The lights dim and cameras roll as people settle into their seats once again for the sixth year of the Grand Rapids Comic Con Film Fest, where local independent filmmakers can show off their short films. This year, however, the Grindhouse Film Festival is joining the lineup.
The event has 19 shorts this year with a variety of genres, including science-fiction, comedy and thrillers, said Joshua Courtade, director of Film Fest.
The idea of the grindhouse festival was brought about because of submissions the festival received, but weren’t initially allowed to be shown because of the stipulations they had to follow, according to Courtade.
“This was a nice way to kind of open it up to different types of films and have more of an after-hours showcase for that audience to come and see a different kind of filmmaking experience,” Courtade said.
The new four-hour festival will feature around nine short films for the first two hours of the festival. The last part of the festival will consist of a two-hour feature, said Anthony Griffin, the director of the Grindhouse Film Festival, who also runs Thriller Chiller.
Griffin added the idea was brought up by Mark Hodges, as he wanted to add another layer to the festival.
“Just knowing him throughout the past years as a filmmaker, I said, ‘Sure, I’ll come on board and help curate that,’” Griffin said.
He also mentioned the Grindhouse portion of the festival will feature films that are more PG-13 and R rated, where the usual portion of the festival is more G and PG. He added these shorts are more modern in their approach and will focus more on action, comedy and humor than a traditional grindhouse model.
“If people are expecting to come there and look at a movie that says blood and creatures and explorations, they’re not going to get that for the shorts this year,” he said.
Griffin also added that people who are looking for something a little edgier than the Film Fest will find that in the Grindhouse Film Festival.
“Certainly the time of night and location is something I believe the audience has been looking for at the Comic Con,” he said.
As for what Griffin’s looking for in choosing the films, he said he’s looking at many aspects of the shorts.
“Film festivals are best when they try to strike up a balance between an academic-type discussion and entertainment.” Griffin said. “That’s really what we go to the movies for, is entertainment.”
The Grindhouse Film Festival will run from 8 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Nov. 9, and the Film Fest will take place on from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m Saturday, Nov. 10.
For more information, you can go to http://www.grcomiccon.com/grindhouse/.