'Message-driven' film event set

June 27, 2009
| By Pete Daly |
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The first Grand Rapids Film Festival, featuring "message-driven and universally entertaining" films, according to its promoters, will take place Aug. 26-28 at Celebration Cinema North.

“Hollywood is seeing a paradigm shift in its audience. Box office numbers show people want a better film that doesn’t expose them to gratuitous sex or excessive graphic violence,” said Corey Niemchick, president of Storytelling Pictures and co-founder of the Grand Rapids Film Festival.

“Studios are acknowledging that family films can go beyond the minivan set. The goal of the Grand Rapids Film Festival is to show great independent films that challenge, inspire and tell a great story.”

Organizers are working on providing producers face-to-face opportunities to meet with publishers and potential distributors. A welcoming reception and awards ceremony also are planned.

“Given the enthusiasm for the film industry in West Michigan, we are elated to have an all-new film festival for Grand Rapids,” said Rick Hert, West Michigan Film Commissioner. “Festivals introduce moviegoers to a wide variety of independent films while helping film producers make direct connections with an audience. It also gives our West Michigan film industry an opportunity to showcase ourselves.”

The festival will include 30 movies: independent films, foreign films, children’s features, animated motion pictures, short films and others.

Niemchick said a 2010 festival is already anticipated to take place in downtown Grand Rapids.

Information about tickets, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities is available at www.grfilmfestival.org.

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