This upcoming weekend, the annual Made-in-Michigan Film Festival (MiMFF) will be hosted at the Bronners Performing Arts Center in Frankenmuth. The festival runs from 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, to Sunday, Feb. 5.
The MiMFF is a unique event for audiences and filmmakers alike, as it prominently features independent films, both short and feature length, of all genres exclusively made by up-and-coming filmmakers from Michigan.
Program Manager of the MiMFF Paul Weiss said that is the most unique function of the festival, as it gives those interested in making films an opportunity to show their stuff to an audience.
“There are no festivals that I am aware of that exclusively cater to Michigan-made films,” Weiss said. “Some might feature a few, but we try to get as many Michigan filmmakers of all levels of experience together so they can network, get inspired and get better.”
Weiss stressed that the environment created for the MiMFF is one in which both filmmakers and those who are interested in becoming filmmakers in the future can interact and learn a thing or two about the process of screening movies.
Activities aside from screenings include workshops and Q&A sessions with filmmakers among others.
The festival begins with a special horror extravaganza, which Weiss mentioned is likely to be one of the highlights of the weekend.
“Friday night is horror night, so I’m most excited about these two films ‘The Alchemist Cookbook’ [by Joel Potrykus] and ‘Accidental Exorcist’[by Daniel Falicki],” Weiss said. “Since I believe that these are the two best films produced, I’m interested in how the audience will receive them.”
Weiss went on to say that those two films, the former being a “thoughtful take” on the summoning of spirits and the latter being more comedy/horror, should be an interesting viewing experience for college-aged audiences.
This year, the MiMFF is bringing on a new segment of the festival called “90 Minutes with Michigan Feature Filmmakers.” This segment will feature a panel of Michigan-based filmmakers including Lisa Enos, Joshua Courtade and Robert Butler and will be led by Potrykus. The selected filmmakers will discuss topics ranging from how they manage to be a filmmaker in Michigan versus Los Angeles to what Michigan filmmakers have inspired them.
This panel will take place on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the room next to the screening room.
It is this type of interaction between the audience and those involved with the final products being shown that makes the MiMFF a unique experience for both general audiences and those interested in filmmaking.
Weiss also said that more casual audiences should not be discouraged by this type of atmosphere, as its location at one of the more quality theaters in mid-Michigan as well as the schedule for the films should lend itself to a more casual viewing experience.
“Besides our features on Friday night, the rest of the program is filled with film shorts,” Weiss said. “If you don’t prefer a film, a new one will be usually up in less than 15-20 minutes.”
Tickets for the event can be purchased by day for $7, $15 for the whole weekend and $10 for Saturday and Sunday only. As an added bonus, the MiMFF will be offering a $2 discount to SVSU students if they present their student ID at the ticket booth upon purchasing.
Visit the MiMFF website for more information regarding tickets or the scheduling of the films.