Festival had determined there simply was not time available to screen either of Cameron's films in its 2012 5th annual event, also on September 1st, ELAFF asked permission to use Letting Go in its TELASOFA classroom and workshop program. September 2nd followed with contact from the 6th annual Red Rock Film Festival that Letting Go would screen on November 17, 2012 in Springdale UT. A mere few hours later came notification from the Utopia Film Festival that Letting Go and Not One of Us (different is weird) would both screen at the 8th annual Greenbelt MD event on October 21, 2012. On September 5, 2012, notice arrived that the 1st annual Laughlin International Film Festival had selected Letting Go to screen on October 14, 2012 along the Colorado River in Laughlin NV.
After similar nominations at four previous film festival screenings, on September 21, 2012, Letting Go won Best Student Film at the St. Cloud Film Festival, beating several other films, including Cameron's own 2012 short Not One of Us (different is weird), which had also been nominated, with Chance Cole walking away with Best Editing honors for The Li(f)e of Evelyn.
A major international press release on October 9, 2012 trumpeted that Letting Go would screen twice during November 8-17, 2012 in Oaxaca MEXICO at the 3rd annual Oaxaca Film Festival. Letting Go had also been selected by the Marbella Film Festival to screen in Marbella SPAIN during the first week of October. However, due to Latin America premiere conflicts, only one could ultimately screen Letting Go. Oaxaca won the toss.
October continued to be busy with the October 10, 2012 notification that Letting Go would screen 3 different times at The Mosaic Film Experience in Grand Rapids MI during its October 12-14, 2012 event. Following on the heels of this news came the announcement that the Sun and Sand Film Festival in Biloxi MS had selected Letting Go for its inaugural event November 7-10, 2012. The month ended with the October 30 notification that the Vacaville International Film Festival would screen Letting Go at its 4th annual event on December 13, 2012 in the north-central California town of Vacaville, not far from Davis, California, where Letting Go had its very first film festival screening in April 2012.
Cameron's 2012 2-minute short, Not One of Us (different is weird), which was an improv project conceived and directed by her, won 3rd place at the debut of the FM Access Film Festival, airing on the local Moorhead Public Access Channel 99 on Sunday, April 1, 2012. On May 7, 2012, Cameron received notification from the 5th annual Columbia Gorge International Film Festival (Portland OR/Vancouver WA area) that both Letting Go and Not One of Us (different is weird) had been chosen as official selections for its August 15-19, 2012 annual event. Later in May, Cameron was notified by the Twin Rivers Media Festival that Not One of Us (different is weird) would play in TRFF's 19th annual event in Asheville NC on May 27, 2012 over Memorial Day weekend, and that the WorldKids Foundation in Mumbai, India was interested in screening Not One of Us (different is weird), which, in mid-July 2012 had officially selected Letting Go for the WorldKids Int'l Film Festival screenings in 2012-13.
After a summer busy with film festivals for Letting Go, Cameron was notified in the wee hours of August 12, 2012 that Not One of Us (different is weird) had been selected to screen on September 29, 2012 2nd annual running of the Guam International Film Festival. The September 2, 2012 Utopia Film Festival notification was followed by the September 5, 2012 announcement that Not One of Us (different is weird) would screen in Norcross GA (Atlanta metro) in the 11th annual Urban Mediamakers Film Festival on October 13, 2012 where it was awarded 1st place in the Middle and High School Filmmakers Division.
October continued to impress with the news that Not One of Us (different is weird) had been selected to screen during the November 1-3, 2012 run of the Future of Cinema Film Festival in Interlochen MI.
The new year began with breaking news from the Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival that Letting Go would screen on March 8, 2013. POWFest was followed up with notification on February 1, 2013 from the Fallbrook International Film Festival that Letting Go would screen in San Diego County during April 5-11, 2013. On that same date, news arrived that the Women And Minorities in Media Film Festival would screen Not One of Us (different is weird) would screen at Towson University in the WDC/Baltimore Metro area during April 8-13, 2013. WAMMFest was followed up by news that Letting Go would be the opening film on February 28, 2013 at the George Lindsey (University of Northern Alabama) Film Festival screening in Florence, Alabama. The GLUNAAFF notification was followed up with word from the Albany Film Festival that Not One of Us (different is weird) would screen on March 2, 2013 in Albany, CA, Cameron's 5th film festival get in 4 weeks.
The whirl of the first quarter of 2013 continued when news came from the Crossroads Film Festival that Letting Go would screen at CFF's 14th annual event in Jackson, Mississippi on April 13, 2013. Following-up film festival play for Letting Go was the 5th annual Sene Film, Music & Arts Festival in Providence, RI and the 9th annual West Chester Film Festival, just west of Philly, PA, with Letting Go screening in both film festivals on April 27, 2013.
Mother's Birthday, a short feature by Japanese director Hotaka D. Matsumura, completed post-production and a Trailer was released to the public in February 2013. Mother's Birthday was the largest project in which Cameron played the lead, Elizabeth. Until, that is ...............
December 2012 brought the offer from Salaam Dynasty for Cameron to play the title character in the web series penned by Twin Cities-based writer, Triston Milton, entitled KIMERA. It was eventually decided that KIMERA would become a Feature Film, filming in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and Cameron was re-cast as the lead. In between filmings for KIMERA, Cameron also snagged a featured role in the old-school, yet edgy music video directed by Mercies May, produced by Jessica Bergren, for the Spring 2013 release of a new song by Minneapolis rap artist LITERATI entitled Parade. (Parade is scheduled to be included in Literati's 2013 alburn release.) The music video for Parade had its world debut in the MSPIFF in Minnespolis, MN on April 15, 2013. In early May, Parade was selected to screen on June 20-23, 2013 in the 11th annual No Fear Film Festival, which screened Letting Go in June 2012.
Confus[(ion)(ed)], a short film by Matt Muegge in which Cameron worked as an actor in Minneapolis in 2008 screened at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Film Festival on April 17, 2012, receiving rave reviews.
Cameron's full resume and direct links to samples of her work can be found under the external links section below.