Home Arts & Entertainment Grand Rapids Film Festival Opens Submissions For September 2023 Event

Grand Rapids Film Festival Opens Submissions For September 2023 Event


By Brandon Smith

Every filmmaker has the dream of seeing their vision realized on the silver screen, and the Grand Rapids Film Festival has returned for its 14th year to bring those dreams to life. Submissions have officially opened with a deadline of July 7. 

GR Film Fest is looking for feature films, short films, music videos, and even commercials. There will be awards for each of these four categories ranging from a “Best of GR” prize, which comes with a trophy, to “Best Director” to “Best College Production” and “Best High School Production.” They encourage filmmakers to submit projects that are inclusive, bold, and creative. Self-expression of any form is welcomed, especially when advocating for a message or calling for change.

The 2023 GR Film Fest will take place from Friday, Sept. 29 until Sunday, Oct. 1, coinciding with the final few days of the annual Grand Rapids Art Prize. According to their website, the film festival will start with a kickoff party at Muse GR, an art gallery and event venue where filmmakers and other creatives will have an opportunity to network with each other and attend presentations from guest speakers.

On Sept. 30, the third 24-hour challenge will begin at 10 a.m. at Black Pigeon Studios, wherein contestants will have 24 hours to write, direct, and edit a 1-minute film for a cash prize. Registration for the challenge costs $40 online or $45 at the door on the day of the event.

On Oct. 1, the GR Film Festival will move to Studio Park, a cinema and music venue in downtown Grand Rapids. Screenings and awards will take place here, and films, commercials, music videos, and 1-minute microfilms will be playing all day.

In addition to these three major events, planning is underway for a series of workshops. These workshops include special effect makeup, a drone workshop, and several other events listed as “TBD” on the event website. More information will likely be released as the date of the film festival inches closer. There are also a number of volunteer opportunities available for those who want to get a look behind the curtain and help to bring this event to life.

For updates, keep an eye on the Grand Rapids Film Festival website.

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