For pretty much as long as she can remember Richmond's Mia Fiona Kut was drawn to the world of performing.
As early as Grade 2 she was writing plays and acting.
Now, the 2008 Cambie Secondary grad is not only creating stories, she's acting and directing them with her latest project slated for viewing at the end of March at the prestigious LA WebFest event which screens web series.
Her three-part production of a suspense called Ivy Tower was recently accepted as an official entry, and she is hoping the opportunity will open some doors.
It's a long way from scripting school plays in grade school, although the genre from back then strikes a similar tone in her work today.
"I think my earliest play was about a haunted house," says Kut, 23. "I was really into mystery and suspense at a young age and played a deranged man."
In high school she enrolled in drama classes, but didn't pursue the craft much beyond the school setting.
"I was always writing novels and short stories. And then my sister (Phoebe) played the title character in a film called Eve and the Firehorse which made it to Sundance (Festival)," Kut says. "I was on set with her quite a bit and that sparked my interest again."
That resulted in a creative process which culminated in Ivy Tower which she wrote, directed, starred in, and was shot in and around the Lower Mainland last summer.
It began as a feature film project, and a trailer made for it was entered in the Cineplex Film Accelerator competition that picks the best trailers from across the country. It placed in the top 60.
From there it was decided to transform the project into a web series to gain a bigger audience.
"It was a really small crew, about five people and guerrillastyled everything," Kut says, adding the rising prominence of web series films is making filmmaking more accessible for budding directors, writers and performers like her.
Kut describes Ivy Tower as a coming of age story and a mystery, all rolled into one.
"It's about a girl who gets released from an asylum, her rebellious half sister, and their
father who is a really respected professor who dies unexpectedly," Kut says.
Using their late father's journals, the sisters team up and try to piece together his life and they realize he has a connection with the asylum which is called Ivy Tower.
"That's about all I can tell you," she says, reluctant to reveal more of the plot before it is screened in L.A. where Kut is hoping it creates a favourable enough impression on industry insiders to collaborate with her on future projects.
"I'm up for anything. This is a new experience for me and I want to take it all in," she says.