2nd Annual Southeast Michigan Film Festival Coming to Detroit



Media Contact

Lauren Vileo                                                

Co-Director, Southeast Michigan Film Festival

313.207.2664 (for contact only, not to be printed)                               



2nd Annual Southeast Michigan Film Festival Coming to Detroit


  • Submissions are free for films entered before July 1 and do not require premiere status

  • After an intimate, successful first year, the Festival is back for another showcase of independent local and national talent at The Sanctuary

  • Categories appeal to a variety of genres and talents, from shorts and feature-length films to breakout documentaries and animation


DETROIT, Mich., April 24, 2019 – Filmmakers throughout the Metro Detroit area and from across the country can submit their productions to the 2nd annual Southeast Michigan Film Festival (#SEMFFest) for free starting on May 1.


After a surprising 441 films submitted to the Festival in 2018, the co-directors are hopeful for an even more impressive second year.


“It’s always great to see original content and last year we had it in spades,” said Blake Redmer, SEMFFest co-director. “It just goes to show the initiative and resourcefulness the indie community has to create.”

The Southeast Michigan Film Festival, presented by Sundown Pictures, hosts a variety of categories and genres for feature-length films, documentaries and shorts. Entries do not require “premiere” status but should be produced after Jan. 1, 2017. Selected films will be shown on the silver screen to festival attendees on Nov. 1 and 2, 2019 at Hamtramck’s The Sanctuary in the heart of Detroit.


“Being at The Sanctuary for Year Two, which has such a wonderful reputation in the musical and artistic community, will allow us to create an intimate environment for these filmmakers to showcase their work,” said Lauren Vileo, Southeast Michigan Film Festival co-director. “It allows us to be immersed with the festival-goers and the screening experience.”


As the co-directors reflect on their first year, the group is excited for the upgraded venue and atmosphere that The Sanctuary provides.


“I personally have had the pleasure of working with The Sanctuary before and every time the events go so well,” said Festival co-director Sean Collins. “I’m really looking forward to what we can show people this year in a new space which caters to an indie audience.”


Festival organizers are hosting submissions through FilmFreeway, the largest film festival submission site in the country, and invite filmmakers to check out the Southeast Michigan Film Festival page by clicking here. Those interested can also reach out directly by sending an email to info@semichfilmfest.com. Free submissions will open May 1 and close on July 1. After July 1, submissions will be only $10 through Sept. 1.


The SEMFFest team has streamlined the list of accolades for 2019:


  • Best Short

  • Best Feature

  • Best Writer

  • Best Director


Additional details about Festival activities, selected films, and more will be released later this year.



Click here to view photos of the venue and logos of the event. All imagery can be used by media outlets courtesy of Southeast Michigan Film Festival.

Additional Quotes

"It seems like the traditional movie-going experience is dying. Going to the cineplex is starting to feel like listening to a broken record. Superhero films, sci-fi epics, and remake after remake; it’s making it more difficult for the independent film to find its voice. Smaller festivals are popping up all over the place giving a home to films of all genres and sizes. SEMFFest is proudly contributing to that noise. Being big film buffs by nature, we’re hungry to go back to the movies. We are craving the classic communal viewing experience. Laughing, screaming, crying with a group of friends and strangers is a pastime we’re not willing to give up. SEMFFest is back for another year, we hope to see you there!"

-David Vileo, Southeast Michigan Film Festival Co-Director


“This year is really about giving the Festival a voice of its own. It’s so great to be apart of the festival scene, but it’s also nice to start carving out our space in that community. And of course, we’re really looking forward connecting with filmmakers all over the country through their submissions.”

-Sean Collins, Southeast Michigan Film Festival Co-Director


I feel that with our new location and the experience we gained from the previous year, it will allow us to make this festival truly special.”

- Blake Redmer, Southeast Michigan Film Festival Co-Director


About Sundown Pictures

Led by four Detroit-area filmmakers, Sundown Pictures is an independent production company founded in 2017. In 2018, the Sundown team hosted the first-ever Southeast Michigan Film Festival that resulted in nearly 500 submissions and more than 40 films shown. With three films and one season of a narrative podcast produced, Sundown's team is currently working on an anthology horror film and a second season for the narrative podcast.  You can follow Sundown on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Sundown Pictures is David & Lauren Vileo, Blake Redmer, and Sean Collins.

© 2018 by Sundown Pictures For Questions, contact us at info@semichfilmfest.com

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