Community Cinema – Toledo City Paper


The 2nd annual Adrian International Film Festival brings movie lovers together

It’s becoming easier by the year to find entertainment from other countries that you wouldn’t have even thought to look for. Sure, everyone knows about The Avengers and other major American film events. But what if you’d like to see what entertains people in Italy or Belgium?

Film festivals have been a great way to encounter these films, and a recently-created festival nearby has such encounters. The Adrian International Film Festival kicks off its second year of programming in Adrian, Michigan on May 17th.

Movies in Michigan

Adrian is a beautiful Michigan town with a grand and historic downtown area. The townspeople know it and have been looking for ways to show off their city. Two such people were Professors, Michael Neal and Scott Westfall. They are both professors at Adrian College, and one day started discussing ideas for events in downtown Adrian. As they are interested in film (Neal, president of the festival, specifically works in video production), the two decided a film festival would be a fun new addition to Adrian’s calendar of events.

The professors got to talking with various community organizers and film fans in the area to get the festival started. Then the festival began last May and invited a diverse array of filmmakers from all over the world, including Canada, Greece, and Spain. The two-day event culminated in an award show where prizes were given in six different categories: feature, documentary, short, documentary short, animation, and student films, plus an audience choice award.

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Festival Fortunes

Brandon Farver, public relations director for the festival, explained that “we had a very successful first year of the festival, and are looking to develop on our experiences from last year.” The fest was so successful, funds from it were dedicated to a new ice rink in downtown Adrian. “We’re happy to help with the continued revitalization of our downtown area,” Farver said.

The films of the festival are a diverse bunch, from hockey documentaries to animated fairy tales. On top of the 38 films submitted, the Adrian International Film Festival will have Film Market events, where directors show off their works and have question-and-answer segments after each, and guest speakers discussing all avenues of film.

Adrian itself will have events connected with the festival, too; Toledo Trolley will be on hand to provide pub tours of downtown Adrian for ticket holders. This is as big an event for Adrian as it is for the filmmakers involved, and if you’ve never been up there before, The Adrian International Film Festival would like for you to come and visit.

The Adrian International Film Festival will be held May 17th-18th in Downtown Adrian, MI
Venues include the Croswell Opera House (129 E. Maumee St)
and the Adrian Armory Events Center (230 W. Maumee St)
Tickets available at




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