Waterfront Film Festival's spunk makes it a must-go destination
The Waterfront Film Festival, which runs Thursday through June 14, may not have the same recognition as other festivals. But its spunky can-do attitude and funky-cool venues, as well as its diverse list of cinematic offerings, have made it one of the most respected small film festivals in the country over the past decade.
Based in the tiny, artsy waterfront town of Saugatuck, on the shore of Lake Michigan, the festival screens its offerings in everything from a former yacht factory to the local high school and American Legion hall. But the films Waterfront offers are often the cream of the festival crop.
Among the more than 30 films being shown at this year's festival are Jeff Daniels' latest, "The Answer Man," co-starring Lauren Graham ("Gilmore Girls"); Robin Williams in the cutting-edge comedy "World's Greatest Dad"; "Women in Trouble," a take on '70s exploitation films, starring Carla Gugino and Josh Brolin; and the controversial Sundance hit "Humpday," about two friends who get involved in an amateur porn video.
Michigan filmmakers will also be represented by six films, including "Jesus People," about a pastor who forms a Christian pop group to save his son's soul; and "After the Fall," the story of the sons of a draft resister and a Vietnam vet who journey to Vietnam 30 years after the war.
The festival will also feature appearances by movie star Daryl Hannah, actress Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa on "The Simpsons"), Miss America 2008 Kristen Haglund (of Farmington Hills) and its traditional opening night free outdoor movie screening.
For a full list of films, screening times and ticket options, go to waterfrontfilm.org.