Georgia teen's studio-made movie hits film festival screens fulfilling lifelong 'wish'

A teen whose dream of becoming a moviemaker came true thanks to the Georgia Film Industry and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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

At the age of 17, Zach Breder has a major film to his movie resume: "Level 34." It was shot at Trilith Studios in Fayette County. It is the same location where some of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are filmed. The Make-A-Wish Foundation went to Georgia Film industry to make Zach’s dream come true and producer Dan Kelly said big-time talent answered the call.

"We had over 200 people work on the film, most of them professionals, everybody from art directors from ‘Cobra Kai’ to ‘The Walking Dead,’ we had people from ‘Ozark’ coming over, people from ‘Spider-Man,’ coming over, leaving their sets after working 16 hours there, and coming and working 16 hours for us," Kelly said.

The Georgia Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2019 granted his desire to take his script to the screen.

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

The Cartersville teen has Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome, a rare defect.

"With multiple different things wrong with my heart, right now, I’m sitting on ten-plus heart surgeries to get me to where I am today," Breder said. "It is a serious medical condition, it is something I will have to live with, but I won’t let it get in the way of my dreams.

"Level 34" first debuted last spring at the Atlanta Film Festival. It will play again at noon on Saturday at the Cobb International Film Festival at the Strand Theater in Cobb County.

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