DVD Make Believe (DVD 16142834),
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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, Nevada 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 nineteen 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 eighteen year olds from South Africa who have built an act around their remarkable acrobatic abilities. Derek McKee is a fourteen year old from Colorado who struggles with shyness but shows an easy confidence performing card tricks on stage. Pretty seventeen-year-old Krystyn Lambert has spent years carefully perfecting her hoop tricks and sleight of hand work. And eighteen 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.
3 stars out of 4 -- "This is a charming documentary about the finalists in the Teenage Magician Contest at the annual World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas....The documentary visits their homes, gets their stories, talks to their friends and parents, and follows them backstage in Vegas."
"The buildup to the actual competition is perfectly paced, with the film never tipping its hand as to the winner. And the championship has all the drama of a high-stakes sporting event..."
New York Times
"[A] lively documentary....The movie closes at the World Magic Seminar as each contestant performs for an appreciative audience and a renowned panel of illusionists."
Los Angeles Times
3 stars out of 5 -- "Watching these talented young men (and one woman) practice and perform their routines approaches the sublime."
"Terrifically likable....These talented, dedicated kids aren't making believe about anything -- they're making art out of shimmering illusion..."
Wall Street Journal
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