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By Film Threat Staff | June 4, 2003

Independent filmmakers and thousands of fans who appreciate their work will converge on this Lake Michigan community June 12-15, 2003, for the fifth annual Waterfront Film Festival – the only one of its kind in Michigan and the Midwest.
“It is an absolutely fun-filled weekend! The passion behind the festival is amazing,” said Sean Elliot, a talent agent with Endeavor LA who attended the festival.
In 2002, the addition of a third screening venue, twice as many films, and an even higher caliber of selections helped increase ticket sales and bring in over 6,000 people during the four-day weekend.
“It was a blockbuster event. We exceeded our expectations,” Co-Founder Judy Smith said.
Besides the many excellent short and feature films that are brought to Saugatuck, the festival also offers several filmmaking, acting, and screenwriting seminars. Industry pros from L.A. and New York speak on these seminar panels. “We bring in actors, directors, and filmmakers. That’s a really unique opportunity. You can’t go to a movie and then right after, ask the director something about it, but with Waterfront, you can,” said DePree.
“Waterfront gives the public the opportunity to see many high-quality independent films that they otherwise would not have the chance to see – plus the chance to meet and mingle with the people who are part of the creative filmmaking process,” said Kori Eldean, another festival co-founder.
Entertainment professionals from Los Angeles, New York, and Michigan created the Waterfront Film Festival in 1999 to provide a “middle coast” venue for independent filmmakers eager to show their work to sophisticated audiences.
Saugatuck, located midway between Detroit and Chicago, is long renowned as a meeting place for artists, writers, actors, and arts-literate consumers. The quaint village – nestled in the beautiful white sand dunes of Lake Michigan and curled around an inland bay – offers wonderful restaurants, art galleries, shopping, and lodging, all within easy distance of festival venues.
Films featured in this year’s schedule include:
American Splendor ^ City of Ghosts ^ Daddy Cool ^ Evenhand ^ Melvin Goes to Dinner
For more information, visit the Waterfront Film Festival website.

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