Grand Rapids, Michigan will host the inaugural Grand Rapids Film Festival from August 26-28.

The organisers havne’t announced the programme yet but say the will “focus on films that are message-driven and universally entertaining.”

There will be 30 films selected in coming weeks, including international works, animations and shorts.

The inaugural festival will take place at Celebration Cinema North — workshops or seminars may be included in 2009 but organisers plan those to be integral from 2010 and beyond. The 2010 festival is expected to move to downtown Grand Rapids.

“Hollywood is seeing a paradigm shift in its audience. Box office numbers show people want a better film that doesn’t expose them to gratuitous sex or excessive graphic violence,” said Corey Niemchick, president of Storytelling Pictures and co-founder of the Grand Rapids Film Festival. “Studios are acknowledging that family films can go beyond the minivan set. The goal of the Grand Rapids Film Festival is to show great independent films that challenge, inspire and tell a great story.”

The West Michigan Film Commission will also take part.

More information is available at