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Young filmmaker Luke Broyles to premiere eighth feature film, begin ninth

Fourteen-year-old Luke Broyle’s passion for filmmaking has led him to some amazing adventures: raising a dozen baby ducks, traveling to Africa, mastering a zipline in the mountains of upstate New York and meeting people across the globe. Just eight years after writing, directing and acting in his film at age 6, Broyles is preparing to premiere his eighth feature film and has created 20 to 25 short films.

“I like how movies tell stories and are very captivating,” Broyles said, adding he enjoys filmmaking because it brings stories to life.

 The beginning

Broyles’ parents, Tim and Donna, began watching behind-the-scenes portions of DVDs when Luke was three. They started with “Jurassic Park,” hoping to alleviate fear by showing the story was made up and how the dinosaurs were built – but Broyles had other ideas.

“I can do this,” he remembered thinking. “I’ve always liked behind the scenes.”

At age six, Broyles received a plastic sword and shield and began working on a knight-warrior trilogy. Donna said she thought Luke’s idea was “cute,” but months later she had 28 six-year-olds at her home filming and Broyles, with storyboards in hand, directing the chaos. The premiere of “Swords and Shields” had 220 guests at a rented cinema.

“From the beginning Luke had a vision to create, direct and film a trilogy, then host a premiere for each installment and give out actors’ awards,” Donna said.

The remaining two films in the trilogy involved a fog machine, filming fire, building a scale catapult and more than 46 young actors.

“That’s when we knew this (hobby) might stick,” Donna said.


Broyles said he is inspired by directors Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg.

“With Hitchcock it’s the suspense and how he keeps (audiences) interested,” he said. “Spielberg is controversial in a good way. His movies seem a little ahead of their time.”

While making his nature documentary “Bird Brothers,” Broyles was challenged by Heartland Truly Moving Pictures founder Jeffrey Sparks to make a documentary about “someone you care about.” Broyles chose Michael McCarley, a friend from school. The upbeat journey follows him through surgeries to strengthen his legs as a result of cerebral palsy. The film earned Broyles the Schemmel Award from the  HYPERLINK “” \t “_blank” Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Indiana and was the 2010 REEL Teens Film Festival audience award winner.

“It was kinda easy (to film) because he knew me and was comfortable with me,” Broyles said.

Through his experiences, Broyles said he has “become more flexible.” He also has learned the importance of the business of filmmaking. When school was closed Jan. 20, Broyles spent the day looking for business sponsors and private donations by meeting with businesspeople and making cold calls. In exchange for funding, Broyles makes a commercial or ad for premieres.

“It pays for the premiere and the next one,” he said. “It’s more and more important because we make more and more.”

Broyles’ feature films, which he has written, directed and, like Hitchcock, appeared in, include the “Swords and Shields” trilogy, “G,” “Michael,” “Bird Brothers,” “The Creature” and “Trapped.” For his next feature, Broyles said he is on his seventh draft of a historical fiction film.

“I like something new,” he said.

 Film festivals

Since 2010, Broyles’ films have appeared in 28 film festivals in Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Alabama, Utah, Colorado and Canada.

“It’s fun, really fun. You get to learn stuff all the time,” Broyles said.

“It’s a lot of fun to watch him soak in the movies and ask directors,” Donna said. “It’s an adventure – places we wouldn’t naturally choose to go on our own.”

A career highlight was being screened at the 2010 Heartland Film Festival High School Competition as an 11-year-old.

“I’m the youngest filmmaker at Heartland,” Broyles said. “It’s encouraging especially at a festival that size.”

“We volunteer every year and Luke gets to meet so many directors,” Donna said. “We’re incredibly proud of him. We are just trying to keep up and give him the opportunity to go places or meet people who can impact him.”


Broyles’ eighth feature film, “Trapped,” is his first foray into the suspense mystery genre.

“It’s about nine people who are trapped in a room and they have to figure out how to get out and who trapped them in the first place,” he said. “It was hard because you have to figure it all out – it’s a more complicated story.”

The cast of “Trapped” included seven new actors and approximately 40 to 50 extras.

“Most were people I know from school, church, friends of my parents or were a part of past films,” he said.

Broyles said the movie’s idea came to him six years ago and he began writing the script two years ago. The 70-minute-long film was shot on Aug. 4 through 6 in the basement of Verity Institute in Indianapolis.

“Trapped” will premiere on Feb. 23 at the Mill Top Banquet & Conference Center, 802 Mulberry St., Noblesville. Those interested in attending may visit or e-mail Broyles asks that guests arrive at 3 p.m. for the free screening. A $5 VIP event will take place at 2:30 p.m. with actors, crew members and desserts.

Meet Luke Broyles

Age: 14

Birthplace/residence: Westfield

Education: eighth-grade student, Creekside Middle School

Career goal: to be a director

Favorite movie: “The Artist”

Hobbies: watching movies, playing with his dog and hanging out with friends

Websites: and

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