Filmmaker with Spinal Muscular Atrophy

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Written by
Kristen Sachs
Content via Community Submission
Community Submission
Written by
Kristen Sachs

Owen Kent is a senior majoring in film at UC Berkeley. But his interest in film began when he was in middle school. “It started with video editing,” Owen shares. “Then 4 friends and I bought a camera …” and thus began his journey into film making.

Owen graduated from high school at age 16 and moved to California to attend college. There, he met Andrew Balcof in a film club, and their mutual interest in film sparked a friendship. Over the last few years, Owen and Andrew have made several short films, commercials, and music videos.

Now, Owen has his sights set on an even bigger project. He is currently working on his first feature-length film titled Angels of Mercy, a home-invasion thriller, in which he will be starring and producing. Owen was born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and plays the main character, Zack, in the film.

“At its core, the film is a story about persevering through isolation. It is one of very few films written, produced by, and starring a person with a disability.”

Owen shares his frustration of how people with disabilities are represented in film, where there is so much focus on the disability itself. One of his goals in making Angels of Mercy is to show that people have lives independent from their disabilities; the main character has SMA, but that is not the focus of the film.

Angels of Mercy is set to begin production in spring 2017. Owen, along with Andrew who will direct the film, is currently working on finalizing the cast and crew, and securing the production funds. Once filming begins, Owen simultaneously plans to shoot a documentary of the making of Angels of Mercy so viewers can get a behind-the-scenes look at everything that goes into making what Owen says will be “one of the most bizarre indie films of the year.”

Check out the trailer:

If you want to learn more about Owen and his current projects, visit his website ClubXanadu.

And be sure to share this post with other film enthusiasts!

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