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Wednesday, September 23,2009

Loca-view

Michigan filmmakers to get projected at new exhibiton

by Chris Parks

With a major film studio proposed for downtown, a popular annual film festival nearby and steady output form a handful of independent auteurs, Lansing seems poised to be something of a hub for film in Michigan. But for local filmmakers, there aren’t many opportunities to show off their work.

That’s where the inaugural Lansing Fall Film Exhibition comes in. The event, which takes place at Celebration! Cinema and IMAX Theater on Saturday, will feature short films produced by Michigan filmmakers, a point event organizer Autumn “Bri” Lloyd is focused on and proud of. “I really wanted a venue to showcase local filmmakers,” said Lloyd, who stars in and helped produce one of the movies. “The filmmakers are in Michigan, the actors are in Michigan. [The state] has so many different environments that can be used in so many different ways.”


Nine films will be screened, provided by six different production companies.


The filmmakers will participate in a panel discussion following the films on ideas, inspirations and offer networking opportunities. “I wanted something more like an art exhibit to showcase artists, rather than to put them in competition,” Lloyd said.


The idea for the exhibition was hatched in April by Lloyd and her friends. In just a few months, the event was organized, and production companies had signed on to show their works, despite the event being basically unknown.


Anthony E. Griffin, of UnSAFE Film Offices, jumped on board after hearing about the exhibition. Griffin wrote, directed, produced and worked on cinematography for three films in this year’s lineup. “I think it’s a terrific opportunity for mid-Michigan filmmakers,” Griffin said. “There’s definitely a market, a desire, for people to watch short films and narrative fiction.”


Griffin said events like this help the public value and understand the importance of supporting local filmmakers. “These are the stories about us, in the time and places we live,” Griffin said.


Dan Judd, a member of production company Gruesome Notions who wrote and directed two films in the exhibition, echoed Griffin’s sentiments about local film. “There is a tremendous amount of talent,” Judd said, in terms of the state, as well as in the exhibition.


Judd also said he felt the Michigan-focused event was refreshing, when many other festivals focus more on national and international film than local works. “That’s one of the great things about [this event],” he said.


Of course, the event would be hard to pull off without some help. Lloyd credited Lansing Community College Television with helping her make the vision a reality, after they approached her and offered to sponsor the event. LCCTV will document the exhibition and also air the films along with short interviews with the filmmakers discussing their work.


With films ranging from one to 19 minutes long, and genres stretching from comedy and horror, to drama and science fiction, there should be something to excite any kind of film fan.


In addition to being a venue for local filmmakers and cine-philes to connect, the Fall Film Exhibition is also an exhibit in what can happen with a good idea and a little follow-through. Lloyd set out with big plans and a $25 budget. “It was a dream basically,” Lloyd said. “It all took off from there.”


Lansing Fall Film Exhibition


8 - 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept.


26
Celebration! Cinema, 200 E. Edgewood Blvd., Lansing $6.50-$8.50 Tickets
available at Celebration! Cinema (517) 410-4973 www.lansingffe.com


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