Photo via soundcloud.com
As the state has decided to end its film industry incentives, one West Michigan group is still finding ways to promote and celebrate local filmmakers.
The West Michigan Film Video Alliance, or WMFVA, recently announced the rollout of a new podcast called “Film Talk” as part of its 10th-anniversary celebration.
The podcasts are hosted at SoundCloud.
So far, the podcast features conversations with five filmmakers and film industry voices: Jeff Varga, who won an Oscar for special effects on “Terminator II”; Joel Potrykus, director of “Ape” and winner of the International Locarno Film Festival; Jennell Leonard, executive director of the Michigan Film Office; Rick Hert, film commissioner at the West Michigan Film Office; and John Serba, MLive film critic.
The alliance has been “enormously influential to date in the development of a regional film industry,” said Deb Havens, founding and current chairperson, WMFVA.
“We needed to challenge ourselves to meet the next ten years and beyond, especially now that the legislature has eliminated film incentives,” she said.
Havens credited WMFVA Board Vice-Chair Monica Sparks with much of the alliance's promotion of local film talent.
Havens said Sparks brought her experience as a radio host on “The Monica Sparks Show” on Talk Radio WTKG 1230 AM in Grand Rapids and with her corporate development and consulting company NetworkingDiva.org.
“She has guided us through programming formats, technical issues and brand development,” Havens said. “Our membership has much to thank her for.”