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Central Michigan International Film Festival returns in-person for 2022

After being canceled last year due to COVID-19, the Central Michigan International Film Festival is back and in-person for 2022.

Gray Reynolds, Central Michigan International Film Festival
Gray Reynolds, Central Michigan International Film Festival vice president

Gray Reynolds, pictured above, is the vice president of CMIFF and venue manager for the Opperman Auditorium at CMU. Reynolds and their passionate student team, help select the films, organize the festival, and staff the venues while working closely with broadcast and cinematic arts professor and CMIFF director, Patricia Williamson, to ensure the festival runs smoothly.

CMIFF is an annual, five-day community event organized and staffed by CMU students. The festival features films from around the globe in addition to supporting local filmmakers, Reynolds shared.

“It’s a way to support these creators, especially these smaller creators who are just getting started,” they said.

In addition to organizing the festival, Gray has always had an appreciation of cinema. From a young age, they created stop-motion films and their passion for filmmaking only grew from there. Reynolds is a lover of art and believes it is important to bring art to communities that may not otherwise have the opportunity.

“I think we have films that appeal to all kinds of people throughout the entire festival,” Reynolds said. “Film festivals are a great way for people unfamiliar with independent films to check them out.”

The festival is made possible because of volunteers, but the biggest challenge of the planning process each year is getting enough people excited to donate their time. This year especially, COVID 19 has complicated the volunteer process and opportunities are still available to those interested.

Despite their nerves, Reynolds is excited to see all their hard work pay off.

The festival began Wednesday, Feb. 16 and continues until Sunday, Feb. 20. There are four venues, two of which are on-campus: the Sarah and Daniel  Opperman Auditorium in the Park Library, the Platform Theatre in Moore Hall room 102, the Broadway Theatre in downtown Mt. Pleasant, and Celebration Cinema Mt. Pleasant. Tickets are available for purchase for five dollars at the door.

For more information and to view the full film schedule, visit the Central Michigan International Film Festival website.