Northern Michigan Events: Catch the 2011 Frankfort Film Festival in the newly renovated Garden Theater in this Lake Michigan port city. Five short films by students from the Interlochen Motion Picture Arts program will precede five of the feature films to be shown.

Here's the lineup:

Thursday, 10/20/11

8 P.M. The Guard
Directed by John Michael McDonagh. 2011/Comedy, Thriller/96min/R

An unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is teamed up with an uptight FBI agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring. Starring Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle and Mark Strong.

Best Debut Film Honorable Mention – Berlin International Film Festival, 2011 Audience Award – Sarajevo Film Festival, 2011 Nominated for Grand Jury Prize – Sundance Film Festival, 2011

Friday, 10/21/11

1 P.M. Step and Close

Directed by One up Web. 2010/ Documentary/45min/NR

A 45-minute documentary spotlighting the Traverse City West Senior High School Marching Band. An inside look at what it takes to be part of the band & what it’s really like to be part of the group that works harder & laughs more than you’d ever dream possible.

3 p.m. Happy Happy

Directed by Ann Sewitsky. 2011/ Comedy, Drama/85min/R – ADULT CONTENT

Kaja is an eternal optimist in spite of living with a man who would rather go hunting and isn't interested in having sex with her anymore because she "isn't particularly attractive." But when "the perfect couple" moves in next door, Kaja struggles to keep her emotions in check. Not only do these successful, beautiful, exciting people sing in a choir, they have also adopted a child – from Ethiopia! These new neighbors open a whole new world to Kaja, with consequences for everyone involved.

Winner Grand Jury Prize – Sundance Film Festival

5 p.m. Point Blank

(À Bout Portant) – Directed by Fred Cavaye. 2010/Action/84min/NR

A slick, high adrenaline action film. A man races against time through Paris’ streets and subways to save his pregnant, kidnapped wife. Starring Gilles Lellouche, Roschdy Zem, Gerard Lanvin, Elena Anaya.

8 P.M. The Interrupters

Directed by Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz. 2011/Documentary/125min/ NR

The moving and surprising stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. Shot over the course of a year, The Interrupters captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for violence in our cities. During that period, the city was besieged by high-profile incidents, most notably the brutal beating of Derrion Albert, a Chicago High School student, whose death was caught on videotape.

Official Selection – Sundance Film Festival, 2011 Miami Film Festival 2011 WON Grand Jury Prize  

Saturday, 10/22/11

1 P.M. The Illusionist    

Directed by Sylvain Chomet. 2011/Comedy, Animated, Drama/80min/PG

The Illusionist (L'illusionniste) A French illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever. Starring Jean-Claude Donda, Eilidh Rankin and Duncan MacNeil.

Nominated Best Animated Feature Film of the Year – Academy Awards, 2011 Nominated Best Animated Film Golden Globes

3 P.M. Blind Date

Directed Joe Rosen. 2010/Comedy, Animated Short//11min/NR

(two for one) Steven's quiet night in his local pub is interrupted when Rachel arrives looking for her blind date. Blind Date is an 11-minute portrait of modern British dating.

Winner Audience Award – LA Film Festival 2011 Audience Award Winner – Austin Film Festival 2010

Falling Overnight

Directed by Conrad Jackson. 2011/Drama/88min/NR

The story of twenty-two year old Elliot Carson on the day before he has surgery to remove a brain tumor. Facing what could be his last night, Elliot’s path intersects with Chloe Webb, a young photographer who invites him to her art show. As the night descends, Chloe takes him on an exhilarating journey through the city. But as morning approaches, the magic of the evening unravels, and they must together face the uncertainty of Elliot’s future. Starring Parker Croft and Emilia Zoryan.

Best Independent Feature Winner – Sonoma Film Festival

5 P.M. Where Soldiers Come From

Directed by Heather Courtney. 2011/Documentary/90min/NR

A snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, Where Soldiers Come From follows the four-year journey of childhood friends, forever changed by a faraway war.

Founders Prize Best U.S. Documentary Film – Traverse City Film Festival, 2011 Jury Award Winner Best Editing Documentary Feature – SXSW Film Festival, 2011

8 P.M. Misery Business

Directed and written by Charles Beale. 2010/Short/5min/NR

While obtaining souls in the afterlife, a misfit death collector seeks to win his life back. Starring Luke Bonczyk and Ben Kellar. Original music by Hanna Rae Beale.

Second Place Winner – Compass Film Academy’s 24 Hour Film Festival


Directed by Azazel Jacobs. 2011/Comedy/101min/R

After losing his parents at a young age, overweight Terri was sent to live with his uncle. As his uncle's health begins to deteriorate, Terri becomes the target of relentless teasing by classmates. His intimidating vice principal, Mr. Fitzgerald, recognizes a student in need, and reaches out to him. Through that unlikely friendship, Terri discovers outcasts needn't endure life alone, and by banding together, they can accomplish great things. Starring Jacob Wysocki Creed Bratton and John C. Reilly.

Official Selection – Sundance Film Festival, 2011 Official Selection – SXSW Film Festival, 2011

Sunday 10/23/11

12:30 Page One: Inside the New York Times

Directed by Andrew Rossi. 2011/Documentary/92min/R

Unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom yields a complex view of the transformation of a media landscape fraught with both peril and opportunity. Page One gives us an up-close look at the vibrant cross-cubicle debates and collaborations, tenacious jockeying for on-record quotes, and skillful page-one pitching that brings the most venerable newspaper in America to fruition each and every day. Starring David Carr, Tim Arango and Carl Bernstein.

2:20 P.M Of Gods and Men
Directed by Xavier Beauvois. 2010/Drama, History/122min/R

Of Gods and Men (Des Hommes et Des Dieux) In 1996 in the Algerian Mountains, caught between a military government and extremist guerrillas, a group of monks face the decision of their lives. Starring Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale and Olivier Rabourdin.

Grand Prize Winner – Cannes Film Festival

4:30 P.M. Bill C
Directed by Richard Press. 2010/Documentary, Biography/84min/NR

New York For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the Times Style section in his columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.” Bill Cunningham New York is a delicate, funny an often poignant portrait of a dedicated artist whose only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace. Starring Bill Cunningham, Anna Wintour and Michael Kors.

Best Storytelling in a Documentary – Nantucket Film Festival Audience Award Best Documentary – Sydney Film Festival

7:30 P.M. Queen to Play
(Joueuse) – Directed by Caroline Bottaro. 2011/Comedy, Drama/ 96min/NR

Lovely, repressed and quietly intelligent, French chambermaid Hélène discovers her love for chess when, one day, she comes upon a couple engaged in an intense match. This obsession with the game, much to the chagrin of her husband and teenaged daughter, leads her to seek the clandestine tutelage of a reclusive American doctor – a liaison that radically transforms both of their lackluster lives. Starring Sandrine Bonnaire, Kevin Kline and Valérie Lagrange.

Passes for the four-day film festival are $50 per person, and individual film showings are $10 per person. Tickets for the Film Festival may be purchased online:  

Ear Listening Devices underwritten by – Hearing Solutions of Northwest Michigan.