GVSU alumni host fifth-annual Thiller! Chiller!

Courtesy Photo / thrillerchiller.com
Thriller Chiller banner

Courtesy Photo / thrillerchiller.com Thriller Chiller banner

Elijah Brumback

With the help of Anthony E. Griffin, owner of UnSAFE Film Office, Grand Valley State University alumni Keith Golinski and Chris Randall will host the fifth-annual Thriller! Chiller! festival at the Wealthy Theater starting Friday.

Thiller! Chiller! is dedicated to showcasing the genres of sci-fi, horror, action and thriller and, in the five years since its creation, has expanded to included features from all across the globe.

“We have about 20 movies from other countries,” Randall said. “They come from Germany, Australia, the UK, the Russian Federation, Canada, Norway and France.”

After graduating from GVSU in 2000, Randall and Golinski went their separate ways pursuing careers in their industry, but in 2001 the two came together to start their own production company, Fulvew.

“We decided to start the company because we wanted to make movies,” Randall said. “We decided there was nothing being done in (Los Angeles) that we couldn’t do here. They just had more access to money. Plus, there wasn’t anything else we wanted to do.”

In 2005, the two met Griffin at the West Michigan Film Video Alliance.

“Anthony and I had an idea for a horror movie festival around Halloween. Thriller! Chiller! is what evolved from that initially simple idea,” Randall said.

Griffin’s company, UnSAFE Film Office, is a Grand Rapids-based narrative film production company,

The three filmmakers all agreed the genres they are all so fond of don’t get enough attention and credit for being legitimate movies, which led them to start building the idea of Thriller! Chiller!

“The three of us are not only huge fans of genre movies, but are also producers of these kinds of movies,” Rnadall said. “We noticed that most film festivals do not honor this type of filmmaking. Horror, sci-fi, action and thrillers are almost looked down upon as lesser forms of art when it comes to movies. We think they’re just as much an art form, and more exciting than the traditional film festival fare.”

As far as funding goes, Randall said many of their expenses come out of their own pockets.

“Again, we love this stuff, but we are also generously supported by a wide range of organizations and people including DVS, WMFVA, Clark Hill, Muskegon Film Festival, Michigan Film Office, Nights of Fear, Recoil and a bunch of others,” he said.

For students in the film and video program at GVSU and other prospective filmmakers, Randall said there will be vast number of professionals on hand to network and exchange ideas with.

“This is a great chance to watch the movie and then talk to the filmmakers about it afterward,” he said. “It’s a great learning opportunity and chance to meet, network and discover how to make it in this industry. Sunday is entirely devoted to Michigan made movies by Michigan filmmakers. If that’s not a great networking opportunity, I don’t know what is.”

While many filmmakers and industry professionals will be on hand, Randall said Thriller! Chiller! is not singularly about making contacts and gaining new insights into the movie industry.

“We don’t expect anyone to have any sort of technical film knowledge or care about deeper meanings, themes, symbolism, great cinematography or anything like that,” he said. “That stuff is all in these movies if you’re into that sort of thing. But the point of this festival is to have fun at the movies, watching the kinds of movies that people really enjoy. That’s why we make a point of calling them ‘movies’ and not ‘films.’”

Weekend passes are $25 and $5 for individual screenings. For more information, visit the organization’s website at www.thrillerchiller.com.

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