Variety coming to GR Film Festival

August 7th, 2009 at 12:29 am by under Entertainment

First group of movies to play at August 26-28 Grand Rapids Film Festival

Grand Rapids Film Festival Aug 26-28 

So far I know of 18 movies that will be at the first ever Grand Rapids Film Festival… 2 features, 8 documentaries, 6 short narratives, and 2 animated films.  One of the feature films is a movie with star power that might just be in consideration come Academy Award season… and two of the documentaries are recognizable (at least to me as films that have already had some positive national expposure, including one with ties to West Michigan).  Many of the movies have family oriented themes.
The Grand Rapids Film Festival will run August 26-28 at Celebration! Cinema North in Grand Rapids.  
I’ll try to keep you updated in the coming weeks as more movies are added to the list!!

Here’s what I know so far:

"Like Dandelion Dust" poster courtesy Downes Brothers Entertainment-Lucky Crow Films “Like Dandelion Dust”
(1 hour, 40 min/ not Rated)

“Like Dandelion Dust” will make its Michigan premiere at the Grand Rapids Film Festival, the movie has already won 7 awards at festivals across the country this year.

Cast: Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Kate Levering, Maxwell Perry Cotton, and Cole Hauser

Plot: A compelling drama, based on the best-selling novel by Karen Kingsbury, that explores the different meanings of being a parent through the grittily realistic lives of the struggling, blue-collar Porter’s, and the privileged Campbell family. Their lives intersect, intertwine and collide, all for the love of a little boy.

Director: Jon Gunn

Trailer: not available, link to movie website:

"Like Dandelion Dust" photo courtesy Downes Brothers Entertainment-Lucky Crow Films"Like Dandelion Dust" photo courtesy Downes Brothers Entertainment-Lucky Crow Films"Like Dandelion Dust" photo courtesy Downes Brothers Entertainment-Lucky Crow Films"Like Dandelion Dust" photo courtesy Downes Brothers Entertainment-Lucky Crow Films"Like Dandelion Dust" photo courtesy Downes Brothers Entertainment-Lucky Crow Films"Like Dandelion Dust" photo courtesy Downes Brothers Entertainment-Lucky Crow Films"Like Dandelion Dust" photo courtesy Downes Brothers Entertainment-Lucky Crow Films 






"Saving God" poster courtesy Cloud Ten Pictures - Clear Entertainment “Saving God”
(1 hour, 41 min/ rated PG-13)

“Saving God” garnered strong reviews at several film festivals this year and won the Film Excellence Award at the International Family Film Festival.  The film is also nominated for a Time for Peace Film Award and Ving Rhames is nominated for a Time for Peace Actor Award for his performance.

Cast: Ving Rhames, Ricardo Chavira (ABC’s Desperate Housewives), Dean McDermott, Dwain Murphy, Genelle Williams

Plot: Armstrong Cane (Rhames) served 15 years in prison for manslaughter.  Now he serves as the Pastor of his community church. As he works to rebuild the community he left behind, the ex con meets Norris (Murphy) and recognizes a young man headed down a familiar scary path.  Lured into the depths of drugs and violence by local dealer Blaze (McDermott), the troubled teen is pulled in opposite directions.

Director: Duane Crighton



"Signs of the Time" movie at Grand Rapids Film Festival “Signs of the Time”
(1 hour /not rated)

“Signs of the Time” is a full length documentary narrated by Richard Dreyfuss

Plot:  Narrated by Richard Dreyfuss, “Signs of the Time” is a baseball documentary that was shot on location in eight states, featuring interviews with many baseball greats and re-enactments of scenes from old-time baseball games. The film explores the origins of this pivotal innovation and the baseball pioneers that shaped the course of the game and history.

Director: Don Casper





 “Saving Face”
(1 hour, 21 min/ not rated)

“Saving Face” is a full length documentary about life inside prison.

Plot: A true story about a teenage boy’s journey to manhood and fight for survival inside the Florida Prison System.

Director: H. James Gilmore



 “Beyond Greenaway: The Legacy”
(1 hour, 8 min/ not rated)

“Beyond Greenaway: The Legacy” is a full length documentary.

Plot: Sue Gilbert returns to explore the wealth and lifestyle issues first portrayed through the eyes of her elderly parents in the film ‘Greenaway’ (1982). In this film, she compares her parents’ viewpoints to those of their children and adult grandchildren over a range of topics, including seldom discussed issues of deserving, hiding, and envy. We come to care for the film’s subjects as people sharing their struggles, regardless of circumstance.

Director: Sue Gilbert



"The Reckoning: Remembering the Dutch Resistance" poster courtesy Storytelling Pictures “The Reckoning: Remembering the Dutch Resistance”
(1 hour, 36 min/ not rated)

“The Reckoning: Remembering the Dutch Resistance” is a full length documentary. Winner of 6 international Film Festivals.  Produced by Grand Rapids-based Storytelling Pictures.

Plot: Six survivors of war-torn Netherlands during WW2 share their ‘underground’ resistance accounts of hiding Jews and/or trying to survive Nazi tyranny.

Director: John Evans





"Somebody's Daughter" movie at Grand Rapids Film Festival “Somebody’s Daughter”
(1 hour, 2 min/ not rated)

“Somebody’s Daughter” is a full length documentary about effects of pornography.

Plot: How do you show addiction? The initial draw, suffocating persistence and devastating effects. When asked by Nashville organization “Music for the Soul” to create a visual reality of the devastating effects of pornography without the program itself looking pornographic, the Documentary “Somebody’s Daughter” was created.

Director: John Evans




"American Sailors" courtesy Grooters Productions “American Sailors”
(46 min/ not rated)

“American Sailors” is a full length documentary that has aired on WGN.  Winner of a Silver Telly award.  Produced by Grooters Productions based in Holland, MI.

Plot: American Sailors covers the 100th running of the Chicago to Mackinac race, the world’s oldest and longest fresh water race. Ride the winds and race with some of America’s greatest skippers on American Sailors. The wind shows no favorites: anyone can win. 

Director: Bruce Snoap





"As We Forgive" movie at Grand Rapids Film Festival “As We Forgive”
(54 min/ not rated)

“As We Forgive” is a full length documentary that has won awards at several film festivals and a Student Academy Award for Best Documentary.

Plot: Could you forgive a person who murdered your family? This is the question faced by the subjects of “As We Forgive,” an Academy Award winning documentary about two Rwandan women on a journey to reconcile with the neighbors who slaughtered their families during the 1994 genocide.

Director: Laura Walters Hinson



 “Better Bones and Gardens”
(25 min/ not rated)

“Better Bones and Gardens” is a Student Documentary.

Plot: Better Bones and Gardens is a short documentary about Dan Phillips, a trash architect, and Kipp Nash, an urban farmer. These men are remaking the common house and garden in wildly imaginative ways. Discarded cattle bones, wine corks, DVDs, and bottle caps are used as building materials for homes, while manicured grassy front yards are transformed into nutritious gardens. While these projects may sound a little strange, Kipp Nash and Dan Phillips show that by following their passion for building and gardening, they can help people save money and keep our planet a little cleaner.

Director: Natalie Edler

Website: n/a


 “White-Eyed Winter”
(16 min/ not rated)

“White-Eyed Winter” is a short narrative.

Plot: An honest farmer, and father of two, is awoken in the middle of the night to find a stranger wounded in his barn. But when he and his two children are compelled by circumstance to nurse the man back to health, tensions begin to rise between the stranger and the farmer as their apposing backgrounds come into conflict.

Director: Brad Porter

Website: n/a


"Checkers" movie at Grand Rapids Film Festival “Checkers”
(4 min/ not rated)

“Checkers” is a short narrative.

Plot: Two old men get together to play a game of checkers. As they reflect on their friendship together, they remember the times they shared when they were younger.

Director: Brad Porter

Website: n/a


"Pigment" movie at Grand Rapids Film Festival “Pigment”
(10 min/ not rated)

“Pigment” is a short narrative.

Plot: Like every girl, Amanda wants a change. She seeks out an artist who magically transforms her appearance by simply painting over her image on paper. The possibilities of the artist seem limitless, but Amanda wrestles with who she is becoming and how far she must go to be truly happy.

Director: Kyle Dufendach

Website: n/a


"Click Clack Jack" movie at Grand Rapids Film Festival “Click Clack Jack”
(54 min/ not rated)

“Click Clack Jack” is a short narrative that has played at numerous festivals around the country.

Plot: A family film about an 1870′s rail engineer, Click Clack Jack, who uses biblical principles to try and save Potters Gap from the evil Baron Snodgrass who seeks to destroy the town to further his own ambition and look for Gold beneath it.

Director: Ryan Bodie



"The Big Table" movie at Grand Rapids Film Festival “The Big Table”
(9 min/ not rated)

“The Big Table” is a short narrative.

Plot: A young boy growing up during an innocent age in the South learns about life, family, and rite-of-passage over Thanksgiving dinner at his grandmother’s house.

Director: Dan Michael Hodges

Website: n/a


"Fatal Flaw" movie at Grand Rapids Film Festival “Fatal Flaw”
(22 min/ not rated)

“Fatal Flaw” is a short narrative.

Plot: The story of an average man living beyond his means and secretly addicted to gambling. After making the ultimate gamble and losing, he is interrogated by someone who knows the truth, and he now faces his own execution.

Director: The Olson Brothers





 “Hermie and Friends: The Flo Show Creates a Buzz”
(unkown runtime/ not rated)

“Hermie and Friends: The Flo Show Creates a Buzz” is an animated short. 

Plot: Flo gets her own show, ‘The Flo Show’, but she doesn’t think of anyone’s feelings and has to learn humility.

Director: Rick Eldridge

Website: n/a


 “The Veiled Commodity”
(6 min/ not rated)

“The Veiled Commodity” is an animated short.

Plot: “The Veiled Commodity” is a short film that employs various design and animation techniques to tell a concise history of slavery and the problems of its present day counterpart; the trafficking and victimization of people around the world.

Director: Dickson Chow

Website: n/a


6/3/09 blog about the Grand Rapids Film Festival


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One Response to “Variety coming to GR Film Festival”

  1. James Gemmell says:

    Please put us on your media Email list for important West Michigan news releases that you send out to media outlets. Thank you. Here’s the Email address:

    James Gemmell, reporter
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    60 Monroe Center NW
    Grand Rapids, MI. 49503

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