December 17 - A young Kansas filmmaker is realizing her dreams, thanks to a big break on the small screen. A short-film produced by 21-year-old Emily Henke of Salina has become such a hit that HBO plans to screen it sometime next year. Every filmmaker needs to get a start somewhere, Henke hopes this is hers.
Henke realized she wanted to make movies while attending Sacred Heart High School in Salina. She got the bug while working as an assistant director in school plays. After graduation, Henke made the move west to study film at Chapman University in Orange, California just a few miles from Hollywood.
This year, Henke was asked by director Carlos Torrens to produce Coming to Town, a 20-minute short film. It's not your average Christmas story. Henke says it's about a girl tormented by bullies who asks Santa for revenge.
Coming to Town has received accolades from several film festivals. The latest is a big one. Henke says the film was accepted and nominated at HBO's U.S. Comedy and Arts festival in Aspen, Colorado. The film will be shown among some of the best short films in the world next March. Later in the year it will actually air on HBO.
Henke hopes the movie will lead to more opportunities and help get her name out in the film community. She says it's making the movies she enjoys. Henke plans to be the director in her next project, a drama about a young girl from the midwest.