Seven years ago, we were inspired by the 8½ Foundation—founded by Tilda Swinton and Mark Cousins—and its mission to make great films available to young people everywhere.  In their own words: “...not the bigger films blasted from the rooftops of every seventeen-screen pleasure palace, but littler films, often from other countries, maybe made many decades ago, maybe made without color, maybe with subtitles, or not a single spoken word.” That idea became our mandate; our manifesto.  For the next 10 days, we will present full-length features, documentaries, shorts and classic silent films—all for FREE ($1 suggested donation) and chosen just for you!

The festival kicks off on Friday March 9th with an Opening Night Pajama Party hosted by Krasl Art Center. The evening begins at 6:00 pm with live music by Brandon Mattson followed by KID FLIX MIX 1, a selection of shorts from the New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF), at 7:00 pm. The Young Filmmakers Competition will premiere at the Michigan City Public Library (IN) and the New Buffalo Township Library (MI) on, Saturday March 10th.  This year, we created the Silent Film Challenge and are pleased to present 16 films, all without spoken dialog, by young visionaries from Michigan and Indiana.  Awards will be presented, red carpet style, at the Citadel Oak Room at 6:30 pm on Friday March 16th—immediately following the 5:30 pm screening. Other events include a filmmaking workshop for middle and high school students, a panel discussion and American Sign Language demonstration in conjunction with the documentary film DEAF JAM and two LEGO stop-motion animation workshops. In addition, we are  thrilled to continue our partnership with the Northwest Film Forum (Seattle, WA) 

This year, the inimitable Dr. Larry Schanker will provide improvisational piano accompaniment for the Young Filmmakers Competition and for 4 silent films — including Safety Last (1923) which closes the festival at  Krasl Art Center on Sunday March 18th.