Capital City Film Festival expands lineup, adds first paid staff

New and beloved venues, astonishing sponsors and grants, hundreds of volunteers, and a first-ever paid position have contributed to the momentum of the 6th Annual Capital City Film Festival in Lansing.
Slated for April 6-10 in Michigan's capital city, the CCFF continues to grow as a multimedia showcase of independent films and live touring bands. The festival, say organizers, celebrates and shares the works of artists from around the world while building on the cultural assets of Lansing's diverse locale.
"We fill a huge niche for people here to see independent cinema on the big screen," says Festival Co-founder Dominic Cochran. "Part of our guiding goal is to make this a festival environment. We want this to feel like a week-long party with film and music and activities."
Festival Co-director Payal Ravini says organizers emulated the South by Southwest model to offer Lansing a multi-media experience. The festival emphasizes quality over quantity, and enables Lansing to experience high quality filmmaking and music at a great price.
"It's a great opportunity to see and support independent filmmaking," says Ravini. "Our festival is growing both in audience and scope. We have distributors contacting us now, where before, the dynamic was us contacting them."
About 60 films will be shown through three venues, including Old Town's Temple Club. Just like Leap Year, the festival added a day to their calendar in 2016, with the now five-day slate running Wednesday through Sunday.
New or newer events include the musical collaboration with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra held at the Lansing Center. The second year of this well-received event will feature a live performance of songs from Disney films, and was made possible by a first-time grant by the National Endowment for the Arts and a new partnership with Disney.
Festivalgoers can enjoy a day exploring the science of cinema at Lansing's Impression 5 Science Center. Family-friendly films will run at pop-up movie theatres while kids can learn how to make a documentary. The adjacent Surveyors Museum will be transformed into a venue for short films.
Other new events include a screening the 1902 silent movie classic Le Voyage Dans la Lun (A Trip to the Moon) by Georges Méliès "scored" live by the Heartland Klezmorim. And although part of the annual mix, the "Red Carpet" opening gala will take place at the recently opened Lansing Brewery.
Ravini says the festival epitomizes the power of enthusiastic volunteers and the drive to put Lansing on the map through independent film.
"Looking ahead, we'd like to see the festival attached to a bigger picture of our city's very own independent arts theatre downtown," Ravini says. "It would be great to have the luxury of bringing independent film to Lansing even more."
Source: Dominic Cochran, co-founder; Payal Ravini, co-director, Capital City Film Festival
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor

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