Indie film events, screenings and festivals in September

Written by Josh Spanninga | Thursday, 08 September 2016 14:26 |

Check out these indie film events in September, including a Frank Zappa doc, Saugatuck Short Film Competition, Overcomer Film Series.

Director Amy Heckerling Brings Industry Knowledge to Celebration! Cinema North

Written by Josh Spanninga | Thursday, 08 September 2016 09:40 |

Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Look Who’s Talking — Amy Heckerling’s portfolio is beyond impressive. These are films that embedded themselves into American culture instantly, whose cult followings have only grown over the decades. And now their creator is coming to GR.

Just six or seven years ago, Grand Rapids filmmaker Daniel Falicki was not in a good spot. 

Recently divorced and unemployed, Falicki was going through what he now refers to as an “early midlife crisis.” Then, a neighbor in his apartment complex one day asked Falicki if he could shoot wedding videos. Falicki figured he’d give it a shot, and soon discovered a special knack for film. Before he knew it, he was making commercials.

“It was actually a blessing in disguise,” Falicki said. “They pretty much paid me to learn.”

Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival organizers are gearing up for the 2016 event and accepting submissions until July 15; The Midnight Movies Series returns to Celebration Cinema with your favorite cult classics. 

Grand Rapids filmmaker Joel Potrykus is on a roll. His project Buzzard premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival, was picked up by Oscilloscope Laboratories and made a hell of a run through the festival circuit, wowing audiences and critics. 

Last year, Buzzard saw a national limited release, garnering even more acclaim. And 2016 is turning out to be a hell of a year for Potrykus as well. 

It’s entirely understandable if one were to feel a sense of unease upon entering the apartment of Nicholas Hartman, film coordinator for the UICA. 

Lit by wax candles and decked-out with animal skulls, crucifixes and occult memorabilia, it resembles the set of a Vincent Price movie that never was — a horror fan’s paradise. 

“It’s my life, I love that stuff,” Hartman said. “When I was younger, every Saturday night my dad would come home with a box of pizza and a shitty horror movie.”

It only seems fitting that Hartman honor his father by shooting some good old fashioned Satanic-cult mayhem in GR for his upcoming short film Blood for Thy Master. 

While it’s been 35 years since his death, Alfred Hitchcock is still the critics’ darling. If you browse any “greatest films in cinema history” list you’re bound to find Psycho and Vertigo peppered alongside others.

Feast Your Eyes: UICA and Downtown Market’s ‘Big Screen Cuisine’

Written by Josh Spanninga | Monday, 30 November 2015 13:03 |

Terrence R. O’Haire, culinary coordinator for the Downtown Market, recognizes cinema’s ability to stir our taste buds and decided to partner up with the UICA to present the Big Screen Cuisine series. The series features a variety of foodie-approved films, including both aforementioned movies and a slew of others. Each movie is accompanied by a workshop, class or dinner exploring the films’ culinary creations.

The Inspectors Boasts Kalamazoo Talent

Written by Josh Spanninga | Sunday, 01 November 2015 11:41 |

When it comes to nationally-syndicated crime dramas there’s certainly no shortage of sexy, physically fit actors running around chasing bad guys and saving the day. CBS is trying to challenge that image with their new series The Inspectors, starring Kalamazoo-born actor Bret Green in the lead role of Preston Wainwright, a wheelchair-bound intern working for the United States Postal Inspection Service’s crime lab.

Elder Island Explores the Creepy Side of Michigan

Written by Josh Spanninga | Sunday, 01 November 2015 11:40 |

If you ask anyone vacationing in Michigan what they’re here for, you’re bound to hear a lot of answers concerning Motown history, the Great Lakes, good beer and fudge. But if you were to ask director Darrin James and producer Fabricio Cerioni what brought them here, they would have a much more macabre answer.

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