At 28, Drake Doremus could pass for 20. He's irrepressibly youthful. The director of "Like Crazy," a prize-winning movie at the Sundance Film Festival, thinks improving the world can be done on both a big and a small scale.
He believes, for instance, that everyone should have a mentor. "I've been lucky enough to have some killer mentors who also made a huge difference in my life and career," he says. "Now I am trying to give back and do the same for others."
As a student at the American Film Institute, Mr. Doremus realized that "film is so personal. It's not a one-size-fits-all thing." An instructor at the AFI, Barry Sabath, "inspired me to find my own voice."
Now Doremus participates in an AFI mentorship program to help out student filmmakers. He feels this is important because "films changed my life, and they have the power to change the world. They can change lives for the better because they examine the human race."
"On a broader scale," he says, "I think we need a more flexible attitude in the way we educate kids."
Doremus himself was so immersed in filmmaking as a teenager that he never formally completed his studies.
"I found the structure in high school to be totally alienating. Schools should find ways to let kids have more freedom to study the things that engage them, with choices more like the ones we get in college. Let kids find their niche and they will learn and contribute so much more."
– Peter Rainer, Los Angeles
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