Stellar Student Stories: Zev Vel, Bard College at Simon’s Rock

zevIt’s the dream of many filmmakers to have their film accepted to a film festival. Zev Vel has had his film accepted to four – at just 17 years old. Vel, a freshman at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Mass., screened his documentary short, “The Symbol of Peace,” at film festivals across the country this fall.

According to Vel, “The Symbol of Peace” shares the inspiring stories and dreams of the people who love the peace sign and have created their own peace signs to display on their homes and businesses. “Here in Woodstock, New York,” says Vel “we are surrounded by the symbol; it is part of our daily landscape. It seems fitting for Woodstock to be the center of the documentary.”

Vel is more than just a filmmaker – he has immersed himself in the film industry. In his short career, Vel has managed to work his way onto more than 50 film sets.

“It’s all about connections,” he says. “You get into one film as an unpaid production assistant and meet someone there who’s working on their own film, where you go work as a grip.” In this way, he’s worked his way from jobs on the short film “Persephone” to a Blondie music video to the feature film “In Our Nature.”

What’s next for Vel? “I am also currently working on a new project,” he says. “The Visual Narrative Project. All the details are available at”

“We may be students,” he says, “but that does not limit our ambition to create a compelling short film.”