1st Annual Detroit Independent Film Festival (DIFF) begins today
at the new Burton Theatre in midtown Detroit. More than 80 films
will be shown during the run of the festival, which runs through
Sunday. Highlights include the U.S. premiere of George A. Romero's
"Survivial of the Dead," a special guest appearance by
Lloyd Kaufman, the Michigan premiere of "Mango Tango"
and "Is It Just Me?" The DIFF will also honor the best
best Michigan shorts, features and performances with the Michigan
didn't charge any entry fees for any of the filmmakers," said
Aaron Karns, marketing director of DIFF. "Filmmaking is expensive
and sending them to film festivals is really expensive. We invited
all Michigan filmmakers who had any works shown at any festival
in Michigan to submit their films for the Michigan Film Awards.
We're trying to build a community here with Michigan filmmakers.
Wanted" is the first film that will be screened during the
festival. It is a horror movie inspired by an evening news report
about a family that was murdered on a small farm. It was written
and directed by Michael Manasseri of Big Screen Michigan. Next is
"Litterbug," a movie written and directed by Mikey Brown.
It is a feature film that is described as a coming-of-age romantic
comedy that you can dance to.
will begin with the screening of “Paultrygeist: Night of The
Chicken Dead.” Troma CEO/filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman will host
a question-and-answer session right after the screening. Next is
"The Stevie Wonder Show," a movie that takes a satirical
look at the power of reality TV and the line it creates between
fame and infamy. Closing out Wednesday night will be the world premiere
of "You Can't Rent Here Anymore," which is described as
a "Clerks"-like black comedy that turns into a horror
Burton Theatre is awesome, it has a completely different feel from
other theaters you may go into," Karns added. "It's really
a good atmosphere, there's not one bad seat in the house. You have
old State Theatre seating, because they took out some seats from
the old State Theatre, so we have those seats. It gives more of
a Detroit feel in there. It has a brand-new HD projector, it's got
great sound. A wonderful place in midtown Detroit."
premiere of the Canadian documentary "Eddies" will take
place on Thursday. It is a documentary about a Canadian beer commercial
competition. It follows six groups of producers on their race to
create a TV commercial. Next is the Michigan premiere of "The
Woman from Sarajevo," directed by Israeli filmmaker Ella Alterman,
who will be in attendance to discuss the film. It is the story about
a Siberian family who hid a Jewish family during WWII and saved
its members from death.
of them have been shown at the Main Art Theatre, not the DIA yet,"
the marketing director said. "We're working on on that right
now. We have a couple of academic programs. There are some that
are being shown from Wayne State. They have a lot of good works.
We're pleased to show the movie and have Wayne State be a sponsor
to us. It's really helpful. They're also offering up the DeRoy Hall
for our Michigan Film Awards. We'll be able to get more people in
begin with the U.S. premiere of George A. Romero's "Survivial
of the Dead," the sixth film from "The Dead Zombie"
series. Next up is the Michigan premiere of "Is It Just Me?"
a gay romantic comedy about a single gay man looking for love, without
Annual Michigan Film Awards will take place on Saturday at the DeRoy
Auditorium on the campus of Wayne State University. More than 125
films are in the running for an award. Screenings will begin at
10:30 a.m. and the awards ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m.
films are being judged by all types of different people," Karns
said. "We sent them out to some Wayne State professors, OU
professors, OCC professors, and the Detroit Critics Society. We
had a lot of great people watch the films. We were very biased on
the people we had watch the films and partake in the judging. We
went out of our way to find some great people to judge these categories."
premiere of "Mango Tango" will also be shown on Saturday.
It is about Marlene, a New York City dance dear who's driven to
therapy by the increasing neurotic men she meets.
day will be Sunday, when the Detroit premiere of the documentary
"Official Rejection" will be screened. It follows a group
of filmmakers as they take their film around the festival circuit
and explore the politics, pitfalls, triumphs and comic tragedies
they encounter along the way. It includes key interviews with filmmaker
Kevin Smith, Lloyd Kaufman, Bryan Singer, Andy Dick, and Chris Gore.
premiere of "The Twenty" will also take place on Sunday.
It was directed by Michigan native Chopper Bernet, who is now an
actor residing in California. The film is about a married man who
discovers a twenty dollar bill that has a hidden message that holds
answers to his past.
have an online film festival that is free," the marketing director
added. "We selected 10 films that were really good, but just
didn't make it into our competition that we are showing online we
started last week. People can go there and watch 10 movies for free
and decide who the winner of that is. That's going to be an audience
award. They can do it anytime. All you have to do is sign up, you
pick a winner and Indie Flicks gives them a distribution deal."