National Film Festival for Talented Youth | Seattle Youth Film Festival | Student Film Festival



Film of the Week

Marcus gets really into his role as the Iceberg in a school play of the Titanic.

Iceberg was an official selection of NFFTY 2014 and screened as a part of the Happy Hour Shorts category. Director Rachel Lin was awarded the New Talent Award in the 13-17 age bracket for her work on the film.

Film of the Week is presented by Volvo Cars of North America.

About the director:


Rachel Lin is a 17 year old filmmaker skipping her senior year to attend CalArts this fall. She loves to make films because she is able to combine visuals and audio to create a mixture in which stories can be told in a unique and beautiful way. Although Iceberg was filmed in a very traditional narrative visual style, her favorite directors specialize in independent filmmaking, like Harmony Korine, Gaspar Noe and Sofia Coppola.

NFFTY spoke with Rachel about trying new things as a filmmaker.

Q: Where did the inspiration come from for Marcus and his admirable dedication to the role of the Iceberg?

A lot of my films are pulled from personal experiences. When I was about 3 or 4 years old I became part of a musical production for the first time in my life. Since I was so young and inexperienced, the director assigned me an incredibly insignificant role in The Wizard of Oz. Basically, all I had to do was dance around in a corn costume in the first Scarecrow scene of the play. When I was thinking up the idea of Iceberg I wanted to make a comedy about that experience of my life, so I spun the story around so it was about a dedicated young actor taking his role of the Iceberg way too seriously. I decided to make the main character a male because I wanted to challenge people’s common assumption that “Drama Queens” are always girls. Marcus was much closer to my age because I think that he can be more relatable to people like myself as well as make the story much more absurd and comedic.

Q: Do you think you have found your niche in comedy or have you considered venturing into other genres and styles? 

Believe it or not, Iceberg is one of the only comedy films I have ever made. Throughout my years as a filmmaker I have created documentaries to music videos to dramas, but comedies was a rarity. So I was very surprised that Iceberg has done so well in film festivals. I wouldn’t say that comedies are my niche, because I am still young and still experimenting with different genres and visual styles. That being said I would love to make another comedy- this is the first time I realized how far I can go with this genre.

Q: Are you working on any new projects with that in mind?

I am not exactly actively working on anything at the moment, but I do have some ideas floating around. Someday I would love to travel to my home country, Japan, and make a short film entirely in Japanese. I think that making a Japanese film will challenge my own knowledge of Japanese language and culture as well as educate others on it.

Q: In what ways has your recent participation in NFFTY helped you grow as a filmmaker?

When I attended NFFTY this year, I was blown away by all the talented filmmakers who were off doing amazing things. It was a wake-up call for me when I saw numerous teenagers my age making incredible films that I thought I could not have done. I realized that money and age does not matter when you have a bursting sense of creativity. I left NFFTY very motivated and excited for my own future as a filmmaker and all the possible films that I can make, now that I have connected with so many other talented filmmakers.

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