Now that the intense and crazy hubbub for this year’s GLIFF is all but past, I am very happy to report that our event this year was the most successful that we’ve had in the past 10 years, and arguably the best festival event since our inception in 2001.
With nearly hundreds of films submitted, and more than 230 of the best works from all around the United States and all over the world selected and screened at this year’s Festival, along with one of the best, most supportive and engaged groups of Filmmakers that I have ever had the great pleasure of working with, and more Indie film loving attendees than I could have hoped for, the 2016 Great Lakes International Film Festival was truly an undeniable success in every sense of the word.
I would wholeheartedly like to thank every single person who in any way participated in this year’s event, from our wonderful volunteer staff who donated so much time to this event, to our local Erie Community who offered an overwhelming amount of support, but most especially to the Filmmakers and attendees who were all so amazing that words cannot express my gratitude, thank you all so much!
I would also like to thank all of this year’s attendees and Filmmakers who have sent me private emails and have left posts on our FilmFreeway.com page, please know that it is the warm and amazing thoughts and feelings that you all have expressed to me that encourages me to continue to grow, expand, and better our event every single year, and provides the fuel that feeds the fires of excitement of already looking toward next year’s event. Thank you so very much, your words mean the world to me, and I could not produce this event without all of you as my inspiration.
To all of the wonderful Filmmaker’s who allowed us the tremendous honor and pleasure of screening their very passionate and amazing films this year, thank you all so much, and I immensely look forward to the possibility of screening another of your films at a future festival.
To the filmmakers who submitted, but for whatever reason had their films not selected, please do not let this discourage you from your love of filmmaking, or consider your film not being selected as a negative indication in any way. I fully encourage every single filmmaker who was not selected for our 2016 event to continue to follow your passions, pursue your dreams, and continue creating that which only few have the courage to attempt, the art of filmmaking. I also truly hope that one day I will have the prospect of seeing another of your films submitted to our Festival.
Thank you all once again from the bottom of my heart, for helping to make the 2016 Great Lakes International Film Festival one of the most electrifying, enriching, and incredible festivals that we have ever had.
With the end our Festival does not come the end of our relationship, as you are all a member of our Festival family now, never to be forgotten, but cherished instead for all time. I wish you all the best in everything that you do, I hope that you continue to grow as individuals, cultivate your craft, and realize all of your dreams for the rest of your lives.
Steven M. Opsanic