Downtown Sunrise 45 Film Festival kicks off this weekend

This weekend is the first ever Sunrise 45 Film Festival, happening from August 18th- 20th throughout downtown Alpena.

sunrise 45

The festival, which is being organized by the group that organizes Summer Movies by the Bay, will be screening over 40 independent films from Michigan and from around the world. (Really. Submissions came from as far as India, the Netherlands, Turkey, and France, to name a few).

There’s a movie for everyone in the line-up: comedies, documentaries, experimental, animations, horror, sci-fi. A sampling of the some of the featured movies:

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Still from The Teacher & the Student.
  • The Teacher & the Student: A story told in flashbacks about character Ella’s journey from bullied teenager to Broadway star. Following Q&A with local director Mary Ellen Jones.  (Sunday, 2:30 pm, Civic Theater)
  • Borealis: After accruing a substantial debt, a gambler takes his visually impaired daughter on a road trip to see the northern lights before she comes blind.  (Saturday, 3:30 pm, Thunder Bay Theatre)
  • 20 Years of Madness: When the eccentric cast of a mid-90s Public Access show in Detroit reunite after 20 years to make a new episode, they are forced to take a hard look at their lives and reconcile their teenage dreams with the realities of adulthood. (Sunday, 11 am, Thunder Bay Theatre)

Full lineup & synopses of films can be found here.

Throughout the three-day festival, movies will be playing at three locations: Thunder Bay Theatre, Alpena Civic Theater, and Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Longer films will be interspersed with clusters of short films, such as drama shorts, experimental shorts, sinister shorts, and Student Films.

In addition to the films screenings, the festival will offer live music & special events each night, including:

  • Opening night after-party at Latitudes with Conor Larkin & his band (Friday 8/19 beginning at 9:30 pm)
  • An Alley Party with live DJ at the Fresh Palate (Saturday 8/19 beginning at 9:30 pm)
  • An after-hours midnight movie at the Black Sheep (Saturday 8/19 night at midnight)
  • Closing reception & wrap party at the Black Sheep (Sunday 8/20 at beginning 6 pm)

Tickets can be purchased as day passes ($12-$20). A full All-Access pass for the entire festival is available for $40. The pass will also include special discounts at participating downtown restaurants & bars and a special lanyard. All-access passes can be purchased online and picked up at Neiman’s Family Market, Jimmy Garant’s, or Art in the Loft.

We hope to see you downtown during the Sunrise45 Film Festival!

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The screen being put up at Civic Theater. Photo by Summer Movies by the Bay.

Want to attend the festival but short on cash? The festival is in need of volunteers! On August 16 at 6 pm, meet at the Civic Theater to discuss assignments. Volunteers will receive a complimentary pass.

Blog Downtown Alpena is written by Anne Gentry, Executive Director of the Alpena DDA.

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