Aug 8, 2015

Raised in a Lake Worth cult: Award-winning film screens Saturday

All it takes is one hair-raising listen of the trailer for Destiny Thomas‘ short film and you understand.

You understand why she fled her own fundamentalist evangelical upbringing (which she calls “abusive” and a “cult”) in Lake Worth for Los Angeles. And you understand why she made a punishing 11-minute short film based on her life and why it won Best Short Film at the L-Dub Film Festival last January.

That film, “My Center Will Not Hold,” got her into the “Harvard of film schools,” the AFI Conservatory in Hollywood, Calif., but only tuition will keep her there. In less than two months, she has gotten scholarships, grants and loans to cover all but $30,000 of the $106,000 cost of the two-year school.

The Stonzek Theater at the Lakeworth Playhouse is screening her film Aug. 8 at 8 p.m., and all the proceeds from the $15 tickets go toward paying her tuition at the AFI Conservatory.

“I wanted to be an actor. I wanted to be a director. I wanted to to tell stories,” Thomas said. “And the film had to premiere (in Lake Worth). It just had to.”

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