During the show, hosts Kristin Armstrong and Jon Helmrich kept the energy high by inviting the 10 film finalists up to the stage for a brief introduction and interview before their film. Mallory and I are proud to have been listed alongside such a talented group of filmmakers from such varied backgrounds and wide distances. The range of filmmaking voices featured in the program was so diverse, in fact, that I found myself being challenged to think differently, laugh at a scenes I wouldn't have expected to, and even feel nostalgic - all because of short, 5 minute stories told very well. Being so affected by such short films really drove home for me what a great film culture that is growing in Michigan.
There is no feeling quite like that of seeing your own work up on the big screen with a theater full of people reacting to it. Hearing people react to scenes that we wrestled with and debated and worked over and over puts a huge smile on my face. The real payoff, though, is after the show when audience members get to talk about the films with the filmmakers. Hearing people give love for Bob's story (Bob was the star of Rail Fan who was generous enough to let us follow him with equipment as he chased trains) was worth everything. Knowing that people were moved by him and understood his love for life is the real magic of filmmaking. I am incredibly grateful to have our film been shown along side such great and unique films, and am inspired by the great community that turned out to support Michigan Filmmaking.