Our History

Awarding outstanding filmmakers for the Best of Genre, the Great Lakes International Film Festival is an excellent stop on the fest circuit for filmmakers interested in having their film presented to a very warm and welcoming audience, meeting celebrities, parties, and networking with phenomenal filmmakers from across the country and around the world to the award ceremonies, industry professionals, and much more.

For the filmmaker that is looking for a bit more, the Great Lakes Independent Film Festival is also a great place to get your film noticed. Our film festival has showcased nearly 1,000 films over the past 10 years including numerous films that have been aired on HBO, PBS, and the Sundance channel. In October of 2004 we were proud to present the North East United States Premiere of “SAW”, Lions Gate Films’ gripping psychological thriller starring Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter and Leigh Whannel, and with “The Collector of Bedford Street” having been nominated for an Academy Award after being screened at our 2002 fest, we certainly bring the best and the brightest to the shores of Erie Pa.

Most recently “The Derby Stallion” was released with Echo Bridge Home Entertainment and Director Joel Miller’s film “The Still Life” has received distribution through Warner Home Video. Both films were proudly screened at our 2006 film festival.

The association has also been host to such filmmakers and special guests as actor/director/producer Dirk Benedict (Battlestar Galactica and A-Team); writer Erick Rodgers (Writer of NYPD Blue); director/producer Harri James (script supervisor “Alias”, Tremors II: Aftershocks, Tremors 4: The Legend Begins); producer Otto Felix (“B.J. and the Bear” & Up in Smoke); award-winning, best-selling mystery author Jamian Snow (Shrouded Insanity); actor/writer/producer Bill Hinzman (Flesheater & Night of the Living Dead); director Lloyd Kaufman (Toxic Avenger films, Pot Zombies, & President of Troma Films); actor Gunnar Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre); actor/ director Mark Borchardt (American Movie & Coven); director John Hancock (“Hill Street Blues”, “The Twilight Zone”, & California Dreaming); actress Debbie Rochon “Scream Queen” (Blood Relic, Vampyre Tales, & Lord of the Undead); producer/director Bobby Logan (Meatballs 4 & Repossessed); Joel Miller; WWE and ECW wrestling superstar The Blue Meanie, and in 2002 we had the unique opportunity to present Keith Carradine with a special award for artistic excellence, award-winning director Joone, award-winning actress Jesse Jane, and local actress Marie Madison.

The legendary Terry Moore who was our special guest of honor in 2006 was presented with a lifetime Achievement Award for her amazing accomplishments in film over the past 60 years.

In 2007, we had the pleasure to have Guns ‘n Roses Super Star Dizzy Reed make a special appearance at the festival and perform with local icon band Hammerd.