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Award winning documentary to be featured at East Lansing Film Festival

October 3, 2016
Photo by Richard Harbaugh | The State News

From Flint: Voices of a Poisoned City,” a Student Academy Award-winning documentary, will be featured at this years East Lansing Film Festival, according to the film's Facebook page. 

The documentary highlights the struggles of the Flint community as the Flint water crisis continues. 

“I had the best team,” media and information senior and director of the documentary Elise Conklin said.

The Student Academy Award- winning team was made up of Conklin, producer Liv Larsen, director of photography Izak Gracy and post production team Jenna Ange and Lauren Selewski.

“Creating this film was stressful, chaotic, emotionally taxing, empowering and truly inspiring,” Ange said.

The long hours, however, created a tighter bond between the group, Conklin said.

“I can now say with certainty that these four people are now some of my closest friends,” Conklin said. “There’s something special about staring at a screen at four in the morning, sobbing over your own film the night before it premieres, and you look to the right and you look to the left and you see the people that made this with you.”

The filmmaking process gave the group an appreciation for Flint and the members of its community, Ange said.

“I was inspired by my fellow filmmakers, as well as the individuals we encountered in Flint,” Ange said. “Their resilience is what kept our film crew going. It made us work harder than we had ever worked because we wanted to do their stories justice.”

While the end product a success, the group had to overcome the harsh reality of the situation.  

“I was actually very intimidated at the prospect of making a film about something so sensitive, I didn’t want to be some idiot student capitalizing on the pain of a poisoned city,” Conklin said. “I did not want to exploit this crisis for my own personal gain, and I voiced my concern.”

Anyone who hasn't seen the film will get the chance when it is shown at the East Lansing Film Festival

The East Lansing Film Festival is the largest and second oldest festival in Michigan.

This year the festival will have a 7/11 film competition. In this competition, film teams will have 11 days to make a seven-minute film. Prize money will be awarded to the top three teams, according to the East Lansing Film Festival website

This is the 19th annual East Lansing Film Festival, which has showcased independent films from all around the world. The festival also features documentaries, shorts and student films. The festival will be held from Nov. 3 to Nov. 10.

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