Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Projection Booth - Special Episode

Cinetopia and the State of Michigan FilmSpecial Guests: Russ Collins & Amanda Bynum
On this special episode of The Projection Booth, Mike looks at the Cinetopia film festival in Ann Arbor and the state of the state's film scene. This episode also includes upcoming festival deadlines, festivals, screenings and a very special event at the Corktown Cinema in July that you won't want to miss.

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Music Used This Episode:
David Bowie - "Panic in Detroit" - Aladdin Sane
Alex Skolnick Trio - "Detroit Rock City - Goodbye To Romance: Standards For A New Generation
Uncle Leon & the Alibis - "Telegraph Road" - Drunk
John Linnell - "Michigan" - State Songs
Fedde Le Grand - "Put Your Hands Up For Detroit" - Output
The Dirtbombs - "Broke in Detroit (Again)" - If You Don't Already Have A Look
The J. Geils Band - "Detroit Breakdown" - Blow Your Face Out: Live


Welcome to a special episode of The Projection Booth.

I’m Mike White, Rob St. Mary is currently on a mission to the heart of Lake Woebegon. He’s been sent by butchers to collect a bill.

On this episode I’m flying solo and talking about the state of the state. That is, the state of Michigan and the state of film at the moment. This is by no means a comprehensive look but just a cursory glance at some of the highlights.

In a little bit I’ll be playing back an interview I did with Russ Collins and Amanda Bynum of the Michigan Theater about the Cinetopia International Film Festival. Also, I’ve got a very important announcement about The Projection Booth that I’ll share a little later on. But first, I want to announce the call for entries at a few Michigan film festivals.

First off, the Blue Water film festival is currently accepting entries with a deadline of Friday June 15, 2012. The main rules for entry is that the film -- feature or short -- must have been shot in the State of Michigan or Ontario, Canada OR The individual submitting the film must have participated in the production of the entry and have a permanent address in the state of Michigan or Ontario, Canada. Yes, the Blue Water has opened up their catchment area to include not just Sarnia and Windsor but all of Ontario. All the way from Hudson Bay down to Peelee Island.

If you haven’t been to the Blue Water film festival up in Port Huron, I can’t recommend it enough. I was up there last October and it was a great time. Not only is the area gorgeous but the films were great and the folks running the festival are some of the nicest you could hope to ever meet.

For more information, visit Blue Water Film Festival.

That’s the thumb. Right in the lower middle of the state we’ve got the East Lansing Film Festival
. They’re celebrating their 15th year this year with their festival in November. Their cut off date is July first, 2012. They’re accepting entries via

Be aware that if your film was 1/4 produced, directed, or financed in one of the states bordering Lake Michigan (if you’re bad a geography that’s Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin), you can submit it to the Lake Michigan Film Competition.

I’m not aware of any other Michigan film festivals currently accepting entries. Unfortunately, there’s not a really good central repository for that kind of information -- or at least none that I know of. The list that I made of Michigan film festivals a few years ago is completely out of date with most of the URLs leading to 404s.

In more pleasant news, let’s talk about some festivals that are still alive and kicking.

Cinetopia is a brand spanking new film festival that’s taking place May 31st to June 3rd in Ann Arbor. They’re kicking off events on May 31st with movies running all day on June first, second, and third at the Michigan Theater, State Theater, and Angell Hall in beautiful Ann Arbor.

Let’s play back the interview I did with Russ Collins and Amanda Bynum of the Michigan Theater.


Welcome back to the Projection Booth. That was Russ Collins and Amanda Bynum of the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor talking about the first annual Cinetopia International Film Festival. For the full schedule of what’s playing and when; visit the Michigan theater’s website.

I’m definitely going to be there as much as I can. It’s going to take a lot to make me miss the screenings of The Stewardesses in 3D, Cane Toads, Superman, and What’s Up Doc.

I was going to say that June begins a busy month for folks interested in attending film festivals in Michigan...

However, the Media City Film Festival isn’t in June, it starts May 22nd at the Detroit Film Theater with the rest of the week happening at the Capitol Theater in Windsor. This is the 18th edition of this annual fest and it features more than 75 new film and video artworks by artists and filmmakers from across the globe. $20 Canadian gets you the full festival pass.

There are nightly screenings, as well as receptions, panels, artists’ talks along with other special events. As a bonus to American cinephiles, the Detroit Bus Company will be offering free cross-border shuttle service from Detroit and Ann Arbor to the fest. For a schedule, tickets, bus reservations and more, visit media city film festival dot com. As MC Hammer would say, a run for the border is in order.

Over on the west side of the state, the Waterfront Film festival happens June 14th through 17th in Saugatauk. If you need an excuse to get over to Saugatauk / Douglas, this is it. Check ‘em out online:
Waterfront Film Festival.

The fifth annual Detroit Windsor International Film Festival will take place June 20th to 24th in Downtown Detroit. Their opening night gala -- with the films Beauty Queen and Surf Detroit -- will happen down at the Detroit Film Theater. Visit their website for details. I once tried to surf in Detroit. Didn’t work out so well.

Up in Traverse City we’ve got the Traverse City Film Festival... funny how that works; the name of the festival is the same as the city in which it takes place... That’s happening July 31st to August 5th. One of these years I’m going to get my butt up there -- whether it’s for the festival or just to enjoy the area.

It’s a little early to announce this one but the Detroit Docs festival will happen in November - the 15th through the 17th - down at the Corktown Cinema. Rob and I have mentioned Corktown a few times before on the show. They’re set to open their indoor theater by the end of the summer. It will be a 150 seat art house slash rep theater with screenings Tuesday through Sunday every week down at their new space at 2051 Rosa Parks Blvd.

I say new space because these are the same guys that used to run the Burton Theater where I had the kick-off event for the launch of Impossibly Funky. They were *thee* source for seeing out of the ordinary flicks that just weren’t going to play the more -- and I know this is a bit of a oxymoron -- mainstream art house theaters. Stuff like Enter the Void, Santa Sangre, Double Take, et cetera.

So, the *indoor* space opens at the end of summer. In the meantime they’re doing outdoor double feature nights starting in June where the Corktown Cinema is teaming up with other local businesses like Supino’s Pizza, Bikes and Murder and.... drumroll please.... The Projection Booth.

Yes, Rob and I have been asked to come down and host a special live version of The Projection Booth on Saturday July 7 where Corktown Cinema will be playing a double feature of Jack Woods’s Equinox and Ishiro Honda’s Mothra. We’re not exactly sure how a live version of The Projection Booth is going to work -- if we’re going to talk about both films and give them the PB treatment or just one, how easy or hard it’s going to be to find appropriate interviews for one or both features... But we’ll nail that down and let folks know what to expect as we get the details worked out.

Personally, I’d love it if we could get in touch with one of the stars from Equinox, Frank Bonner, who’s known to most folks as Herb Tarlek of WKRP. Otherwise, I’d love to interview those tiny little ladies, The Peanuts, who sing the Mothra song....

I’m not allowed to share the rest of the films being shown the other nights... at least not yet... but there are some great ones. There’s even one night of films that we’ve covered on The Projection Booth before so you know I’m going to be pimping the hell out of that. And, no, it’s not Salo and Free Enterprise, though those two films might make a good combination. Salo could definitely help get the bad taste out of one’s mouth after watching Free Enterprise.

There’s a special night of Detroit-themed pics, too but I’ll tell you that neither Action Jackson nor Robocop will be in effect. Visit their website: Corktown Cinema.

Once again, that’s Saturday July 7th down at the Corktown Cinema at 2051 Rosa Parks Blvd. in Detroit. Visit our website - for more details.

All right, that wraps up this special episode of The Projection Booth. Be sure to join us next week at our regular time and place or, to put it another way... See you next Wednesday.

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