First-Ever Southeast Michigan Film Festival Caters to Local, National Filmmakers



April 24, 2018


Media Contact

Lauren Vileo                                                

Co-Director, Southeast Michigan Film Festival


First-Ever Southeast Michigan Film Festival Caters to Local, National Filmmakers


  • Submissions are free for films entered between May 1 and Aug. 15 and do not require premiere status

  • The Festival is entirely not-for-profit; all net proceeds will be donated to the Lincoln Park School District to help fund drama programs

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


LINCOLN PARK, Mich., April 24, 2018 – Filmmakers throughout the Metro Detroit area and from across the country can submit their productions to the first-ever Southeast Michigan Film Festival for free starting on May 1.


The inaugural Southeast Michigan Film Festival (#SEMFFest) hosts a variety of categories for feature length films, documentaries and shorts. Entries do not require “premiere” status but should be produced after Jan. 1, 2016. Selected films will be shown on the silver screen to festival attendees on Nov. 2 and 3 in the 1,400-seat auditorium at Lincoln Park High School.


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


The film festival not only benefits current filmmakers, but its net proceeds will help equip the next generation of artists; all net proceeds from the November event will be donated to the Lincoln Park School District to help fund drama programs.


“Our mission is simple; we want to bring independent filmmaking culture to our corner of Michigan and showcase the talents of these artists,” said Dave Vileo, Southeast Michigan Film Festival co-director. “That’s why we at Sundown Pictures are working with the city of Lincoln Park to galvanize these creators and to invigorate the love of independent cinema. We are natives of Downriver and always wanted a film festival like this in our own backyards.”


Works from any genre, from horror and dramas to comedies and documentaries, can be submitted.


“Regardless of genre, if you’ve told a good story, we want to see it,” said Lauren Vileo, Southeast Michigan Film Festival co-director. “We believe filmmakers deserve a space to stretch their creative legs, and this festival will be a great way to do it.”


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 Submissions open on May 1 and close on Aug. 15.


A swath of accolades will also be presented during the Festival in November. Awards categories include:


  • Best Michigan-Made Short

  • Best Michigan-Made Feature

  • Best Narrative Feature

  • Best Documentary Feature

  • Best Narrative Short

  • Best Documentary Short

  • Best Director

  • Best Performance

  • Achievement in Cinematography

  • Achievement in Writing

  • Achievement in Editing

  • Achievement in Special Effects


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




Additional Quotes

“My brain is always so focused on the creative and production side of things, so I know how tough it is to actually get people to see your art; there are so many ways to get bogged down by the technical stuff, which is why we’re making this festival so inviting and easy for creators.”

-Blake Redmer, Southeast Michigan Film Festival Co-Director


“I’ve been part of the creative side and the distribution side, so I can really empathize with creators, and one of the toughest things to do is get recognition for your team. This is one great way to do that.”

-Sean Collins, 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. With three films produced, Sundown's team is currently working on two additional films, an upcoming YouTube series, and a narrative podcast. You can follow Sundown on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Sundown Pictures is David & Lauren Vileo, Blake Redmer, and Sean Collins.

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