Always striving to be one of the most progressive and creative Festivals in the world, the Great Lakes International Film Festival is now officially accepting films of all genres and lengths from around the world and across the United States for our 2020 Festival.
Considered among the most popular film festivals in the world, the 19th annual Great Lakes International Film Festival genre categories for feature-length and short length films are Narrative, 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 2020 festival.
If there is anything as universal as the ageless storytelling of motion pictures, it’s the music that makes up life’s soundtrack.
The 2020 Great Lakes International Film Festival shall accept Music Videos from around the world of cross-continent and cross-genre productions. We shall accept Music Videos of all genres from Pop, Punk, Rock, Alt-Country, Country-Western, Folk, Reggae, Hip-Hop to Electronica, Jazz, Blues, Zydeco, Industrial, Metal, Hardcore, Gothic, Karaoke, Avant-Garde, World Music, and Experimental, and all other genres that may not be listed here.
The 2020 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.
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 the foundation of our belief system and morals, we seek out, acknowledge and award the innumerable talented independent Filmmakers who may not get the recognition they richly deserve.
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 independent film community world-wide.
Since our inception, the Great Lakes International Film Festival has showcased more than 3,000 films, and has played host to countless celebrities and actors, and has amassed a formidable catalogue of exceptionally high caliber Independent Films and career launches, with countless films that have gone on to be screened on the Sundance Channel, IFC, PBS and HBO along with so many more filmmakers who have received distribution deals after screening in our festival.
While the success of the GLIFF has not come from an excess of big names celebrities crowding its red carpet, we feel that it instead is rooted in the much more important attention to detail that we offer, and most significantly, the very personal way in which we interact with each and every Filmmaker who has allowed us the honor of presenting their films over the past 18 years, doing our best to make each Filmmaker a part of our Festival family with ties that bind far beyond only one festival season.
Though we have never focused on the big-name Hollywood celebrities, still our Festival has played host to numerous special guests that include, 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.
In 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.
Without sacrificing our level of excellence, and striving to give as many Filmmakers the greatest level of exposure, our 2019 Official Selections included more than 300 of the best independently produced films of all lengths and genres from around the globe that screened over the course of our 10-day event.
We would also like to highlight the fact that with such a large number of high caliber films on our Official Selection list, our Festival holds the record for the most films selected and screened in any festival world-wide to date. Our entire Festival team is very honored and proud to not only have achieved such a monumental statistical benchmark, but to have done so with such a remarkable number of extraordinarily high caliber and diverse films as we screened last season.
In addition to being one of the most dynamic festivals, one of the most popular attractions that the Great Lakes International Film Festival offers to Filmmakers is our home, Erie Pennsylvania. As one of the most unique communities, Erie proffers an amazing landscape that is as diverse as the people that make up its City.
Seated on the shores of Lake Erie, the beautiful Presque Isle State Park, is a peninsula with amazing beaches and trails that curves around Presque Isle Bay. This 3,112-acre park boasts 13 miles of roads, 21 miles of recreational trails, 13 beaches for swimming, a myriad of wildlife along with a lovely marina.
Nearby, Waldameer Amusement Park & Water World has roller coasters and waterslides. The Erie Maritime Museum traces the history of Lake Erie and is the home port of the US Brig Niagara, a historic 19th-century ship. Nearby, the Erie Art Museum features a very impressive collection of 20th-century works, while a number of local playhouses deliver off-Broadway style stage plays regularly.
Erie Pa also features a cornucopia of stunning historic architecture throughout, including the very impressive West Sixth Street Historic District, otherwise known as Millionaire's Row. Consisting of 117 beautiful buildings originally constructed in the Victorian era by lumber, banking, and Manufacturing barons such as Peter Herdic as their homes, Millionaire's Row now stands as a remarkable testament to an age long past.
In addition to the usual theatrical and virtual film presentations that our Festival offers, and in cooperation with one of Erie's finest dining establishments that is centrally located in the heart of our City, two years ago we added a new and exciting segment to our Festival's annual film presentations entitled "Dinner & A Movie" as a new and distinctive staple screening platform of our event which thus far has been a huge success with both Filmmakers and our Festival attendees alike.
In addition to awarding outstanding Filmmakers with Best of Genre, our Festival offers an Audience Choice 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 2020 season, the Great Lakes International Film Festival will be held LIVE in the great city of Erie, Pennsylvania starting on September 24th, 2020, with our virtual screenings continuing through October 10th, 2020.
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.
Best of Genre Awards and an Audience Award