Film festival in Alpena will show more than 30 Great Lakes-inspired films

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Image: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Image: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

ALPENA–A film about Alpena students competing in an underwater robot competition is among 30 Great Lakes-inspired films that will be shown this week at the Thunder Bay International Film Festival.

Also on tap is Project: Ice, a documentary on the history and science of Great Lakes freshwater supply through ice that has attracted national attention, said Stephanie Gandullla, film festival medial coordinator.

The festival, working in partnership with the San Francisco International Ocean Film, is today through Sunday.

“Through the powerful form of visual communication, the Thunder Bay International Film Festival offers both a means to communicate ocean and Great Lakes issues and brings new and different cultural events to northeast Michigan,” said Gandulla.

Films from the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival will also be featured. The festival, launched in 2004, showcases films largely unavailable to the general public, according to its website.

Along with viewing the films, attendees can meet professional filmmakers and attend a wrap party on the last day, according to the festival’s program.

Films from the festival’s filmmakers workshop taught by University of Michigan graduate Joseph Rybarczyk will be premiered on Sunday.

The Thunder Bay International Film Festival combines the area’s love for water and film, Mary Beth Stutzman, president of the Alpena Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said in a press release.

Events on Wednesday will be held in Rodgers City with tickets available for $10. Thursday’s events are free and open to the public, with a portion of wine sales going to the Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Gandulla said. Tickets for the reception and films on Friday are $30, and $5 extra for each following program, according to the press release. Weekend passes can also be bought for $50.

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