Synopsis by Mark Deming
Filmmaker J. Clay Tweel offers an inside look at a lesser-known avenue of the world of magic in this documentary. The World Magic Seminar is an event held each year in Las Vegas, NV, where magicians from around the world gather to learn more about their craft and honor the best among their peers. The seminar features a competition for promising teenage magicians, and in Make Believe Tweel introduces us to six talented youngsters eager to show off their talents and take their first step to a successful career in show business. Bill Koch is a 19-year-old from Chicago who designs and constructs his own props and plays the French horn when he isn't busy with magic. Siphiwe Fangase and Nkumbuzo Nkonyana are a pair of 18-year-olds from South Africa who have built an act around their remarkable acrobatic abilities. Derek McKee is a 14-year-old from Colorado who struggles with shyness but shows an easy confidence performing card tricks on-stage. Pretty 17-year-old Krystyn Lambert has spent years carefully perfecting her hoop tricks and sleight-of-hand work. And 18-year-old Hiroki Hara comes from a remote village in Japan, where he's devised a performance that combines acrobatics and martial arts with hand magic. All six teenagers show remarkable gifts, but only one can walk away with the prize, and as they struggle to do their best under trying circumstances, they also face the uncertainty that's part of nearly every teenager's life. Make Believe was an official selection at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival.
behind-the-scenes, competition, magic, seminar, teenagers