2012 Waterfront Film Festival Preview

June 14th, 2012 at 3:38 pm by under Entertainment

2012 Waterfront Film Festival Poster

The 14th annual Waterfront Film Festival runs June 14-17 in Saugatuck – and includes the screening of more than 70 films.

The festival starts Thursday night with opening night concert and outdoor screening at Coghlin Park at the corner of Culver Street and Griffith Street – down the street from the Saugatuck Center for the Arts ( WHICH IS NOT a venue this year – due to scheduling conflicts). The music starts at 6:00pm with Beverly McClellan (a finalist from “The Voice”) with openers Garrett Borns and Valentiger.  The outdoor screening of the “Shorts Spectacular” follows, its made up of 10 short movies, that starts at dusk (around 930pm).

The rest of the movies begin screening Friday morning.  Many of the movies are making their Midwest or Michigan premieres at Waterfront Film Festival, which has been named one of the top five film festivals in the world.  25 movies are making their Midwest premieres and 22 are making their Michigan premiere.  Many are official selections from SXSW, Slamdance, Sundance, and Tribeca Film Festivals.   Thousands make their way to the festival every year, according to a 2009 study: the festival generates an estimated $1.6 million for area businesses during the 4-day event.

Here’s a look at the movies, by venue… look it over and then print out this handy WFF 2012 schedule (PDF) and take it with you to see which movies are playing where and when (also please read my *Construction Alert* at the bottom of this post)…

Venue #1 – Saugatuck Yacht Service boatshed
The biggest venue is at the Saugatuck Yacht Service boatshed (at 868 Holland Street near Mill Street) — just look for the sign… its also nearby The Elbo Room its great for dine in or take out on the way to next screening.

“Virginia” is the movie most familiar to West Michigan, formerly known as “What’s Wrong with Virginia”, when it filmed filmed along the Lakeshore in the fall of 2009.  The drama is about “a single mother who struggles to raise her son while dreaming of escaping her small Southern boardwalk town.”
“Virginia” is making its Midwest Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
It stars Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Emma Roberts, and Toby Jones.
(“Virginia” was the first movie to be sold out)

“Wild Horse, Wild Ride” is a documentary – “Stunning and poignant, this crowd-pleaser with a big heart chronicles a handful of unforgettable characters from their first uneasy meeting with their horses and over three months as they attempt to transform from scared strangers to the closest of companions”.
“Wild Horse, Wild Ride” is making its Midwest Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.

“It’s In The Blood” is a drama/horror – “A terrifying psychological thriller about a father and son stranded in the wild as they confront the horrors of their past to escape with their lives”.
It is making its Michigan Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“It’s In The Blood” stars Sean Elliot, Lance Henriksen, Jimmy Gonzales, Rose Sirna.

“Cinema Six” is a comedy – “Cinema Six is like “Slackers” & “Office Space” had a hilarious, quirky & naughty baby. It has the same kind of raunchy humor and quarter-to-mid-life ennui”.
It is making its Michigan Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“Cinema Six” stars John Merriman, Mark Potts, Brand Rackley, Barry Corbin and surprise cameos.

“Five Time Champion” is a drama – “A film about love, hope, petty theft, adultery, and the boundless opportunities presented by sex and science”.
It was an Official Selection at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival and is making it Midwest Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“Five Time Champion” stars Ryan Akin, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Betty Buckley, Don Pirl, Jon Gries, Julie Erickson, Justin Arnold, Noell Coet.

“Shouting Secrets” is a drama about a successful Native American writer whose novel sold out his family returns home to the reservation after getting a call that his mother is in ICU.
It won Best Actor, Best Film, and Best Supporting Actor at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco), and is making its Midwest Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“Shouting Secrets” stars Chaske Spencer (“Twilight”), Gil Birmingham (“Twilight”), Tyler Christopher (General Hospital), Connor Fox, Molly Cookson, Q’orianka Kilcher, Rodney A. Grant, Sheri Foster, Tantoo Cardinal, Tonantzin Carmelo.

“Below Zero” is a horror – “Like a horror film set in Fargo – this is a cool, twisted story within a story, within a real-life story that will keep you guessing until the final moments”.
It was featured at 19 other film festivals and is making its Michigan Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“Below Zero” stars Edward Furlong, Kristin Booth, Michael Berryman, Delores ‘Dee’ Hanna, Michael Eisner, Sadie Madu.

“Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians” is a documentary – “Holy Rollers is the compelling true story of a team of card counting Christians who take millions from casinos”.

“Supporting Characters” is a comedy – “A smart New York buddy comedy with genuine humor and heart about two film editors balancing their relationships while reworking a movie in crisis.”
It was featured at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
“Supporting Characters” stars Alex Karpovsky, Tarik Lowe, Arielle Kebbel, Melonie Diaz, Kevin Corrigan, Sophia Takal, Mike Landry, Lena Dunham, Michael Riviera, Sebastian Sozzi, Josh Alexander, Ryan O’Nan.

Venue #3 & #4 – Saugatuck High School
Saugatuck High School (at 401 Elizabeth Street where main street intersects) … its also a good place to park and catch the shuttle to other venues.

“The Dynamiter” is a drama – “The Dynamiter is an atmospheric coming of age story about a family in crisis in the forgotten America, uncompromisingly told by the very people who live it everyday.”
It is making it Midwest Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“The Dynamiter” stars William Patrick Ruffin, John Alex Nunnery, Patrick Rutherford, Ciara McMillian, Lane Rodgers, Joyce Baldwin, Debra Toth, Braxton Gordon, Caleb Chambers, Casey Brown.

“Free Samples” is a drama/comedy – “A law-school dropout fills in as a server at her friend’s ice cream truck, doling out free samples to locals and oddball friends alike, including a man courting her who she barely remembers from the night before”.
It was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival and is making it Midwest Premiere.
“Free Samples” stars Jess Weixler, Halley Feiffer, Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter, Tippi Hedren, Keir O’Donnell, Jocelin Donahue, Whitney Able.
It also marks the 3rd year in a row of a Jason Ritter movie at WFF.

“Worth the Weight” is a romantic comedy – “In this sincere & delightful romantic comedy, Sam was once a 260lb NFL prospect. Now, he’s a lonely 413lb bowling alley cashier. This is the story of Sam’s epic battle to lose weight, while searching for love”.
It is making its Midwest Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“Worth the Weight” stars Jillian Leigh, Robbie Kaller.

“Sadermania” is a documentary – “A Hulk Hogan fanatic experiences his obsession with the wrestler turn into a genuinely reciprocated friendship”.
It is making its Michigan Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.

“Wuss” is a comedy about a high school English teacher who is ridiculed and severely beaten by his own students… who teams up with another of his students to hatch an elaborate revenge plot”.
It won the Special Acting Jury Prize at Sidewalk Film Fest in Birmingham, Alabama, it was also an Official Selection at this year’s 2012 SXSW Film Festival, and is making its Michigan Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“Wuss” stars Alex Karpovsky, Alicia Anthony, Amber Bordelon, Chris Gardner, Heather Kafka, Jenny Sipes, Nate Rubin, Ryan Anderson, Sylvia Luedke, Tony Hale.

“Bucksville” is a thriller – “A dark, intriguing film set in a small, wooded town, about a young man’s struggles to leave a violent secret militia started by his father.”
“Bucksville” stars Thomas Stroppel, Alexander MacKenzie, Allen Nause, Ayanna Berkshire, Betty Moyer, David Bodin, Duffy Epstein, Elijah Nelson, Erin McGarry, Gretchen Corbett, Kacie Thomas, Katy Beckemeyer, Michele Mariana, Nathan Dunkin, Paul Glazier, Robert Blanche, Ryan Findley, Storm Large, Ted Rooney, Todd Robinson, Tom Berenger.

“How Do You Write A Joe Schermann Song” is a drama about an aspiring Broadway songwriter who jeopardizes his budding career and the relationships when he encounters a talented singer.
It won both the Audience Award and the Director Award at the Phoenix Film Festival, and is making its Michigan Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“How Do You Write A Joe Schermann Song” stars Joe Schermann, Christina Rose, Debbie Williams, Mark DiConzo, Daryl Ray Carliles, Jenn Dees.

“Scalene” is a thriller told from three points-of-view, revolving es around a mother’s revenge after her mentally-challenged son is accused of a sexual assault by his student caretaker.
It won the Grand Jury Award at the “Dances with Films” Festival in Los Angeles.
“Scalene” stars Adam Scarimbolo, Margo Martindale (Justified), Benjamin Riley, Frank Ziede, Hanna Hall, Jim Dougherty, LaDonna Pettijohn, Mark A. Nash, Sean Blodgett.

Told from three points-of-view, SCALENE is a perceptual thriller which revolves around a mother’s revenge after her mentally-challenged son is accused of a sexual assault by his student caretaker.

“Queen of Versailles” is a documentary following billionaires Jackie and David’s rags-to-riches story as their plans for constructing the world’s largest home are halted by the 2008 economic collapse, uncovering the innate virtues and flaws of the American dream.
It won Best Director Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“Queen of Versailles” is making its Midwest Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.

“Without” tells the story of a young woman on a remote wooded island, who becomes caretaker to an old man in a vegetative state. Her isolated routine devolves into a struggle with sexuality, guilt and loss.
It won the Special Jury Award at the 2011 Slamdance Film Festival, and is making its Michigan Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“Without” stars Joslyn Jensen, Ron Carrier, Darren Lenz, Bob Sentinella, Piper Weiss, Jodi Long, Brooke Bundy, Kristine Haruna Lee.

“We’re Not Broke” is a documentary – “tells the story of U.S. corporations dodging billions of dollars in income tax, and how seven fed-up Americans take their frustration to the streets…and vow to make the corporations pay their fair share”.
It was an Official Selection at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“We’re Not Broke” is making its Michigan Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.

“Buffalo Girls” is a documentary – ” The heartbreaking story of two eight year-old girls who fight in rural Thailand’s underground child boxing world to earn money to support their families”.
It was an Official Selection at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival.
“Buffalo Girls” is is making its Midwest Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.

“My Best Day” is a comedy – “A quirky and sweet movie about a small town receptionist whose life is turned upside down when the father she never knew calls for a refrigerator repair.”
It was an Official Selection at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“My Best Day” stars Jo Armeniox, Ashlie Atkinson, Raúl Castillo, Harris Doran, Molly Lloyd, Kate McKinnon, Haley Murphy, Robert Salerno, Rachel Style.

“Dorfman” is a romantic comedy about drab Deb Dorfman who is uprooted from suburbia and transformed by adventures in newly revitalized downtown Los Angeles.
It is making it Midwest Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“Dorfman” stars Sara Rue, Elliott Gould, Kelen Coleman, Jonathan Chase, Keri Lynn Pratt, Johann Urb, Sophie Monk, Haley Marie Norman, Haaz Sleiman, Catherine Hicks, Scott Wilson.

“Butterfly Rising” is a drama – “When her brother dies, singer Lilah Belle sets out to escape her grief and embarks on a road trip, but not before coaxing the new-to-town, most scandalous woman in Artesia to go with her.”
“Butterfly Rising” stars Tanya Wright (True Blood), Adam Clark, McGhee Monteith, Jemal McNeil, John Malloy, Jose Joiner, La’Reya Brown, Moses Peace, Precious J, Sean Blakemore, Terrah Bennett Smith.
It is making it Midwest Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.

“Somebody’s Hero” is a romantic comedy about an average accountant attempting to fill the boots of a movie-based superhero.
It is making it Midwest Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“Somebody’s Hero” stars Christopher Gorham (Ugly Betty), Arthur Nascarella, Ben Hyland, Carl Gordon, Novella Nelson, Susan Misner .

“Green” is about an intimate friendship between two women that dissolves as they are drawn into a paranoid fantasy.
It won the Emergent Director Award at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival and is making its Michigan Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.
“Green” stars Kate Lyn Sheil, Lawrence Michael Levine, Sophia Takal, Louis Cancelmi.

Shorts Spectacular Program is a 60 minute screening of 10 short Family Friendly films: “Aquatic Bloom”, “Cuckoo for Two”, “The Birthday Present”, “Count to Five”, “Moving Day”, “Sherman”, “My Father, Joe”, “Dark Corner”, “Den Forste Anders”, “The One About The Sheep”.

Venue #5 – Dunes Resort on Blue Star Highway
Three movies are also playing at venue #5, the Dunes Resort ( at 333 Blue Star Highway in Douglas).

“This Is What Love In Action Looks Like” is a documentary “16-year-old Zach Stark’s heartfelt cry for help on Myspace came after the gay teenager came out to his parents and they, in return, decided to send the youth to Love in Action’s Refuge Program in Raleigh, North Carolina, a program designed to “cure” young teenagers of their “gay addiction.”"
Its making its Michigan Premiere at Waterfront Film Festival.

Kawa” is a psychological drama of a family in crisis as Kawa, a successful Māori businessman in Auckland, New Zealand, is forced to reveal his lifelong secret that he is gay.
Based on the semi-autobiographical novel Nights in the Gardens of Spain by Witi Ihimaera (the writer of The Whale Rider), this deeply moving New Zealand drama has earned critical and popular acclaim.
“Kawa” stars Calvin Tuteao, Nathalie Boltt, George Henare, Vicky Haughton, Dean O’Gorman, Pana Hema Taylor, Miriama-Jane Devantier.

“August” is a drama/comedy that tells the story of two former lovers, Troy and Jonathan, who reunite after a long ago painful breakup. After spending several years in Spain, Troy returns to Los Angeles and decides to phone Jonathan and meet for coffee. A seemingly innocent rendezvous turns flirtatious as they are intensely swept away by each other’s presence and memories of the past.
August” stars Murray Bartlett, Daniel Dugan, Adrian Gonzalez, Hillary Banks, Bernhard Forcher, Brad Standley, Mike Vaughn.

*CONSTRUCTION ALERT*

We all know its construction season in Michigan, but the project going on this weekend could really be a bummer if you don’t plan ahead.

Plan extra time because of construction on Southbound 196 – the highway is down to one lane in each direction and the northbound entrance ramp is impacted.  The lane closures go from  US31/196 interchange all the way past exit 41 (Saugatuck).    You also can’t go North on 196 from Blue Star Highway when leaving Saugatuck because the ramp (exit 41) is closed for construction.  You would have to South all the way to Exit 31 (Ganges) – that’s about 10 miles out of your way just to get North.  So check out this site from MDOT: http://mdotnetpublic.state.mi.us/drive/ and plan extra time or alternate routes out of/into the area.

For any other Waterfront Film Festival info, go to http://www.waterfrontfilm.org.

Laff at the Movies

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One Response to “2012 Waterfront Film Festival Preview”

  1. Mark Cano says:

    WOW, this lineup looks pretty KILLER!! Flyway Film Festival still hasn’t released their lineup :( although its October 18-21 so I won’t have much of a wait. The drive to Pepin, Wisconsin won’t be the greatest though that’s for sure!)

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