Top Ten Finalists Announced in Saugatuck Shorts Competition

Saugatuck Center for the ArtsThe Saugatuck Center for the Arts announced the top ten final films for its 2015 Saugatuck Shorts Film Competition. A panel of judges from the entertainment industry scored all entries, whittling the field down to five films in the student category and five in the adult category.

The top ten short films will be screened at the award ceremony at the SCA on Saturday, November 7 at 6:30p.m.

This year’s top ten short films are a mix of cinematic drama, comedy, and lifestyle stories. The films are all under five minutes and each has a “Michigan-flavor” (filmed in Michigan, filmmaker hails from Michigan, story line about Michigan, etc.).  At the November 7th screening the winner of the juried student film will receive a $500 prize, the juried adult category winner will receive a $1,000 prize, and the audience will vote on its favorite film for an additional $1,000 prize.

Finalists in the student category include filmmaker Jared Friedrich from Aurora, Illinois. Friedrich’s film James Cagney Junior is a comedic look at the art of storytelling with subtle references to work by the late actor James Cagney.

From Holland, Michigan comes the film People Like Us by CultureWorks’ Legendary League of Leaders exploring the tremendous challenges of teen mental illness. Holland Christian student Ben Eizenga created the short film Ben there. Done that. highlighting the little moments that make up a day in his life.

Dario Lirio, of Hudsonville High School, submitted Grand Rapids Junior Rowing, showing the team’s hard work and spirit.  Mitchell Ross created We Are Hudsonville, Michigan, a short film highlighting the Hudsonville community, specifically referencing the Hudsonville Football program and their “Eagle Pride.”

Saugatuck ShortsThe winners in this year’s adult category are all West Michigan locals. Alex Bolen is a Grand Rapids native and the owner of Opensail Production Company who made the top ten with his film Sleeping Bear Dunes, a time-lapse of the dunes and surrounding area shot over the course of a week.

Zachary Clark of Clark|Camera|Cinema created the film Lay with Love, a dramatic interpretation of the song “Lay with Love” by fellow Kalamazoo-based band The Go Rounds.

From Grayling, Michigan comes filmmaker Nicholas Gascho with the film Locked. The short film was conceived and shot in 60 hours and tells the tale of a family social issue.

Ron Lechler’s (Fennville, Michigan) top ten film explores how people use comedy and humor to overcome the hurt in their lives in his short film The Best Medicine.

The Outdoor Discovery Center (Executive Director Travis Williams) of Holland, Michigan made the top ten with its film Little Hawks Discovery Preschool about the Hamilton Community Schools’ nature-based preschool.

“It’s always an exciting event, particularly since the winners go home with generous cash prizes” said Kristin Armstrong, SCA Executive Director. “Plus, this year’s media partnership with WKTV is really going to make people feel like stars.  The station’s mobile unit will be on site getting all the action – it’s really going to be an exciting evening of media magic.”

Tickets to Saugatuck Shorts are $20 for adults and $10 for students and include light appetizers and the chance to cast your vote for the “Audience Favorite” Award at the show. A cash bar is available from 6:30 – 7:15 p.m. with the screenings begining at 7:15 p.m.  More information and tickets can be found at or at 269-857-2399.