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Lake Michigan Film Festival brings state cinema to the big screen

Red numbered movie theater chairs
Kilyan Sockalingum

From documentaries, student films, shorts and comedies, the Lake Michigan Film Festival is showing Michigan-based films starting today through the weekend.

The festival previously only featured films made in Michigan. Now, the event has expanded to include films centered on state topics.

The event opens with a comedy made by a University of Michigan graduate currently living in Los Angeles.

That’s Funny follows a former stand-up comedian in a mid-life crisis who believes appearing on a popular late-night show will save his career. The film was shot in Michigan.

“There’s a lot of fun shots from up north near Charlevoix and around the state that people will recognize,” Lake Michigan Film Festival director Erika Noud said.

One of the documentaries scheduled to play, Lead & Copper, comes from filmmakers based in New York covering the Flint water crisis. “They had a call to action to make that documentary,” Noud said.

Five feature-length documentaries are in the lineup, with blocks of student films, shorts, and short documentaries.

“The shorts and student films are always a lot of fun,” Noud said. “You can see eight to ten of them in one and a half-hour block.”

Noud said the shorter films cover a wide range of topics. “They’re all kind of about life, the ups and downs,” she said. “Somebody losing a pet, terminal illness, and just dealing with the stresses of a day.”

Most of the filmmakers plan to attend the showings. “They will be here to answer questions after the film,” Noud said. “They get really excited to come and bring friends and family.”

For many of these films, Noud said, it’s the only chance to see them in theaters.

“It’s great to have the community come out and support these local and regional filmmakers,” Noud said. “The filmmakers get excited about showing their films on the big screen too.”

The festival starts Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased when doors open at 6 p.m.

More films will play through the weekend at Studio C! Meridian Mall in Okemos. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.

For a full list of films, visit the Lake Michigan Film Festival homepage.

Lieza Klemm is a senior at Michigan State University, majoring in journalism with a concentration in broadcasting
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