Last year, when local filmmaker Andrew Brown asked an acquaintance, Tyler Moldovan, if he was interested in helping get a Michigan film festival off the ground, Moldovan’s response was less than enthusiastic.
“I told him, no,” says Moldovan. But somehow Brown convinced Moldovan to pitch in, and together, with just three weeks lead time, they hosted a very successful film festival, featuring movies made by their fellow Michigan filmmakers.
“I’m still not sure how we pulled it off,” admits Brown with a grin, while Moldovan shakes his head in amazement.
This year, however, the friends had plenty of time to plan their film festival, bigger and better than before. Dubbed the Desmond District Demons 2nd Annual Film Festival, the festival will feature films from 18 countries around the world, as far-flung as Iran, Luxembourg, and Japan. The festival will run Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28, and given the dates are so close to Halloween, the festival theme is perfect--all of the featured films are in the horror genre.
Brown points out, though, that there are different types of horror, ranging from psychological thrillers, to classic camp, to the more gory slasher films, and everything in between. Among the features is “Tonight She Comes,” which Brown describes as “extremely violent and very funny,” proving that some films can actually boast more than one genre on their own.
“There really will be something for everyone,” Brown says. He notes that he and Moldovan were careful to curate films that ran the gamut across the horror spectrum, grouping shorts together in ways that viewers will find appealing.
At press time, Brown and Moldovan plan to feature five full-length films, as well as three or four blocks of short films.
Like most film festivals, this event will be judged, and the winning entries will receive both bragging rights and an interesting trophy. Another twist? The films will be shown in non-traditional settings, including a unique space at Loft 912 and at the recently re-imagined, remodeled and re-launched Sperry’s Moviehouse, both in downtown Port Huron’s trendy (and perhaps haunted) Desmond District.
Both Brown and Moldovan have been pleasantly surprised by how many film submissions they’ve received, and by how the community has embraced their festival concept by sponsoring the event.
“We’re thrilled with every sponsorship we’ve gotten, and with every film submission,” Brown says. Sponsors include Marlin Building, States Painting, Allington Roofing, Achatz Handmade Pie Co., Sinner's Club Studio, Sperry's Moviehouse, Yukon Construction, Everything Classic Antiques & Huron Soap and Candle Co., To Shibalba Productions, Loft 912, Dark Forest Media, Lunar Flame Pictures, FAIIM, Blue Water Food Express, Electric Motor Services, Randy Raymo at Michigan Mutual, Memor Films, Neiman's Family Market St. Clair, Campbell Tech, Downtown Port Huron (DDA), Susan Achatz and Robin Mortinger.
“Our sponsors and their support have just been amazing,” Brown says.
How do Brown and Moldovan recommend viewers prepare for their film festival? By watching frightening films, of course! Moldovan recommends “The Ring” and “It Follows.” Brown’s favorite horror films are “The Grudge” and the classic Stephen King film “Cat’s Eye.”
For more information about the film festival, including the features, short blocks, showtimes, and more, visit desmonddistrictdemons.com or follow the festival on Facebook.