Georgian teenager’s studio film hits film festival screens, fulfilling lifelong ‘wish’


A teenager whose dream of becoming a filmmaker came true thanks to Georgia’s film industry and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“So ‘Level 34’ is about this kid named Chris, who was born with a heart condition like mine,” Zach Breder said. “And he sets out to prove that his Uncle Charles isn’t just a crazed drunk and that his research on extraterrestrials is, in fact, correct.”

At 17, Zach Breder has a major film to his credit: “Level 34”. It was filmed at Trilith Studios in Fayette County. This is the same location that some of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are filmed. The Make-A-Wish Foundation traveled to the Georgia film industry to make Zach’s dream come true, and producer Dan Kelly said some great talent answered the call.

“Over 200 people worked on the film, mostly professionals, art directors from ‘Cobra Kai’ to ‘The Walking Dead’, people from ‘Ozark’ came, people from ‘Spider-Man’ came , leaving their sets after working 16 hours there, and coming to work 16 hours for us,” Kelly said.

The Georgia Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2019 granted her desire to bring her screenplay to the screen.

“I think it turned out amazing, personally, but I could be biased,” Breder said.

The Cartersville teenager has hypoplastic right heart syndrome, a rare anomaly.

“With several different issues with my heart, right now I’m sitting through over ten heart surgeries to get to where I am today,” Breder said. “It’s a serious illness, it’s something I will have to live with, but I won’t let it get in the way of my dreams.

“Level 34” debuted last spring at the Atlanta Film Festival. It will air again Saturday noon at the Cobb International Film Festival at the Strand Theater in Cobb County.

As for Breder, he graduated from Carterville High School last year and will go to Georgia State University this fall to study film and pursue his dream.


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