OU Flimmakers gear up for Grizzdance

By Rory McCarty

Senior Reporter

Though Oakland University lacks a film program, the Grizzdance Film Festival gives aspiring filmmakers the chance to have their work viewed by the public.

The fourth annual Grizzdance Film Festival will begin today and will run through Friday in the Oakland Center. The event is free for all students.

The films are judged by a panel of 10 people from both on and off campus in the categories of comedy, art, romance, horror, drama, music video

and TV production.

The prize money includes $750, $500, and $250 for first, second and third places.

Another $500 is divided up among “best of” categories for individual genres and outstanding productions.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Falcheck

Ryan Falckeck’s Grizzdance entry, “Crawl Space” (pictured above)

is also available at youtube.com.

Falcheck plays a man suffering from chronic blackouts.

A student choice award also lets students cast a vote for the film they liked the best.

Entrees must be 15 minutes or less, but Grizzdance president Sean Buono said that Grizzdance encourages all different kinds of subject matter.

“Our [reason for] starting it was that our university doesn’t cater to a lot of students that are into film and acting,” said Grizzdance vice president Beth Miller.

Films will be screened between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on each day of the festival, with the awards ceremony to be held at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Buono said that interest in Grizzdance has grown over the last three years.  

“A lot more people have recognized Grizzdance, and more people are just excited to see their peers’ films,” Buono said.

However, this year’s Grizzdance has seen fewer entries than previous years, in what Miller called a dry year, with only eight films in the competition category.

Though she might be disappointed in the number of entries, she says the volume of films is not the most important element of the festival.

“Personally I would rather have quality than quantity,” Miller said.

Aside from the competition entries, Grizzdance features a showing of the film, “Pendragon: Sword of his Father,” a feature length film presented by OU students Aaron and Marilyn Burns of Burns Family Studios, is making its world premiere at Grizzdance on Wednesday at 7.

The story of “Pendragon” follows Artos Pendragon, who fights against the Saxon invasion of Britain in the fifth century. Brauer, the president of Brauer Productions, is the guest of honor for Grizzdance and will be giving a keynote speech on Nov. 14.

Brauer Productions has worked on films with Michigan residents Tim Allen and Jeff Daniels, including Jeff Daniels 2001 independent film, “Escanaba in da Moonlight” which will also be shown at Grizzdance Thursday.

“We hope for him to come and speak and inspire the filmmakers,” Miller said.

— For more information on some of the entries in the 2008 Grizzdance Film Festival, log on to our website at www.oaklandpostonline.com.