“Always striving to be one of the most progressive and creative Festivals in the world, The Great Lakes International Film Festival The Great Lakes International Film Festival strives to serve the interests and needs of Independent Filmmakers world-wide by connecting artists with audiences, exhibiting and promoting new films and filmmaking talent, as well as nurturing a creative community by facilitating relationships that last well beyond each year’s festival. The passion and commitment that each filmmaker and writer puts into his or her work is both noble and unique to say the least, and deserves to be acknowledged. As not only the cornerstone of our Mission, but as a general course of operation we seek out, acknowledge and award the many talented independent filmmakers who may not get the recognition they richly deserve.
Considered among most popular film festivals in the world, the 17th annual Great Lakes International Film Festival genre categories for feature length and short length films are Documentary, Experimental, Religious/Spiritual, Animation, Comedy, Horror, with Horror sub-genres that include Supernatural, Thrillers, Wicken, Magical, Slashers, Science Fiction, Suspense, Horror Documentary, Horror Animation and all genres of Music Videos and GLBT films for the 2018 festival. The 2018 Great Lakes International Film Festival will accept all forms of Religious, Christian, and Spiritual films including African, African-American, GLBT, Black, Hispanic, Islamic, Latino, Native/Aboriginal and student films from the United States and around the world. In addition to awards presented to Filmmakers for Best of Genre, our Festival will present an Audience Award to the Filmmaker whose film is the most popular with our attendees, and that receives the most attendee votes.
Showcasing the best films of the 2018 season, the Great Lakes International Film Festival will be held LIVE in the great city of Erie, Pennsylvania starting on September 20th, 2018, with our virtual festival taking place September 20th thru September 29th, 2018. Though the GLIFF success does not come from an excess of big names celebrities crowding its red carpet, but instead from a formidable catalogue of exceptionally high caliber Independent Films and career launches, still, over the years we have had many films that have screened on the Sundance Channel, IFC, PBS and HBO along with countless filmmakers who have received distribution deals after screening in our festival.
Since our inception, the Great Lakes International Film Festival has showcased more than 1,700 films, and has played host to countless celebrities such as actor, writer, producer Bill Hinzman of Flesheaters and Night of the Living Dead; director Lloyd Kaufman of the Toxic Avenger films, Pot Zombies, and President of Troma Films; actor Gunnar Hansen of Texas Chainsaw Massacre; actor and director Mark Borchardt of American Movie and Coven; Erick Rodgers (Writer of NYPD Blue); best-selling mystery author Jamian Snow (Shrouded Insanity); John Hancock (“Hill Street Blues”, “The Twilight Zone”, & California Dreaming); actress and “Scream Queen” Debbie Rochon (Blood Relic, Vampyre Tales, & Lord of the Undead); Bobby Logan (Meatballs 4 & Repossessed), along with so many more.
As one of the premier film festivals worldwide, the Great Lakes International Film Festival held its inaugural festival in the fall of 2002, welcoming internationally acclaimed celebrities like Dirk Benedict, best known for his work on Battlestar Galactica and A-Team, along with Hollywood script guru Harri James who worked as script supervisor for blockbuster films and TV Shows as ER, Alias, Tremors II: Aftershocks, and Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, to name only a few. That same year, B.J. and the Bear & Up in Smoke producer, Otto Felix visited the festival along with the renowned Keith Carradine being presented with a lifetime achievement award for his dedication and contributions to indie film. Since that time, the Great Lakes International Film Festival has had many films go on to greatness like “The Derby Stallion” that was released through Echo Bridge Home Entertainment, a subsidiary of Disney, and Director Joel Miller’s film “The Still Life” that received distribution through Warner Home Video after having been screened at the festival.
In 2004, the Great Lakes International Film Festival had the proud pleasure to present the North East United States Premiere of “SAW”, Lions Gate Films’ gripping psychological thriller starring Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter and Leigh Whannel. The legendary Terry Moore was our special guest of honor and was presented with a lifetime Achievement Award for her amazing accomplishments in film over the past 60 years, while international recording superstar Dizzy Reed of Guns ‘N Roses performed before a capacity crowd at our Film Festival.
From the feature narrative genre to documentary to animation; experimental, horror and Spiritual films, the Great Lakes International Film Festival celebrates the film arts in dynamic transition. As emerging technologies continue to redefine the form, filmmakers from the Great Lakes region, across the country and around the world express the common and the diverse through the age-old tradition. — The art of the story.”