July 05--TRAVERSE CITY -- Film aficionados don't have to wait for the Traverse City Film Festival to get their movie fix.
The second annual Young Michigan Filmmakers Festival is set for today in Leland and received more than 90 entries that, once edited, will provide a three-and-a-half-hour screening at the Leelanau Community Cultural Center.
Budding movie makers from around the state submitted their films through Youtube, Vimeo, and on DVD. Entries were reviewed by area judges, including local film teachers and industry professionals. Awards will be given in the areas of Best Comedy, Best Drama, Best Documentary, Best Animated Film, Best Music Video, Best Avant Garde Film, and the Audience's Choice Award.
Tom McConnell and Jim Sundberg were at work on a video project for McConnell's marketing communications firm when the idea emerged for the festival.
"We hope to provide both exposure and encouragement to young people who want to work in film, video or television production," McConnell said. "We want them to experience seeing their creation on the big screen and see an audience appreciate their efforts."
McConnell hopes young artists who attend the festival will realize their hard work could lead to a career in the film industry.
Michigan resident Joe Rule took the Best Animation award at the 2013 festival for "Eat Your Vegetables," a movie short he created while studying Electronic Imaging at the School of Art and Design at Northern Michigan University.
"It was fun to see people responding and laughing and appreciating my work," he said. "This festival allows artists to hone their storytelling skills, to teach them how to construct and edit scenes for audience response. Timing is very important."
Updates to the Community Center located at the Old Art Building in Leland included an HD digital projection system that helped make the first festival a success. Organizers decided to hold this year's event over the July 4 weekend to ensure a wider audience.
The festival will be held today from 6 to 10 p.m.The event is free to the public, but seating at the Old Art Building is limited to 200. There will be live music, intermissions and an awards reception immediately following the screenings.
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