Hell's Half Mile Film & Music Festival

HHM // Hell's Half Mile Film & Music Festival

12th edition

Sep 28 - Oct 01, 2020
Estimated
Bay City, United States

Open Call Open to Public Competitive Market Special Fees

Festival type Real Venue Festival
Types of films Animation, Docu-feature, Documentary, Narrative fiction
Film length Full length, Short
Genre Action, Adventure, Alternative, Art, B-Movie, Biography, Burlesque, Classics, Comedy, Comedy drama, Crime, Culture, Dance, Dark comedy, Drama, Dramedy, Environmental, Family, Fantastic, Fantasy, Film noir, Flash, Foreign, Health, Hip Hop, History, Horror, Human rights, Independent, LGBT, Live Action, Medical, Melodrama, Microcinema, Mockumentary, Music, Musical, Mystery, Nature, News, , Parody, Post modern, Realism, Reality, Religious, Road Trip, Romance, Romantic comedy, Satire, Science, Science fiction, Silent movie, Social issues, Spiritual, Sports, Surreal, Thriller, Transgender, Underground

Mission / description MISSION & OBJECTIVE
The Hell's Half Mile Film & Music Festival (HHM) is the perfect mix of independent film and live indie music. Still under the radar, but we’re starting to make an impact with our guests.

"I don't remember much of my two years going to Hell's Half Mile. That's how much fun I had." – Rider Strong, “Cabin Fever” and two time guest.

Our taste is eclectic, everything from quirky comedies to hard hitting documentaries to emotional drama. Our goal is to find "the little film that could" -- a bunch of them actually -- and bring the filmmakers together to take over Bay City, MI. Our primary concern is community, and the filmmakers who attend our long weekend walk away with lifelong friends and future collaborators.

"I’ve been to SXSW several times, San Francisco, a bunch of smaller festivals all over the U.S. It [Hell’s Half Mile] feels like the real deal. It’s people who genuinely love film, love the independent film community. The quality and lineup is incredible” – Ashley Spillers "Arlo and Julie"

Over the last ten years over 100 directors, producers, screenwriters and actors have joined our growing audience. We provide travel and accommodations to a select number of filmmakers, plus all-access passes and catered receptions. All of our venues are within a few block radius and hotels are within walking distance, making it super easy to get around. Visit hhmfest.com for links to the venues and video recaps of previous festivals. We schedule events to help you with other filmmakers, musicians, movie fans, and our supportive local community. Our goal is to provide you with a professional, casual and fun experience during your stay with us, including unique outings that give you a taste of the local flavor. It’s the least we can do in return for providing our festival-goers with great independent cinema.

Once your festival experience ends, Hell’s Half Mile looks to the future. HHM alumni receive fee waivers for future projects and all-access passes for subsequent year’s festivals, whether you have a film in our program or not. We continue to support alumni projects through social media and newsletters celebrating victories and other milestones through our growing network of filmmakers and film lovers.

“Hell's Half Mile gives me warm feelings in my heart. The warm feeling in my pants is possibly unrelated. It’s worth every minute and it's the kind of festival that you make movies for.” – Kenny Stevenson, writer and actor, "Love, Sex and Missed Connections".

Guests are not left alone to fend for themselves amidst our rabid audiences and interested community members. Programmers and organizers are ever present and ready with introductions, recommendations and the occasional swift exit from oversharers. Bay City nights are filled with raw rock and roll sounds giving us the moniker of “little Detroit”, especially into the wee hours at super-secret-after-parties. Daytime in Bay City is cool Fall days with sunny riverside strolls or bike rides past historic lumber baron mansions. Or, there are always plenty of great films to watch. Its up to you!

Filmmakers are also encouraged to participate in panel discussions, receptions and other events. We continue to foster student and local filmmaking, which provides opportunities for guest filmmakers to present a workshop or lecture focused on a specific topic or specialty. Other guests are invited to screen our student and local short films and give constructive feedback to the filmmakers. This type of mentoring helps to strengthen local filmmaking and continue our relationships with area universities.

Hell’s Half Mile, ranked 27th in Moviemaker Magazine’s Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals of 2016. Just a prediction.

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
After ten years, Hell’s Half Mile organizers continue to strive to be an innovative festival for genuinely independent films and original music. This festival is about connecting the filmmaker and the festival-goer. Period. Well, and parties too.

In addition to relentless promotion of films, Hell’s Half Mile recognizes and rewards films with jury, programmer and audience awards, some with prizes. Prizes include a cash prize of $1000 for the Grand Jury Award, as well as other valued prizes. Grand Jury Winners include the controversial “Lamb” (2015), the Icelandic “Metalhead” (2014), and the acclaimed documentary "Remote Area Medical" (2013). Past jurors include Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Adam Busch (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Adam Schartoff (Filmwax Radio), Jasmine McGlade (Maria My Love), Joey Kern (“Super Troopers”), Geoff Marslett (Loves Her Gun), WAW Parker (Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench), Rider Strong (Cabin Fever), Leslie Raymond (Ann Arbor Film Festival), Mark Covino (A Band Called Death), Michael Dunaway (Paste Magazine), Joel Potrykus (Buzzard) and Jeff Meyers (Metro Times).

Each year we screen great narrative films, like the Midwest Premiere of Terry McMahon’s “Patrick’s Day” jury award winner for Best Feature at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival, and winner of the Hell’s Half Mile jury award for Best Screenplay. Quirky comedies like James Westby’s “Rid of Me” and Neil LaBute’s “Dirty Weekend” have been big hits with HHM audiences. Co-director Mark Covino attended with the international hit "A Band Called Death" which won the HHM "Fest Best" award. Rider Strong has been a guest at HHM with four amazing films over two years, including “The Dungeon Master,” written and directed with his brother Shiloh and winner of the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Best (Online) Short Film. Visit hhmfest.com for complete lists of all films presented.

Some of the great music we’ve had over the years connects our film and music events. Matt Pond PA joined us at HHM in 2010. This same year, screening at the festival was “Lebanon PA,” with original score by Matt Pond and Chris Hansen of Matt Pond PA. Another great band that performed at HHM in 2011 was The One AM Radio, led by Hrishikesh Hirway who also did the original music for the 2012 feature film “Save the Date.” Visit hhmfest.com for lists and links of previous music performers.

HHM, a partnership with the Bay Arts Council, utilizes a unique mix of venues including Bay City’s historic Mayan themed State Theatre, the Delta College Planetarium, and a turn-of-the-century red sandstone former Masonic Temple, saved from demolition by the Bay Arts Council. Likewise, the Hell’s Half Mile programmers are looking for the right mix of creative and challenging works, including those from underserved segments of the film community, to bring to our seriously appreciative audiences. We hope you’ll consider us.

What's with the name?
In the late 1800's, a stretch of Bay City's riverfront was lined with raucous saloons and two-bit hotels where turn-of-the-century loggers and shipmen would go to blow off steam and take in more than a little local color. This strip was known to locals as Hell's Half Mile. "'Hell's Half Mile' was the strip of waterfront where lumberjacks used to go boozing and whoring. Now, a bunch of us from Hollywood go there for a film festival. Not much has changed." – Rider Strong

Time has passed, but the same rough-and-tumble spirit of the day is reborn in the Hell's Half Mile Film & Music Festival. Today, the city boasts a beautiful downtown riverfront with boutiques, restaurants, theatres, pubs, hotel accommodations and other points of interest....a state of the art planetarium, art galleries, a thriving business community, and an active shipping lane for Great Lakes freighters...Downtown Bay City is alive with activity.
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Festival website www.hellshalfmile.com

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