Featured movies at the Made in Michigan Film Fest
by Roz Weedman
The Made in Michigan Film Festival is about to arrive in Frankenmuth the weekend of October 3-4, at the Bronner Performing Arts Center located at Frankenmuth High School. The festival website, madeinmichiganfilmfestival.org provides a detailed schedule of films and other events as well as trailers.
Four films in particular are worthy of attention – two feature length narrative films (fictional stories) and two feature length documentaries. Worth thinking about is the universal cultural attraction of movies. They entertain us, demand our sensory attention, and present us opportunities to contemplate the state of being human and our connection to others.
And that’s exactly what four featured films do, putting the entertainment factor first. For instance, don’t miss Friday’s showing of Twenty Years Later, a narrative film, at 6pm. While in high school, three friends bury a time capsule of “treasures,” vowing to come together in twenty years to dig it up. Are they who they were twenty years ago? Are they living the lives they imagined two decades ago? Do they have anything left in common with their old friends?
Twenty Years Later is a comedy with heart. Well acted and produced, this film will not disappoint.
Friday night at 9:20pm gives us a very different, rich experience with the documentary, Ron Finch – That’s All You Get. Finch’s most enormous, spectacular, custom motorcycle will be parked outside Frankenmuth High School. For more than 40 years, Ron Finch and his team of welders and craftsmen have created unique and wild motorcycle art, contributing to the chopper craze.
His work has been shown in art museums across the United States and in Europe, but it can be seen in Frankenmuth October 3. The Ron Finch movie is an irresistible treat, worth staying to the end of Friday night. No particular interest in motorcycles necessary to appreciate it.
Saturday’s narrative feature is Mutt, shown at 2pm. Torn between two cultures, main character Meda Paalova finds planning a future with the man she loves more difficult than either of them imagined. The film gives a compelling story of one couple’s attempt to negotiate complex multiple cultures through love. Is love enough? What does it take to change minds and hearts? It tugs at both our thoughts and emotions.
Perhaps the most inspiring story in the festival, the documentary Go Far – The Christopher Rush Story, is showing Saturday at 6pm. Christopher Rush, diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, wasn’t supposed to live beyond the age of two, according to doctors. But he lived to see 30. Using his life to reach others and educate them about how to deal with and appreciate differences in one another, Christopher Rush remains an inspiration through the life he lived and this film. The movie shows Rush at his good humored, intelligent, extraordinary best.
These may be top picks, but no one can go wrong with the choices available at the Made in Michigan Film Festival. Glance Up, for example, has some wonderful scenes at Michigan State University and features an unusual athlete overcoming tremendous odds. Blocks of short films give audiences opportunities to see six or eight movies in quick bursts – a fun time, especially for those who have never been to a film festival and experienced this. Filmmakers can do the amazing with six or ten minutes, telling a complete story. Check out the website for summaries of the available short films in each time block.
Every movie in this festival has, as the name implies, a major Michigan connection. The Made in Michigan Film Festival board members and sponsors look forward to seeing a good crowd there. For five dollars a day, where else could you get a real film festival experience and all that entertainment? Nowhere except Frankenmuth on October 3 and 4.