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$5 and are taught by industry profession- als. This is the perfect opportunity for those of you wondering what the film industry is all about. The Traverse City Film Festival also

hosts free panel discussions, free outdoor movies by the bay and a kid’s film festival. The Open Space Outdoor Movies shows classic films on the waterfront. All films shown at the Open Space Park on the giant inflatable screen are rated G, PG, or PG-13.


FILM FESTIVAL Oct. 21-23 Wealthy Theater, Grand Rapids All Access Pass: $30 Individual films: $5

The Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival isn’t your average fest. Instead of screening films from all genres, Thriller Chiller focuses on a few specific

ones; namely, the ones that you randomly found on TV late at night as a kid. Thriller! Chiller! was founded in

2006 by local filmmakers Chris Randall, Keith Golinski and Anthony E. Griffin. While the festival does show movies from around the world, there is a certain emphasis put on locally made films, giving Michiganders a unique platform to show their work. Last year, one-third of the films screened were Michigan-made.


Nov. 11-13 FREE!

The 2011 Michigan Film Festival returns Nov. 11-13 at a number of different venues in downtown Grand Rapids. The fest is completely local and screens only locally made films from other Michigan film festivals. The result is a purely

Michigan festival dedicated to showing off the work of the talented filmmakers in the state. Along with screening films and offer-

ing educational seminars, the Michigan Film Festival has a Music Supervisor’s showcase. The showcase features live performances by Michigan musicians who offer their services for films. This year, however, something new will join the Music Supervisor’s Showcase. “For 2011, MFF is adding a Fash-ion

for Film Showcase to the event, highlight- ing period pieces and other character fashions by Michigan designers,” says Jen Pider, co-founder of the festival. The Michigan Film Festival also features a film competition for adults and students. Those interested in submitting a film can learn more at The deadline for this year’s competition is Oct. 31. n

Compass College of Cinematic Arts film students prep a scene with Grand Rapids actor, Joseph Scott Anthony. PHOTO: PHIL WORFEL

Compass College of Cinematic Arts Keeps Growing

| by Matt Simpson Siegel

way in its near-15-year existence. Today, CCCA offers an Associates


of Applied Science in Film and Media Production. An intensive 14-month course, students are plunked into all fac- ets of filmmaking, from pre-production script revisions to post-production sound work. An impressive list of productions alumni have worked on keeps reeling in students; many have worked on films and television in one form or other – television shows such as “CSI: Miami,” “Monk” and “Dexter,” as well as the films X-Men II, Up in the Air and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. CCCA started in 1997 as Compass

Arts, a nonprofit set out to market other nonprofit organizations. Several commercials filmed at that time won a number of Telly Awards, a premier award honoring outstanding local, regional and cable television commercials and programs. “We started as that nonprofit

with commercials on abstinence and homelessness, which ran in national syn- dication. In fact, some are still running to this day. We still receive royalties,” said Jill Postma, director of finance and administration. A name change to Compass

Michigan Film Festival PHOTO: DAN IRVING

Academy in 2000 accompanied the new direction the organization took as it began offering workshops in produc- tion and screenwriting. The move began

ET TO MOVE INTO the old UICA (41 Sheldon Ave. SE, Grand Rapids) this autumn, Compass College of Cinematic Arts has come along

when faculty decided to teach method to students. “In 2003, we added classes and, in

2006, we offered a full-year program: 12 months of programs under the name Compass Films Academy,” Postma said. Autumn of 2009 saw Compass Film

Academy become the only film school in Michigan with accreditation from the Accrediting Commision of Career Schools and Colleges. This summer, CCCA will offer film

acting camps July 11-15 for ages 13-18. The cost per camp is $499, and the last day to register is June 30. In addition, the camp will feature guest filmmakers, with this year’s being Chris Lowe the director of “Friday,” the infamous Rebecca Black viral video. Aside from its educational outlet,

Postma says CCCA has a solid back- bone in building industry relationships. CCCA includes a mandatory industry internship that couples book learning with real world experience, something other film schools of similar caliber tend to neglect. Along with the new associ- ates degree, students are finally eligible for student loans to offset the cost of education. When asked how the lack of film

incentives is affecting their programs, Postma says it affects the students more than the academy. “We were around before it and our

working model did not benefit from it. It will impact the students and already has. Many of our out-of-state students would [intern] on local films. Now they are going out of state — permanently.” n




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