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The Lookout | June 17, 2019

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City prepares for films to reel in

City prepares for films to reel in

Sarah Spohn
A&E Editor

Four hundred films. Thirty countries. Six months of reviewing submissions. One weekend-long party.

The fifth annual Capital City Film Festival (CCFF) takes place April 9 through 12 at various venues across the Lansing area.

Contests are still open to LCC students and Michigan residents to get their hands on some hefty prize money.

The aerial shot of this year’s festival is framing the film fest to be the biggest and best yet.

LCC, along with the Lansing Public Media Center, are two of the founding sponsors of the fest.

Dominic Cochran, director of Lansing Public Media Center, spoke about the storyboard of what the center’s goal is: public access. He also addressed public access television’s bad rap.

“When you hear the word public access, it has a stigma,” Cochran said. “People think it’s ‘Wayne’s World,’ or something of low-quality production.

“Our goal here is to give people access to real professional tools and high-quality production,” Cochran said. “That is actually the reason why the film festival was born; to create something to inspire people.”

While the Lansing Public Media Center has been around since the ‘80s, its major event, the Capital City Film Fest, has only been around for five years.

While organizers set out to create a unique festival, focusing on media center members, the first year’s event reeled in over 200 submissions from 20 countries.

This year’s fifth annual Capital City Film Festival includes three contests.

The fan-favorite Fortnight Film Contest continues this year, giving participants two weeks to make a movie.

New this year is the Fortnight Game contest, inviting area game designers to get in on the action.

“Having contests as part of a film festival is nothing new,” Cochran said.

Most film fests charge a higher fee of $50 to $60 and award $150 as the top prize, Cochran said. But the Capital City Film Fest (CCFF) is doing things a bit unconventionally.

“We’re filmmakers ourselves, so we wanted to look at it differently,” Cochran said. “We wanted to actually add prize money from the sponsors, make it a really chunk of money to give away, something to get people excited.”

And so far, it’s working.

“This year, we’re doing three contests and giving away a total of $14,000,” he said. “The response has been really good.”

This year’s weekend-long party includes the Red Carpet Premier Party at the new Beer Grotto in the Stadium District, and a special event Cochran is really looking forward to.

“We’re actually partnering with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra,” Cochran said. “The entire symphony is going to be downtown Lansing, all 80 members.”

The symphony will play a film score live in front of the screen while film fest goers watch the movie on a big screen.

“That’s just an experience you can’t get anywhere else other than a film fest,” Cochran said. That free event is Saturday, April 11 at the Lansing Center and is open to the public.

The film fest acts as a split-screen between mediums, also offering live music. Partnering with Fusion Shows, concerts by the Legal Immigrants, mewithoutYou and more will take place during the festival.

All-access festival passes are $50 and include admission to all of the concerts, films and parties.

Individual movies are free to $5 and concerts range from $10 to $15. Tickets are available online at

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