12 Local Filmmakers share the story of how fim transformed their lives in the PechaKucah 20X20 format.
Full speaker line-up here: www.grfilmfestival.com/calendar/2017/4/6/filmmaker-pechakucha
Purchase tickets here: $5 in advance, $7 at the door
12 Local Filmmakers share the story of how fim transformed their lives in the PechaKucah 20X20 format.
F&M is GRFF signature program that represents the intercept between fashion and music in the film industry. Partnering with Kendall College of Art and Design's Fashion Department, students create original designs inspired by music videos submitted to GRFF.
A frustrated musician, in the middle of a crisis moment, clashes with a pizza delivery guy who tries to convince him that his life would be easier if he gave up on his dreams.
Before the dust settles on his life, a young dancer decides to do something about it. He dances off against Death himself in one epic Krump Dance battle.
Music Video for the song "Sick" by Matt Rose.
AB Part II features DJ and Fashion Designer Adrian Butler in a music video directed by Philip Carrel.
CUP OF TEA: Fiction A young photographer stands at the edge of a lake as she takes pictures of the beauty surrounding her. She breathes in the clean air and closes her eyes as she takes it all in, forgetting her troubles for a moment. She notices a young village kid smiling at her. She smiles back. Suddenly, she’s jolted back to reality when the young delinquent picks up her bag and makes a run for it. She chases him through the beautiful landscape as he whips through jungles and open fields and villages. He’s very familiar with the place and she doesn’t have a chance. Just when hope seems to be at an end, she finally finds the kid, and what she sees overwhelms her and melts her heart. ‘Cup Of Tea’ is a short film about the potential we all have to change someone else’s life, and while you’re doing that, might as well change it for the better.
Director Biography: Given his decade of work with theatre legend Makarand Deshpande, Jitendra has built an excellent reputation in the theatre community in Mumbai. He has worked extensively with NGOs that are related to children’s issues. He is highly active in conducting theatre workshops with children in Aseema Charitable (NGO), Dhai Akshar (NGO), Blind Association Center etc. He has worked as an assistant director and casting director on films like Stanley Ka Dabba , Hawaa Hawaai (with Amol Gupte) and Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola (with Vishal Bhardwaj). He is a gifted visualizer and has written many films, of which ‘Cup Of Tea’ is very close to his heart.
Gardeners of the Forest: Fiction A young photographer stands at the edge of a lake as she takes pictures of the beauty surrounding her. She breathes in the clean air and closes her eyes as she takes it all in, forgetting her troubles for a moment. She notices a young village kid smiling at her. She smiles back. Suddenly, she’s jolted back to reality when the young delinquent picks up her bag and makes a run for it. She chases him through the beautiful landscape as he whips through jungles and open fields and villages. He’s very familiar with the place and she doesn’t have a chance. Just when hope seems to be at an end, she finally finds the kid, and what she sees overwhelms her and melts her heart. ‘Cup Of Tea’ is a short film about the potential we all have to change someone else’s life, and while you’re doing that, might as well change it for the better.
Director Biography: Ceylan Carhoglu graduated from Koç High School in Istanbul, Turkey and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career in filmmaking. Ceylan recently graduated from Chapman University with a degree in film production. In 2014, she produced and directed a short documentary called “Phyllis” about an extraordinary 91-year-old woman who refuses to let her old age define how she lives her life and other pieces like “The Happiest Place on Earth”, an observational documentary that chronicles the coming-of-age story of an underprivileged child growing up in the middle of an impoverished Anaheim neighborhood. Her documentary "Gardeners of the Forest" was a winner at the 2016 Emmys: College Television Awards and was nominated as a finalist for the 2016 Student Academy Awards.
Saving My Tomorrow: From the children who will inherit the planet comes a collection of songs, activism and heartfelt tips for protecting the earth. Saving MyTomorrow features kids from around the world who take on our biggest environmental challenges -- from endangered animals and pollution to climate change. Behind the scenes at the American Museum of Natural History, scientists talk with kids about how organisms are affected by a changing earth. A lyrical mix of science, music, and stories of plants and animals in danger, the show is a call from kids to all of us to help take care of the planet and everything on it.
Director Biography: Amy Schatz is an award-winning director and producer of children's shows and documentaries. Her work -- a magical mix of storytelling, celebrity performances, music videos, animation, and heartfelt interviews with kids -- has earned 8 Emmy Awards, 5 Directors Guild of America Awards, 3 Peabody Awards, Parents' Choice Awards, and others. Schatz's shows include the critically acclaimed Classical Baby series and the bedtime classic, Goodnight Moon & Other Sleepytime Tales. Most recently, she completed Saving My Tomorrow, a 6-part HBO series on the environment, produced in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History, and An Apology to Elephants, a film with Lily Tomlin.
Supermom: A daughter thinks her mother is a real life super hero - she might be right. Starring Justine Herron ("Kevin Hart - Let Me Explain") and John Hensley (lead of "Nip/Tuck," "Teeth," "Hostile III").
Director Biography: Jason Honeycutt is an award-winning director, born and raised in rural Michigan. He grew up making movies from childhood. He worked three jobs to pay for film school and moved to Los Angeles where he's directed and/or edited content for FX Network, FOX, CBS, Dreamworks, Universal Republic, Sony Music, Disney, TNT and others. He is the winner of six Promax Gold Awards and is a part of the On-Air Promotions team at FX Network, where he helped them to win Promax's "Marketing Team of the Year" six times in a row.
His first short film, "Returning Home," won a number of film festival awards such as "Best Supernatural" (Detroit/Windsor Film Festal), "Best Produced Screenplay" (Oregon Film Award), "Golden Ace Award" (Las Vegas Film Festival), amongst others. His second film, "Intersection," won "Best Short Film" at the Durango Independent Film Festial, "Best Screenplay," at the Idyllwild International Film Festival, "Best Drama" at the Apex Film Festival, as well as 10 other wins or nominations.
How Love Won: The Fight For Marriage Equality: “A brilliant and emotionally powerful documentary” about the moment that changed everything in the battle for same-sex marriage. Go behind the scenes and discover the secret psychological weapon Minnesota LGBT activists deployed in this “unwinnable” campaign that had failed in 30 other states. It's an inspiring story of going from sure defeat to winning more than anyone dared hope. Experience the pain and joy of the campaign that not only changed history, but changed the lives of activists in profound and unexpected ways.
Director Biography: Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive turned independent journalist. He helped found The UpTake, which did groundbreaking live online video news coverage in the 2008 political conventions, campaigns and recounts, and the 2010 uprising against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. This is his first feature documentary; it was inspired by The UpTake’s coverage of the debate over marriage equality.
IT’S HAPPENED BEFORE: Governments killing their own citizens for their political or spiritual beliefs. But it’s never happened like this.
It’s happened so often that the world doesn’t always pay attention. But is economic influence the reason, that this time, it’s going largely unreported? It’s hard to believe that doctors would carve up innocent people so their organs could be sold. It’s even harder to believe that major media are not investigating. Yet it happened tens of thousands of times, and may be happening still.
Hard to Believe is a documentary that examines the issue of forced live organ harvesting from Chinese prisoners of conscience, and the response—or lack of it—around the world. Produced by Swoop Films, two-time Emmy Award-winning director/producer, Ken Stone, and Irene Silber.
Director's Biography: Ken Stone spent 20 years in American broadcast newsrooms – the bulk of that time at public television stations. His national awards include a duPont Silver Baton (Columbia University’s broadcast equivalent of its Pulitzer) and a Gabriel Award and he is a two-time documentary winner of a regional Emmy Award.
Roger is a lonely cab driver diagnosed with a terminally ill disease. He is shaken by the sudden death of his ex-wife, and steals a cab from his job to set out to find the son he hasn't seen in more than thirty years.
Michael McCallum is an award winning director/writer/actor/producer/editor who was born in Lansing, MI where he currently resides. He started acting in 1997 and started his film company, Rebel Pictures, in 1999. His first three feature films, Fairview St., Handlebar, Lucky, all screened at Celebration Cinema in Lansing, MI for week long runs to sell out crowds. All three films have played nationally and internationally garnering many awards.
Since 2008 he has released a string of 11 award-winning short films. McCallum was honored to receive the "Michigan Independent Filmmaker Of the Year Award 2012" by the Uptown Film Festival in Detroit. In 2015, McCallum and his Rebel Pictures team finished their fourth feature film, Buffalo! He was excited to work, again, with his talented Father, William C. McCallum, who plays the lead role in Buffalo. They also wrote the film together. It has won 21 awards and received 32 nominations in it's first 33 film festivals. It has also played in Italy, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Singapore, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Grand Rapids, The Caribbean, Lithuania, Greece, Amsterdam, Russia, Hong Kong, Portugal, Indonesia, Italy and Australia!
With the 16 films that Rebel Pictures has made they have won 92 major awards, been nominated for 156 other major awards and been accepted into 159 film festivals internationally!
In 2013 and 2014, he was invited to direct a short film for the Production Workshop for the Grand Rapids Film Festival (GRFF). Both films were finished by McCallum and one of his editors and have won awards nationally. He currently serves on GRFF's advisory board and leads the committee which produced the 36-Hour Challenge.
In addition to film, Michael is also an accomplished theater performer. He took on the iconic role of "Stanley Kowalski" in Lansing Community College's production of A Streetcar Named Desire! His films, trailers and writing can be seen and purchased at: RebelPictures.net
Rabbit Blood: Just an ordinary day at an old mysterious Turkish country house where its residents have an extraordinary way of brewing tea.
The Joy: A comedic short film about man trying to find his place in an absurd and lonely world.
Director's Biography: Joshua Courtade is a prolific filmmaker, actor, and instructor from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has written, directed, and produced dozens of short films and several features. He currently teaches at Compass College of Cinematic Arts.
Two young women from disparate backgrounds share a ride to western Massachusetts in this heartrending film of unexpected friends navigating life's bumpy roads and moving forward with hope. An award-winning drama that "passes the Bechdel test with flying colors", Split Costs boasts an all-female cast that deliver "emotionally honest, disciplined performances.”
Director's Biography: Jeff Blake's short films, music videos and screenplays have been screened and listed at over 100 film and arts festivals in the U.S. and internationally. A New England native, after living in California for 10 years, he and his wife Rebecca currently reside just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
I Am Borderline: Self-Regulation Project: I am a psychologist that created a short film for individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). BPD is probably the most widely misunderstood and stigmatized mental health disorder. Individuals with BPD struggle to regulate their emotions and have interpersonal relationships.
Gardening At Night: The period between knowing death is near and death’s arrival forms an unbearable state of regret, sadness and anticipation for Samantha. She is powerless to help Anne, who on the eve of her death, has not come to terms with her fate and remains angry and afraid. Samantha recreates conversations between Elyse and Anne from the hospital in order to comprehend what Anne is facing and the enormity of her own impending loss. Waiting expands time to the point that it loses meaning. The world shrinks to encompass only her and her phone, which will ring soon with the news. That night she can no longer bear the stillness and despite the darkness, Samantha tries to put neglected garden in order. Caring for living things gives her a temporary sense of control. Afterwards she realizes how she can help Anne let go of her fear, which also gives her the chance to say a personal good-bye to her friend.
Director's Biography: Shayna Connelly’s work explores hauntings, liminality and the boundaries between documentary, experimental and fiction filmmaking. Her early work screened at Heaven Gallery, The Milwaukee Art Museum and the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. Her most recent work has screened at IC Docs, CIMMfest, Reel Shorts, Big Muddy Film Festival, Columbus International Film Festival, Charlotte International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival and Athens International Film and Video Festival among others. She is in post-production for a ghost story, ‘Quiver’, shot in December, 2017 and slated for release in fall. Newcity Magazine named her one of Chicago's 50 Screen Gems of 2016.
Renardo: A murderer finds redemption from an unexpected source.
Director Biography: Nathan Roels is a Calvin College student majoring in Digital Filmmaking. He aims to tell stories that contain themes of redemption and reconciliation to bring hope to those who watch.
What Happened in Vegas: While on vacation in Las Vegas, filmmaker Ramsey Denison is walking through a parking lot when he sees a group of police officers abusing a stranger in custody. Shocked by what he’s witnessing, he calls 911 to report police brutality -- only to find himself being attacked by police and arrested. After reading a police report filled with lies and discovering that the video documenting his attack by police has conveniently gone missing, Denison investigates a terrifying pattern of police brutality and discovers that behind the shimmering surface of Las Vegas lies a police department with individuals willing to go to any lengths to cover up its crimes.
What Happened In Vegas exposes the truth surrounding three murder cases in which all of the victims were shot by cops. With the help of victims’ friends and family, this shocking documentary weaves its way through the maze of lies from top LVMPD officials. Even in the shadow of this deep corruption, we meet heroic Las Vegas police officers who fight to improve relations with the community while keeping the streets safe. What Happened In Vegas takes a deep look at what is going wrong and what, if anything, can be done to fix it.
In a world torn by conflict—in a place where the idea of peace has been abandoned—an energy of determined optimism emerges. When someone is willing to disturb the status quo and stand for the dream of a free and secure world, who will stand with them?
DISTURBING THE PEACE is about people born into conflict, sworn to be enemies, who challenged their fate. The film follows everyday people who took extraordinary actions by standing for what they believe in, just like those who came before them – Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and many others whose names we don’t know. The movie challenges all of us – to understand the narratives we live within, to look at our current roles in our societies, and to decide what role we are going to play in creating a more humane world, for all. And it starts with our willingness to disturb the peace.
DISTURBING THE PEACE is a story of the human potential unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our convictions, take action to create new possibilities. DISTURBING THE PEACE follows former enemy combatants - Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison - who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say “enough." The film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace.
At a time in our world when societies are becoming more polarized and painfully few people are speaking of nonviolent solutions to our conflicts, popular movements like Combatants for Peace have the potential to capture the public’s imagination and shift the conversation from the inevitability of conflict, to the possibility and process of establishing lasting peace. DISTURBING THE PEACE evokes universal themes relevant to us all and inspires us to become active participants in the creation of our world.
Ebertfest: Roger Ebert Humanitarian Award
Traverse City Film Festival: Best Documentary and Audience Award: Foreign
Hamptons International Film Festival: Conflict and Resolution Award
Stephen Apkon, Director; Andrew Young, Director; Stephen Apkon, Producer; Marcina Hale, Producer
Father Burke's Boss Battle: A young Catholic Priest addicted to video games must control his increasingly frenzied gaming urges, while also avoiding a suspicious and all-too-well-knowing Mother Superior.
Father Dale Burke’s grip on reality is slipping! Deep in the throes of video game addiction, Father Burke can’t control his urge to play as daily parish responsibilities fall to the wayside. A game of cat and mouse ensues as Sister Morgan pursues answers from the increasingly erratic priest. A final confrontation erupts in the church sanctuary during a funeral mass when Father Burke bursts in hell-bent on defeating a powerful Demon Boss, as bemused and bewildered mourners witness his maniacal assault against an unseen foe.
Director's Biography: J. Paul Preseault was born in Burlington, Vermont and has been a professional director, writer, producer, and actor, for over 25 years in Seattle, New York, Chicago, and abroad. J. Paul received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Film and Video from Columbia College Chicago, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Theatre from New York University.
J. Paul’s MFA thesis film Birth of a White Boy won the Maverick Movie Award: BEST STUDENT PICTURE and the Audience Choice Award for BEST SHORT FILM at both Bolderlife International Film Festival and Seattle Shorts Film Fest. Additionally, J. Paul has shot a number of short films, promotional documentaries, as well as a half-hour Silk Road Sojourns TV episode, and directed the film both/and for Silk Road Rising.
J. Paul is the founding Artistic Director of The Tribes Project, a multicultural performing arts company. During his tenure at Tribes Project the company performed for over 55,000 people worldwide, as well as won a number of awards including the Seattle Diversity Award, Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity: Faces of Courage Award, and the National Endowment for the Arts: Arts Learning Award. J. Paul received the Golden Apple Award for excellence in education in 1999.
J. Paul has directed a number of international theatre productions including a tour of Kosovo featuring Albanian and Serbian cast members, a Spanish adaptation of Euripides’ The Trojan Women in Baja Mexico, as well as a collaboration with the Soweto Youth Drama Society that performed at the UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. J. Paul is presently directing another international collaboration with African Tree Productions, a South African adaptation of The Oresteia called Oresteia Ubuntu.
Director John Otterbacher has immersed himself in the burgeoning, nerd art, movie poster world for the past four years. Immediately attracted to the stunning artistic re-imaginings of classic films, Otterbacher became hooked on the hand-made and limited edition nature of these posters. In a world of easily copied digital movies, music, and books, these posters can only truly be enjoyed in person and there are only so many of each made.
It all started when Otterbacher missed purchasing an “Apocalypse Now” limited edition print made by poster artist, Tim Doyle. Otterbacher contacted Doyle in an attempt to get a copy and the initial discussion led to a friendship filled with conversations about the poster world. The two kept coming back to the same topic “Do you need to get the rights to create a new take on an “Apocalypse Now” poster?
Answer: Doyle told him that he didn’t believe he needed to, but that Mondo, the biggest player in the industry, did license all of the movie posters they sell.
Otterbacher goes to Austin to meet the Mondo team and Doyle in person. He learns the once rogue Mondo, now officially licenses the rights to all of the film posters they redesign. Next, Otterbacher travels the country to talk to other artists, galleries, and nerd art collectors. Otterbacher learns that many artists and galleries have received cease and desist letters, telling them to stop selling certain posters. Everyone has an opinion about licensing rights, but nobody really knows the actual legality and the idea of fair use is thrown around. With millions of dollars at stake, tensions have continued to rise between artists who acquire official license and artists who don’t.
To Otterbacher, this was reminiscent of what happened to hip-hop music in the nineties, when lawsuits around music sampling established the rules and set precedent in that industry. Some of his favorite albums from groups like the Beastie Boys and De La Soul couldn’t be made today because of sampling costs. Are there parallel lawsuits in the poster world? The case closest was the Associated Press versus Shepard Fairey for his use of one of their photos in the design of Fairey’s “Obama Hope” poster. Fairey has worked with Mondo and much of his work references pop-culture so it was a case that many people in the alternative movie poster world and legal community were watching. Due to unfortunate legal circumstances, Fairey settled out of court and no judgment was made.
Between the fear of lawsuits and the propaganda of the powers that be, there is a chilling effect on the community. Many artists don’t do work based on pop-culture and those that do, aren’t comfortable talking about it, while Mondo continues to gain official license and sales sky rocket.
After graduating with a Master of Science in Communications from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, John Otterbacher moved to Chicago where he splits his time between teaching and filmmaking. Otterbacher has mainly worked as a producer and cinematographer specializing in independent film/tv/new media and work for non-profit organizations. As a college instructor, Otterbacher has taught at a number of institutions and is currently coordinator for the Cinematography program at Tribeca Flashpoint College in Chicago. He is a board member and serves as Vice President for IFP Chicago and is a member of the Education Advisory Committee for Cinema/Chicago. More recently, John received his MFA in film from VCFA as part of the inaugural class. Officially Limited and Father Burke’s Boss Battle are John’s current film projects.
Hold On: A couple works through a trying time in their relationship. Student Short.
Director's Biography: Andrew Behm is a student filmmaker based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His work has been nominated for several festivals, and screened in many different venues.
Wintery Spring: Nour, is a schoolgirl that lives alone with her father, goes through a crisis when the unexpected arrival of puberty happened to her for the first time and cannot tell her dad and the dad didn't understand these changes that occurred in her life, which results in tension between them.
Director's Biography: Mohamed Kamel is an Award Winning Egyptian filmmaker, born in Egypt, studied film directing at the Academy of Arts-higher cinema institute in Cairo and graduated in 2006, wrote and directed several narrative short films that participated in numerous of national & international film festivals around the world and won many international Awards, working now on making his own personal independent cinematic experiment.
Shipping Home: Shipping Home follows the year-long construction of Asheville, North Carolina’s first shipping container residence. But this is no HGTV fairytale - Ryan and Brook must balance life and parenthood with their aspirations of a sustainable dream house.
Director's Biography: Chris Zaluski and Sam Smartt (Honest Eye Productions) are documentary filmmakers based out of Asheville, NC and Grand Rapids MI, respectively. Their first film, Wagonmasters, was broadcast internationally, won numerous awards, and was eventually acquired by PBS.
Watch This: A retired bus driver, unable to mourn the loss of his wife, turns to his television for comfort. When the TV breaks, he is forced to look outside his closed world.
Director's Biography: Richard Turke has used many different Medias to express his creativity and natural story telling ability. He graduated from The California Institute of the Arts. Richard started in Fine Arts where his art work displayed a talent for telling a story and humor. Transitioning to "film" he created several original short subjects, which continued to reflect his depth of story and humor. Richard's work has been featured in several prestigious film festivals, such as AFI, Sitges and Slamdance. Richard Turke wrote and directed his first feature "Visible Scars",which won the Best Picture Award at the Shockfest Film Festival.
This quirky, heartfelt comedy follows Ben, a stressed-out single father and former novelist who now suffers in creative purgatory writing instructions for egg-timers, blenders, and other mundane everyday products. At home, Ben juggles being a single father to his precocious 7-year old daughter, Lilly, who peppers him with female-related questions he has no clue how to answer. To top it all off, Ben’s cantankerous father has moved in and brings home an array of floozies half his age to dine with the family.
Ben has his life turned upside down when Sunshine, a new-age yogi, mysteriously shows up in his kitchen. She brings color and life into Ben’s world, encouraging him to pursue his long-forgotten dreams. Suddenly, Ben finds his newfound happiness in jeopardy when he is forced to confront his past in a way he never imagined.
Director Biography: Kevin Resnick is an award-winning writer, director, and actor who served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and flew airplanes as a C-130 Navigator. After moving on from the military, his innate flair for comedy allowed him to make a successful living as an actor in New York, where he starred in several acclaimed films on the national festival circuit, receiving Best Actor Nominations for his work on three different occasions. As a writer/director, his films have screened in festivals worldwide, to include the famed Cannes Film Festival, and have won multiple awards, including Best Comedy Short, Best Short Film, Award of Merit, and an Audience Award, among others.
Veronica Atburn returns to her home town after a year of traveling the United States, reunites with her high school friends, and forces everybody to stop rehashing the past and start doing Something Fun.
Chad grew up in Williamston, MI, the location and inspiration for his first feature film, Something Fun. He studied Screen Arts and Culture at the University of Michigan, where he watched a lot of movies, wrote about those movies, then attempted to make movies of his own. Since graduating in 2014, Chad won the Feature Screenplay category of the Final Draft Big Break Contest, and made the move to Los Angeles, CA where, finally, winter no longer exists.
time-based filmmaking competition in downtown Grand Rapids
GRFF partners with the City of Wyoming's concert series for a family friendly screening.
Film at dark.
Enjoy an evening with the Grand Rapids Film Festival for a Summer Series community event including film, food and fun!
GRFF spotlights Grand Rapids' native and professional filmmaker, Philip Carrel, and his progressively adventurous feature film, Dýrafjörður. Carrel's vision and propensity toward travel brings the wonder and beauty of Dýrafjörður Iceland to Eastown Grand Rapids. Inspired by the creative resourcefulness of Dýrafjörður locals, this event will focus on the idea of using natural resources in an artistic, inventive and imaginative way to positively impact the community.
GRFF has partnered with local businesses and organizations to design prescreening activities that align with the theme of creative resourcefulness.
Free Entry | Refreshments provided by Brewery Vivant
Event begins at 6pm, film at 9:30.