By Gord Bowes, News staff
A young Mountain girl is going to be seen on the big screen this month in Cannes.
Raelee Steele won’t be making the trip — the eight-year-old has school to attend, after all — but maybe one day she’ll be walking the red carpet.
“It’s pretty amazing,” she says of having a role in a short film at the famed festival.
Raelee plays Olivia in “The Master,” a 15-minute film by Filip Terlecki. It is being shown in the non-competitive Short Film Corner at Cannes.
The story revolves around Olivia and her older friend Maya trying to raise money to cover the cost of an operation for their sick dog.
It was shot over two days last year in Burlington.
“I don’t have lots of lines, but I do a lot of acting,” says Raelee.
The Grade 3 student at Norwood Park elementary school caught the acting bug after appearing in Hammer Entertainment’s production of “It’s A Wonderful Life” at age 5 and hearing the audience response to her performance.
Since then she has auditioned for several roles when time has allowed. Since filming of The Master wrapped, she’s done two other films a website commercial, says mom Robyn.
But being an actor isn’t necessarily what Raelee wants to be when she grows up. She knows what she wants to be, she’s just not sure what it’s called.
“I don’t know how to say it — humanitarian?” she says.
For several years, the young girl has asked well wishers to donate to a food bank or other charity rather than give her birthday presents.
For her eighth birthday, she asked everyone to bring a small donation for an Oakville charity called Loving Arms to help a little girl name Mirta in Guatemala who is suffering from cancer.
“It’s nice to get presents,” she says, “but why not doing something nice for someone?”