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NOTE: These are prior year films
   2008 Films
   Special Events

Concert: Rick James' Original Stone City Band

The Stone City Band is considered by many of their peers as being one of the Greatest Live Perform- ing Funk/Rock Bands of all time! For more than two decades this legendary Band has provided the sound that’s been heard on recordings by Rick James, Teena Marie, MC Hammer, The Temptations, The Mary Jane Girls, Eddie Murphy, and Smokey Robinson, just to name a few. The Original Stone City Band is here and ready to Fire Up that Funk! The Band is also in “I’m Rick James” - a WORLD PREMIERE Documentary at this year’s Festival. SAT 6/14 @11PM and Sunday 6/15 @ 11AM

Opening Night: Under the Stars

The evening kicksoff with a Parade at 5:45pm-starting at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts and ending at the street party at Cooks Park.
• Gates open and music starts at 6PM
• Beer Garden by Budweiser and Food prepared by The Butler
• $5 at the door, kids under 12 are free

Outdoor Screening: Doubletime

This exhilarating, sweetly rendered documentary follows two jump-rope teams from opposite worlds as they prepare to compete in the world double dutch/fusion jump rope championships at Harlem's world-renowned Apollo Theater. To call these performances eye-popping is to do them little justice. The athleticism, style, and ingenuity that takes place on stage is stunning and provides several stand-up-and-cheer moments.

Ron English

World-renowned artist RON ENGLISH specially created the artwork incorporated into the cover design of the 2008 Waterfront Film Festival Official Catalogue and Poster. Mr. English’s SEA MONKIES design was inspired by items he discovered in Saugatuck’s shops, and his experiences attending the 2007 Waterfront Film Festival. Ron will be on hand Opening Night to sign posters and his new books, “Abject Expressionism” and “Son of Pop".


CLARE SARDINA is half the husband-and-wife Neil Diamond tribute act from Lightning & Thunder. She sang big-voiced Patsy Cline songs while her husband did the Neil thing. After an unfortunate accident she struggled to get their career back on track. With a career highlight of performing with ³Forever in Blue Jeans² with Pearl Jam¹s Eddie Vedder she's attending WFF with the film, "Song Sung Blue."


American Son - (Midwest Premiere)

Starring Nick Cannon. The gripping, emotionally powerful story of a young soldier who has just four days before he must ship out to Iraq. He tries to keep his impending departure a secret from his loved ones as he deals with a disintegrating family and an unexpected romance. Sometimes everything can change in less than ninety-six hours. Official Selection Sundance Film Festival.
Preceded by: Oates Valor, The

August Evening - (Michigan Premiere)

Spanish with English subtitles - A heartwarming but tragic story that opens our eyes to the beauty in sadness. This beautifully shot, elegiac film follows an undocumented farm worker, Jaime, and his young, widowed daughter-in-law, Lupe, as their lives are thrown into upheaval. Lupe is more of a daughter to Jaime than his own children, but he recognizes that he must say goodbye so she can start her own life. Official Selection Los Angeles Film Festival and John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award Winner.

Bart Got a Room - (Midwest Premiere)

A charming indie comedy. While Danny's depressed father and mother (William H. Macy and Cheryl Hines) independently search for love, Danny is on his own desperate quest to find a prom date. Danny's search becomes progressively more pathetic once he and his family learn that Bart, the school's biggest dweeb, not only secures a date for the prom, but got a hotel room as well. Official selection Tribeca Film Festival
Preceded by: Easy Pickins


Starring Academy Award-Winning actresses Jessica Lange, Joan Allen, and Kathy Bates.  Three women take an extraordinary road trip across the great American West -- in a classic 1966 Bonneville -- to deliver the ashes of one of their husbands to his daughter in Santa Barbara, and rediscover themselves along the way.  This truly amazing cast of women delivers tour de force performances.  Official Selection Toronto Film Festival.
Preceded by: Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Come Wander with Me

Cake Eaters, The

Mary Stuart Masterson's award-winning directorial debut, starring Bruce Dern, Kristen Stewart and Jayce Bartok. A gem of a film that movingly portrays a slice of rural life in a sleepy town. Two dysfunctional families are thrown together by the return of a prodigal son, forcing them to battle old ghosts and work through emotional issues as they search for love at any cost. Official Selection Tribeca Film Festival
Preceded by: Raccoon & Crawfish

Collective, The - (Midwest Premiere)

In this dark and mysterious indie thriller, Tyler flies to New York after receiving a cryptic voice mail from her estranged younger sister, pleading for help. Now she is nowhere to be found. In order to find out what has happened and to save her sister, Tyler must uncover the truth in a world of darkness and lies where no one can be trusted.
Preceded by: List, The

Dakota Skye - (Midwest Premiere)

For as long as she can remember, Dakota Skye has been cursed with a super power. She has the ability to see the truth in any lie she hears. So how can she help but fall in love when she meets her own personal kryptonite – a boy who never seems to lie? The fact that he is her boyfriend’s best friend complicates matters in this spunky and charming tale.
Preceded by: So Five Minutes Ago

Flyboys, The - (Michigan Premiere)

An award winning family friendly festival hit starring Stephen Baldwin, Jesse James, Tom Sizemore. When two boys stowaway on an airplane, they make a discovery that puts them at odds with the mob and leads them on the high-flying action adventure of a lifetime.
Preceded by: Abridged

Friday the 13th

Celebrate this Friday the 13th by watching the original 1980 American independent slasher classic the way it was meant to be seen...on the big screen, in a spooky boat shed late at night by a lake. Go on, we dare you! (Featuring Kevin Bacon in one of his earliest film appearances.)

Goliath - (Midwest Premiere)

What will a man do to find his missing cat? When a man is recently divorced and stuck in a dead end job, and his beloved Goliath is the only thing in his life that brings him joy, there's not much he won¹t do in this laugh out loud comedy that finds humor in even the most mundane of situations. Official Selection Sundance Film Festival.
Preceded by: Golden Egg, The

Half-Life - (Midwest Premiere)

Part live action, part animation, and wholly unique, this movie is a visually stunning psychological drama that centers on a dysfunctional Asian-American family coping with the rigors and banalities of life. A review in Variety called it an "Asian 'American Beauty' set against a backdrop of global decay and illuminated by splashes of 'Waking Life'-style animation." Official Selection Sundance Film Festival.
Preceded by: Shut-Eye Hotel

Kabluey - (Midwest Premiere)

Lisa Kudrow stars as the mother of two unruly children whose father is temporarily out of the picture. She must return to work to keep her benefits and her down-on-his-luck, unreliable brother-in-law is the only person in her life that she can turn to for support in this offbeat charmer of a film. Official Selection Los Angeles Film Festival.
Preceded by: My Happy End

Last Big Attraction, The

A special 10 year anniversary tribute to one of the films that started it all, featuring local talent and locations. Leed VanderWall yearns to leave the family "windmill" business. He meets a "summer cottage" girl who chooses him as her next experiment. Two worlds collide with hilarious and touching results.
Preceded by: Mr. Mustache

NewMedia Tv Sidebar

A lineup of edgy TV and web-based pilots created to be broadcast via new media outlets, such as web series, podcast and mobile TV, including productions by Isabella Rossellini and Jim Hanks.

Noble Things - (World Premiere)

Featuring country music star Lee Ann Womack. Jimmy was a country music star who had it all, until a reckless quest for adventure causes him to lose everything. Years later, he is still haunted by the devastating consequences of his actions and decides to return home to right the wrongs of his past.
Preceded by: Bean

Ocean of Pearls - (Midwest Premiere)

A moving love story that explores timely issues through the journey of a turban-wearing young Sikh physician, Amrit Singh. He wants to succeed professionally and to fit in, but finds himself a frequent target of misguided racial profiling in a post-911 world. Caught between two worlds, he feels pressured to make a decision that will change the way his loved ones look at him forever.
Preceded by: No Place Like Home

Ruby Blue - (Michigan Premiere)

Starring Bob Hoskins. A lonely widower's life changes dramatically when new neighbors move in next door. When an eight year old girl takes an interest in her elderly neighbor's racing pigeons, she opens up a world for him that he believed was lost forever, but rumors and suspicion may cost him everything. A heart warming film about tragedy, loss, and discovery.
Preceded by: My First Crush

Summerhood - (Midwest Premiere)

Narrated by John Cusack. A nostalgic and funny coming-of-age story about summer camp in the 80s. A young boy struggles to choose between his first summer camp love or being abandoned by his friends, while battling against the camp director and trying to cross the bridge into forbidden "senior camper" territory. Official Selection Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Preceded by: Zoologic

Yonkers Joe - (Midwest Premiere)

Starring Chazz Palminteri and Christine Lahti.  A suspenseful and heartwarming tale about a con artist who is forced to take care of his mentally challenged son while traveling to Las Vegas with his girlfriend to try to pull off the scam of a lifetime.  The casino scenes are fraught with suspense, but it's the compelling bond shared by the three leads that resonates long after the credits have rolled.  Official Selection Tribeca Film Festival
Preceded by: Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Waffles for Breakfast


Angels in the Dust

From the producers of "An Inconvenient Truth" comes this story of hope and healing in the face of a staggering crisis. The inspiring story of Marion Cloete, a university-trained therapist who‹ with her husband and three daughters‹ fearlessly walked away from a privileged life in a wealthy Johannesburg suburb to build Botshabelo, an extraordinary village and school that provides shelter, food, and education to more than 550 South African children. Critics Pick, New York Magazine.
Preceded by: New Boy

Circus Rosaire - (Midwest Premiere)

For nine generations, the unique and colorful Rosaire family has entertained audiences with their legendary animal acts. Their forefathers were court jesters, acrobats and animal trainers who traveled the villages of Europe. But with major declines in audience attendance and increasing, yet legitimate concerns for animal welfare, the Rosaires struggle to maintain their traditional way of life. Official Selection Slamdance Film Festival.
Preceded by: Leo

Doubletime - (Midwest Premiere)

This exhilarating, sweetly rendered documentary follows two jump-rope teams from opposite worlds as they prepare to compete in the world double dutch/fusion jump rope championships at Harlem's world-renowned Apollo Theater. To call these performances eye-popping is to do them little justice. The athleticism, style, and ingenuity that takes place on stage is stunning and provides several stand-up-and-cheer moments.
Preceded by: Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Rope a Dope

FLOW: For Love Of Water - (Michigan Premiere)

From the deserts of Africa, to the beaches of California, to the sand dunes of Michigan, this provocative, eye-opening film will affect the way you think about what you drink. As the future of our planet dries up, we must examine the ways in which our most precious resource, water, is being sold and monopolized by big business. Official Selection Sundance Film Festival.
Preceded by: Ridge Boys, The

I'm Rick James - (World Premiere)

Featuring Rick James, Dave Chappelle, and Janice Dickinson. A story told by Rick James himself and the people who knew him, loved him, partied with him... and slept with him.  An outrageous, hysterical, and unapologetic autobiographical chronicle from the grave. Jaw-dropping fun.

Linguists, The - (Michigan Premiere)

Like modern-day explorers, professors David Harrison and Greg Anderson travel to forgotten places around the globe to unearth rare treasures ­ in this case endangered languages. They navigate difficult terrain and travel to the far ends of the earth to listen to and document the last whispers of dying tribal languages. Official Selection Sundance Film Festival.
Preceded by: Karma Generator

Man On Wire - (Midwest Premiere)

There's a fine line between genius and madness. A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, which some consider, "the artistic crime of the century." Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award Winner Sundance Film Festival.
Preceded by: Henri

More Shoes - (Midwest Premiere)

Taking literally the oft-quoted recommendation from legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog that to become a filmmaker, one should walk alone for 3,000 miles, Lee Kazimir travels by foot from Madrid to Kiev documenting his journey. Overcoming physical and emotional struggles while meeting a unique cast of characters, Kazimir gets more than he bargained for on his inspiring and uplifting quest to become a filmmaker.
Preceded by: Odd Shoe

Pageant - (Michigan Premiere)

With more talent and drama than the Miss America Pageant, we follow five colorfully diverse female impersonators competing for the crown of the 34th Miss Gay America pageant. Complete with stunning musical numbers and deeply personal moments, the journey is one that won't soon be forgotten.

Song Sung Blue - (Michigan Premiere)

Chasing their dream of singing on the Los Vegas Strip is a way of life for singing duo "Lighting and Thunder." In this raw, candid and truthful film, their path is rarely easy in this harrowing story of joyous highs, tragic lows, disappointments, addictions, tragedies, and most of all love. Winner of Grand Jury Award Slamdance Film Festival.
Preceded by: Solace

Sync or Swim - (Midwest Premiere)

Trials. Tribulations. Nose Clips. One team's journey to the Olympic Games. A film that will completely change the way you look at synchronized swimming. Gorgeous underwater photography shows the churning effort and turmoil that lies beneath the smooth and glamorous surface. Official selection Slamdance Film Festival.
Preceded by: Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Cara

Unlikely Weapon, An - (Michigan Premiere)

History has changed through the camera lens of Eddie Adams, with his portfolio covering thirteen wars, six American Presidents, and every major movie star of the last fifty years. His most famous photo, a harrowing shot taken during the Vietnam War, brought him unwanted fame, destroyed the lives of three men, and is often credited as contributing to the end of the war.
Preceded by: Day's Work, A

   Michigan Showcase

Death of Michael Smith, The

Three men, all named Michael Smith, are linked by one murder. A moody nonlinear thriller set in a bleak mid-winter Detroit.
Preceded by: Megan

Elvis in East Peoria - (World Premiere)

The dream is big. The only thing small is the town. The life of a small town impersonator

Michigan Shorts Program

A collection of shorts by Michigan filmmakers.

Mr. Art Critic

A heartless art critic from Chicago takes a vacation to Mackinac Island, where by chance there is an art festival going on, and he finds himself confronted by an artist he reviewed poorly.

Osso Bucco

On the night of the worst snow storm in Chicago history, Jelly Dinotto, a loveable misfit mobster wants to enjoy one last order of osso bucco and see his favorite waitress (Illeana Douglas) at his favorite restaurant before he is sent to Italy, where he knows he will be killed.
Preceded by: Chicken Sushi


Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You

With the recent passage of the new Michigan Film Incentives, the Great Lakes State is quickly becoming the go to place for film production. Hear how you can get involved, whether you’re a filmmaker or just a film enthusiast.

Dream Big

Have you practiced your Oscar speech in the shower but have no idea how you're going to get there? All filmmakers start with a big dream and even bigger obstacles... be inspired by Waterfront's filmmakers when you hear how they turned their dreams into reality.

Filmmaking on a Budget of Change

With HD cameras, editing platforms on your laptop, and do it yourself distribution, filmmaking has become a free-for-all sport. These filmmakers vary from guerillas style to classic indie but they all have one thing in common, the passion to make movies.  With no budget or ultra-low budget the opportunities for indie filmmakers are endless but where do you start and how is it done? 

Meet the Subjects and Filmmakers of the Waterfront Film Festival Documentaries

Are you fascinating enough to be the focus of a feature film? Somebody sure thought these guests were; and frankly we have to agree.

Michigan Film Advisory Commission - Official Meeting

Michigan Film Advisory Commission will discuss the latest changes in the landscape of filming in Michigan as well as discuss the impact of the recent enactment of the film incentive package by the State Legislature. Open to public - no charge.

Renowned Foley Sound Artist Vanessa T. Ament

(Featured on David Letterman) You know her from the Blockbuster movies where she creates the sound – clinking ice, breaking bones, footsteps, etc. This unique live performance is truly a one of a kind event. Oscar Award Winning Supervising Sound Editor (Dracula), David Stone, in attendance.

   Narrative Short

Abridged - (Midwest Premiere)

Two sides of the Golden Gate bridge fall in love and reach out for each other.

Bean - (World Premiere)

A teenage girl, troubled that the only father figure she has known has just left for good, will do anything to get the attention of her incapable mother.

Day's Work, A - (Midwest Premiere)

Three immigrant laborers are picked up off the street to help a family move but when the husband's wallet goes missing things go terribly wrong.

Easy Pickins - (Michigan Premiere)

Two no-good guys make an easy mark of an old lady, only to have the tables turn on them.

Golden Egg, The

A modern-day fable about a perfectly normal guy who lays golden eggs.

Henri - (Midwest Premiere)

A man who feels cursed by his extremely tiny hands, discovers the special gift he has because of them.

Leo - (Midwest Premiere)

A lion goes to Hollywood to become an actor.

List, The - (Midwest Premiere)

A young woman wakes up in the dark underbelly of a warehouse and finds herself being interrogated for espionage.

Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Cara - (Midwest Premiere)

An unlikely teenage actress gets her big shot at a final call back for a Network TV show.

Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Come Wander with Me - (Midwest Premiere)

In the wandering, she was home, in the finding, she was lost.

Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Rope a Dope - (Midwest Premiere)

A ten year old girl teaches the men at a boxing gym a thing or two about jump rope.

Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Waffles for Breakfast - (World Premiere)

A late night at Carpet World, involving poker, a pile of cash, a crappy watch and a key to a Winnebago, all leads to one wild ride.

My Happy End

The story of a dog and the friendship that develops with his tail.

New Boy

Based on a short story by Roddy Doyle. A displaced African boy's first day of school in Ireland.

No Place Like Home - (Midwest Premiere)

A young man runs away from home to find himself and didn't like what he saw when he got there. Defeated, he returns home to try and reconcile with this parents, but the home he returns to is not the same one he left.  It takes everything he has inside him not to run away again.

Oates Valor, The

A teenage boy struggles with his love for the school band and his father's demand that he join the R.O.T.C.

Odd Shoe - (Midwest Premiere)

A little boy just can't seem to get a break when it comes to shoes.

Raccoon & Crawfish

A hungry raccoon tries to outsmart a crawfish.

Ridge Boys, The

Two young men will do anything to save their Mountain Valley home from being turned into a dam.

Shut-Eye Hotel - (Michigan Premiere)

A film noir murder mystery that takes place in a sleazy hotel. What Jaws did for swimming Shut Eye Hotel will do for sleeping.

So Five Minutes Ago - (Midwest Premiere)

Gordy agrees to help slacker buddy Bart test his newly invented time machine -- but it is only able to send him back five minutes.

Solace - (Midwest Premiere)

A woman reflects on a moment of extreme domestic violence in her own home.


The animals in a zoo revolt against the zoo keeper.

   Documentary Short

Karma Generator

Behind the scenes of the recording of former Verve Pipe frontman Brian Vander Ark's new solo album. The album is produced by legendary producer Bill Szymczyk.

Mr. Mustache - (Midwest Premiere)

Various Men talk with pride about their mustaches.

My First Crush - (Midwest Premiere)

Using interviews with people based on their first encounters with love this film exposes the heartache and humor that goes hand in hand with these early life-altering experiences.

   Michigan Showcase - Short


Charlie is a song and dance man who just can't seem to catch his big break in Hollywood.

Amelia's Haunting

A movie about a documentary, about a film, about taking pictures. Strange occurrences mark the basement of a university photography and film department.  What would happen if you took a picture of the saddest thing to you?


Abby wakes after a night of heavy drinking and learns that she got into a fist fight with her best friend.

Chicken Sushi

Hungry?  Come to the Grand Opening of Chicken Sushi!


Goran, a promising young soccer player who is forced to become a soldier goes from being a talented athlete to an executioner virtually overnight. As a familiar face stands defeated before him, Goran must reconsider his actions and choose between his own life and that of his dear friend.


A desperate ex-cop kidnaps the man he believes abducted his missing daughter, forcing his reluctant wife into the situation. Tensions rise and emotions flare as one man’s quest for the truth turns and ugly reality into a devastating nightmare.

Wedding Night - (World Premiere)

The first night of their new life together is one they won't soon forget.

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