By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – Bringing the film industry to southeast Michigan is the goal of Sundown Pictures, which will host the Southeast Michigan Film Festival Nov. 2 and 3 at Lincoln Park High School.
Founded by Blake Redmer, Sean Collins, and Lauren and David Vileo, Sundown Pictures said its mission is to “bring an active and thriving industry to the diverse and talented state of Michigan.”
Danny Shaw, public relations and outreach consultant for the Southeast Michigan Film Festival, said they have worked with Councilman Chris Dardzinski to bring the event to Lincoln Park, and they have 160 hours of content from which to select for the 10 hours of festival viewing.
Submissions came through FilmFreeway.com, the largest film festival submission site in the United States.
Co-director Lauren Vileo said they received such a large number of submissions by waiving the application fee during the initial time period.
“We were able to reach out across a lot of different platforms to get those submissions,” she said. “We have had an opportunity to see some really wonderful independent entrees.”
Shaw said the biggest challenge the festival faces is selecting the 10 hours of film content that will screen at the festival.
“It is quite difficult, so the team will be busy sifting through the rest of the submissions,” he said. “We will notify the creators by the end of the month.”
Dardzinski said he was pleased to see the group of young filmmakers take on this festival.
“It’s a huge undertaking,” he said. “The first weekend of November, everyone please be at the high school and support the first film festival in the Downriver area.
“This is very unique, and it is right here in Lincoln Park. It is just another reason why we are a destination city.”
LPHS, 1701 Champaign, has a 1,400-seat auditorium, which makes it ideal for large audience presentations, Dardzinski said.
The inaugural festival has received 441 films from 350 different creators, with 160 hours of content for viewing and judging. Submissions were solicited beginning in May from U.S. and Canadian film makers. The selections which will play at the festival will be announced in October.
A block of short films, those under 40 minutes, will be shown from 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 2, with the feature films, 41 to 120 minutes, screening Nov. 3 throughout the day, with doors opening at noon, and with an 8:30 p.m. awards ceremony.
Each film will have a brief introduction by either the director or a guest speaker. Student films will be shown in a second screening room both days of the festival.
Two-day tickets are $20, or $10 for Friday and $15 for Saturday.
For more information go to semichfilmfest.com.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected].)