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Michigan Film Festival this weekend

Girbe Eefsting, John Acdespres, and Jen Pider
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
(from left to right) Girbe Eefsting, John Acdespres, and Jen Pider prepare at the UICA for the Michigan Film Festival.

A celebration of Michigan-made films starts Friday night in Grand Rapids. The second annual Michigan Film Festival runs through Sunday. The films are winners of other film festivals across the state or were recommended by college film programs.
Jen Pider is one of six founders and serves as the festival's executive director. She says the event is also an opportunity to build the network of people working in the film industry in the state. "You call to work on a film somebody that you know, somebody who you know is good; who you can trust with your project," Pider says. "And so the more that we can network together and get to see each other's faces, the more that we will have work and structure and trust in each other."
The festival offers those hoping to get into the industry interactive workshops, panel discussions, and networking events.
"Really we're trying to network the Michigan film community together and create this structure which will allow us to sustain the film industry here," Pider said.
She says it's obvious they couldn't do that without the massive tax incentives offered by the state. Lawmakers adopted the most aggressive incentives in the country in 2008. She's hoping to build on progress made by the incentives so far through a number of educational workshops, networking events, and lectures from people already making a living in Michigan in the industry.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.