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By Film Threat Staff | May 17, 2004

With the festival just a month away, the founders and volunteers associated with the Waterfront Film Festival are more enthusiastic than ever about this year’s program, including nine feature films from the Sundance Film Festival, along with Midwest Premieres of an amazing sixteen more.
“The program has taken another big step up this year,” Co-Founder Hopwood DePree said proudly. “We hope Waterfront is on the way to rivaling some of the best festivals out there, and I think we’re definitely setting the bar for this part of the country.” Although some films have been invited as special engagements, the core of the program is handpicked from over 600 submissions.
Some of the highlights slated for this year are:
OPEN WATER: Coming straight from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this thrilling true story about a husband and wife team abandoned in shark-infested waters comes to the waterfront of West Michigan for its Midwest Premiere. Festival co-founder Hopwood DePree says of the film, “Everyone will have heard of it by the end of the summer.”
PRIMER: At its core, Waterfront is still about the truly independent films, and this one is no exception – it also just happens to be the first film ever made by engineer turned Writer/Director Shane Carruth. Made for about “the price of a used car,” Primer premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, where it went on to win the most coveted award: the Grand Jury Prize.
RIDING GIANTS: The Waterfront Film Festival is extremely proud to host this Special Presentation of the first documentary to ever open the Sundance Film Festival, Riding Giants, an amazing history of big wave surfers.
THE STORY OF A WEEPING CAMEL: “If you loved Winged Migration last year, then this is the film to see,” say Waterfront programmers. The Story of a Weeping Camel was one of the hits at the Toronto Film Festival and was an Official Oscar Entry for Documentary Film.
HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE: This exclusive sneak peek at the new film from the director of Dude, Where’s My Car comes to Waterfront in its Midwest Premiere. This comedy including, yes, the White Castle burgers, this film is set to open in theatres in late July.

A LEAGUE OF ORDINARY GENTLEMEN: This brilliant bowling documentary returns to its roots – much of the project was filmed in Michigan. The film follows four modern-day pro bowlers as they scramble to adjust when their aging league is suddenly bought out by a trio of wealthy Microsoft programmers.

SEMINAR: FROM FIRST DRAFT TO FINAL CUT — AND BEYOND: Working with clients from script development to festival strategies, independent film consultant and producer Robert Hawk has been guardian angel to numerous first-time directors, as well as seasoned veterans. Learn how to navigate through all stages of a film’s life — plus get a reality check on today’s indie world.
For more info, visit the Waterfront Film Festival website.

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