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Mission Statement

Celebrate achievements in film by introducing national and international high quality filmmakers and talent to a unique geographic location on the water, where they can showcase their work and interact with audiences and local artists in a lively and educational exchange of ideas.


Entertainment professionals from Los Angeles, New York and Michigan created the Waterfront Film organization in 1999 to provide a "middle coast" venue for independent filmmakers eager to show their work to sophisticated audiences. Since that time, Waterfront has been bringing unique film experiences, education and opportunities to Michigan.

Based on the shores of Lake Michigan, Waterfront founded and hosts one of the leading destination film festival in the Midwest, regularly screening Midwest premieres of Academy Award-winning and nominated documentaries. Recognized as a top five film festival, the Waterfront Film Festival is a volunteer event committed to celebrating the Independent Filmmaker and promoting their works of art while further enhancing the cultural draw of West Michigan. We invite you to participate!

In 2015, Waterfront launched its first ever film competition. ArtPrize OnScreen: Presented by Waterfront Film Festival is held during ArtPrize in September in Grand Rapids, Michigan where films compete for audience awards in three separate categories: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, and are eligible for the large cash prizes associated with the ArtPrize public vote and juried awards.

Waterfront is a non-profit organization. All donations and proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales go directly to the operational budget. All donations are fully tax deductible and allow us to continue the tradition of bringing quality films and filmmakers to Michigan. We thank all sponsors and attendees for their support!



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