GRFF brings films from across the world to Grand Rapids

CeNique Yeldell

The Grand Rapids Film Festival showcases the work of filmmakers from across the world, and it also offers a variety of events. With so many things going on, serious planning was needed, and several Grand Valley State students were given the chance to be a part of the festival’s production.

The annual festival takes place in downtown Grand Rapids and includes 46 films that will compete for awards such as best documentary and best student film. The films range from family-friendly animations to thrillers, offering a wide selection. Synopses of each of the films are available on the GRFF’s website, as is more information about a young professionals mixer, awards ceremony and Special Olympics event.

“The interesting thing about the films is that they are all diverse, unique and extremely cinematic in terms of production quality,” said GVSU student Nicholas DiCarlo, an intern for the film festival. “There truly is a film for everyone, and the diversity is incredible.”

In addition to the film showings, there are production workshops to learn about the filmmaking process hands-on from coming up with an idea to producing it, panel discussions on finding a job as a filmmaker and funding projects, and lectures by a Hollywood costume designer and Kendall College of Art and Design’s fashion department.

Amy Hallochak is an intern for the festival as the behind-the-scenes team coordinator. She works with students from various colleges, universities and trade schools in the Grand Rapids area, who are put into teams and assigned to capture footage of the events in order to create videos for GRFF’s social media channels.

Hallochak is also the homecoming coordinator for the Laker Traditions Team, an organization at GVSU that helps coordinate campus traditions throughout the year and build a community within GVSU. Since the team’s event ExtravaGRANDza coincides with the festival, it has linked up with the GRFF this year.

“Students should attend the festival because there are many free panels for students and film enthusiasts to gain more knowledge about filmmaking,” Hallochak said. “Additionally, the festival is a great way to learn about the filmmaking community in the Grand Rapids area, as well as a way to connect with others.”

The film celebration kicked off April 9 and continues through April 13. Tickets are $5 for a film block, $15 for a day pass and $30 for the entire festival.

For more information on the GRFF, visit the website at