Frankfort48 Film Festival

Frankfort48 Film Festival

Filmmakers and film enthusiasts invited to participate

Aspiring filmmakers are invited to Frankfort from June 22-24 to take part in the inaugural Frankfort48 Film Festival, and the public is invited to come watch these endeavors.

Participants will be tasked with creating a three- to five-minute short film that celebrates the beauty and character of Northern Michigan. Film teams will have 48 hours to conceive their ideas, scout locations, film, edit, and present their finished films. All ages are welcome to participate. Entries are $75 per film entry.

All competitors will attend a Frankfort48 kick-off meeting at The Garden Theater in downtown Frankfort on June 22 at 9 a.m. to learn details and rules for the competition. Five criteria, which must be included in each film, will be revealed at the meeting. Local musicians are donating time to help compose and produce original background scores, as needed. All cast and crew must be volunteers.

Filmmaking (including all creative work, writing, footage, shooting, editing, etc.) must take place between June 22 at 9 a.m. and June 24 at 8:59 a.m., however, culling film crews, cast, and filmmaking equipment, as well as location scouting, may take place prior to the above-mentioned window of time. All completed films must be delivered back to The Garden Theater by June 24 at 9 a.m.

OB & Co, a local film-production studio by Frankfort siblings Liv Buzzell (20) and Sam Buzzell (16), is planning to participate. (Note: You may remember that we ran a Q&A on Liv’s “Gap Year” back in Volume IV Issue 8 from August 2015 or that we mentioned the duo creating 15-second video commercials for the 2016 Frankfort Film Festival sponsors last October in Volume V Issue 10.) They are perhaps the youngest film crew who will be participating in Frankfort48, bringing along Raegan Somero, a Frankfort High School student.

“This is a great chance for people in this community to get involved in what The Garden Theater has to offer, to get involved with the Frankfort Film Festival, and just with filmmaking, in general,” Liv Buzzell says. “There seems to be a big interest in filmmaking in this area [of the state].”

The OB & Co team has talked a bit about their ideas for their Frankfort48 entry, but they are keeping their options open.

“We’re going to meet this week, to make sure that we are on the same page and to scout locations beforehand, so we know what we’re going to do when we only have 48 hours to accomplish this,” Liv says, explaining that they are also going to get in touch with the Frankfort48 team of musicians for an original score. “We want to take advantage of all the cool things they are offering as part of this project.”

After the 48 hours of creation has occurred, the public is invited to attend a screening of the films and the awards ceremony, happening on Saturday, June 24, at 8 p.m. at The Garden Theater. Tickets to attend are $10 each and can be purchased at the theater’s box office on the evening of the event. Tickets to a pre-screening party at 6:30 p.m. will also be available for purchase.

Cash and prizes will be awarded to the top three filmmakers, with $500 and two VIP passes to the 2017 Frankfort Film Festival (October) awarded to the top film. Second place will receive $250, and third place will receive $100. The top three winning entries will be also screened at the 2017 Frankfort Film Festival later this fall. Winners will be posted online at after the Frankfort48 Finale Screening event.

Judges for the event are esteemed filmmakers and actors with film experience:

Stephen H. Foreman earned his BA in English, with minors in philosophy and German, from Morgan State University (a historically black college in Baltimore, Maryland) and his MFA in playwriting and dramatic literature from the Yale School of Drama. Foreman has had diverse and illustrious careers as a social worker; a professional stage manager; a teacher at various colleges, universities, and writer conferences; a screenwriter; a director; and he is currently developing his career as a novelist. His film and television credits include The Resolution of Mossie Wax, The Jazz Singer, The Unknown American, and Cougar. Forman has authored two novels, Toehold and Watching Gideon, and he is currently working on his third project, The Education Of A White Boy, a memoir of his years at Morgan State. He now lives and writes in the Catskill Mountains.

Jamie Donnelly is most widely known as “Pink Lady” Jan in the film Grease, with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, a role that she also played on Broadway, seven years before she was in the film version. Donnelly made her Broadway debut at the age of 17 as Lulu in Kander and Ebb’s first show, Flora the Red Menace. Donnelly also originated the role of Ethel Levy Cohan in George M!, a Broadway musical based on the life of George M. Cohan, the biggest Broadway star of the turn of the 20th century, who was known as “the man who owned Broadway.” Donnelly’s television credits go as far back as Six Million Dollar Man, up to her reoccurring role in the second season of Ray Donovan with Liev Schreiber and currently appearing in the web series All Downhill From Here. She is utterly delighted to be performing again with her all-time favorite, Tim Curry, with whom she first appeared as Magenta/Trixie in the original American production of The Rocky Horror Show.

Michael Bofshever is an accomplished actor, director, teacher, author, and moderator in the entertainment field and has been for more than 40 years. Among his many film credits: A Dogs Purpose, United 93, Housebroken, Dirty Deeds, Crime of the Century, and A Low Down Dirty Shame. A veteran of episodic television, Bofshever was a series regular on the hit Disney Channel show The Jersey. He also works as moderator for film and television discussion for the SAG Conversation Series. Bofshever is the author of Your Face Looks Familiar… How To Get Ahead as a Working Actor, which is the basis of his seminar, “The Journey of the Working Actor.” A highly regarded acting teacher and coach, Bofshever is recognized as “one of the finest acting teachers in Los Angeles,” (Smith & Krauss). In 2017, Bofshever made his cinematic directorial debut with the short film Echo Park Blues, which showed at the 2016 Frankfort Film Festival last October and which is now playing at film festivals nationwide.

For more details about the competition, visit Contact or 231-357-0864 with any questions. Sponsors include: Durango Homes, Stormcloud Brewing Company, The Garden Theater, Suzy Voltz, the Jon Zickert group, Carol McKee, the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts, the Benzie County Visitors Bureau, and Edible Grande Traverse, Kilwins of Frankfort, The Cabbage Shed, Frankfort Hardware, The Cool Spot, Bayview Grill, The Hotel Frankfort.

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