Film Enthusiasts, Aspiring and Seasoned Filmmakers, and those interested in Fun and Excitement are invited to The Garden Theater in Frankfort, Michigan for the Inaugural Frankfort48 Film Festival and Contest from June 22 – 24, 2017

Posted on April 20th, 2017

Benzonia, Michigan (April 20, 2017) – Aspiring filmmakers, photographers, and those with photography and film interests are invited come to Frankfort, Michigan from June 22 – 24 to create a 3-to-5 minute film celebrating the beauty and unique character of northern Michigan. Participants will have 48 hours to conceive their ideas, scout locations, film, edit, and present their masterpieces. Prizes will be awarded to the top three filmmakers. Judges for the event are esteemed filmmakers and actors with film experience. For more information about participating in this competition see

  • The public is invited to attend the film showing featuring the winning films on Saturday, June 24, 2017. Tickets to attend are $10 and can be purchased the evening of the event. The final event festivities will include a pre-screening party starting at 6:30 pm, followed by film showings of the winning and most interesting films produced, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards presented at approximately 8 pm after the films are presented.
  • The Benzie County Visitors Bureau, located in the heart of Benzie County in Northwest Michigan, is proud to welcome aspiring filmmakers, photographers, film buffs, and those seeking adventure to one of the most beautiful, relaxed, and historic places in Michigan along the Lake Michigan Coast – Frankfort, Michigan. The Garden Theater in Frankfort has created the inaugural Frankfort48 film festival and competition, which is sure to bring excitement, frivolity and genius together for 48 hours of creative movie making within an iconic setting.
  • The framework for the competition is described below with more information available at

Lodging Information During the Frankfort48

For competitors, film enthusiasts and anyone attending the Frankfort48 film event, Benzie County Visitors Bureau is offering a fantastic getaway package for visitors who stay for two consecutive nights at one of several participating lodging locations between Memorial Day Weekend (beginning May 27) and October 31, 2017. The summer and fall getaway package called “Benzie Treasure Trove” has a $300 value with over 24 free gifts and value priced offerings. The vacation package was created to help visitors explore more of Benzie County and have new experiences along the way. See for a complete list of all items and for information about lodging locations. Visitors can plan their getaway vacation to Benzie County and participate in the “Benzie Treasure Trove” by signing up online at *.

There are many lodging choices in Benzie County, including cottages, cabins, inns, motels and condos. For participating lodging locations in the “Benzie Treasure Trove” Vacation Package, as well as, an entire listing of all lodging see For assistance with lodging choices, call the Benzie County Visitors Bureau at 800-882-5801.

More information about Frankfort48

How to Enter
Veteran and aspiring filmmakers can complete applications to participate in The Frankfort48 online at Early bird entries are $60 prior to June 1, 2017 and $75 after June 1 through June 22, 2017.

What is the Frankfort48?
The Frankfort48 is a fun film competition that takes place over 48 hours – from June 22 at 9 am through June 24 at 8:59 am. All competitors will meet at a Kickoff Meeting at The Garden Theater in Frankfort, Michigan on June 22 at 9 a.m. to hear the details and rules for the competition. There will be 5 criteria revealed at the Kickoff Meeting that must be included in each film. (Example: there must be a bicycle in the film, there must be a woman with white hair in the film, etc. – these are just examples and not the real criteria).

What Are Some of the Requirements?
Each completed film must be between 3 – 5 minutes in length – no more, no less. More information about film content is online at

Each filmmaking team will be paired with a musician at the kickoff meeting to help them score their music sound track.

Formats for films can include: DVD, Blue Ray, Computer Hard Drive, Thumb Drives.

All teams must start their films on June 22, 2017 at 9 a.m. and complete their films and return the final submission to The Garden Theater by 9 a.m. on June 24, 2017: Film making (including all creative work, writing, footage shooting, editing, etc.) must take place between 6/22/17 (9 a.m.) and 6/24/17 (8:59 a.m.) Film crews, cast, film making equipment, location scouting may take place prior to the above-mentioned window of time. All completed films must be delivered back to The Garden Theater by, June 24, 2017 at 9 a.m. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE.

Required inclusion elements must be in the exact form specified in the Participant’s Packet received at the kickoff meeting.

All cast and crew must be volunteers.

Any type of equipment may be used.

Any music or copyrighted material of any nature used in a production must be given permission for use by the author, including pre-recorded sound effects. Any song parody must also be given permission for use by the author. This permission must extend to the Participant and Frankfort 48 for future advertising or promotional purposes.

For more details about the process and the full requirements, see or email or call 231-357-0864.

General Information about Benzie County
Benzie County is a perfect vacation getaway with friendly towns and villages such as Frankfort, Elberta, Honor, Thompsonville, Beulah, Benzonia, and Lake Ann plus the majestic Crystal Lake. Benzie County has spectacular beaches along the majestic Crystal Lake and Lake Michigan, over 100 miles of biking and hiking trails, and great restaurants and shops. Perfectly situated along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Benzie County has nearly 30 miles of Lake Michigan coastline, 57 inland lakes, approximately 200 miles of rivers. Outdoors activities in the spring, summer and fall include fishing, golfing, biking, hiking, running, kayaking, paddle boarding and more.

Benzie County is only 130 miles north of Grand Rapids, 235 miles north of Detroit, 290 miles north of Chicago, 295 miles north of Fort Wayne and 380 miles north of Indianapolis. Plan a couple of days or more and get a true flavor of the relaxed pace and exquisite natural beauty of Benzie County.

Sports and Recreation in Benzie County
Benzie County is known as “the best place in Michigan for Outdoor Sports & Recreation.” Outdoor activities cater to a wide variety of sports and recreational interests including biking, hiking, running, golf, fishing, kite boarding, kayaking and more. Championship level to intermediate and beginning golfers have plenty of choices at area courses, which boast natural beauty and magnificent scenic views. There are locations for renting golf clubs, bikes, kayaks and other recreational equipment, as well. Beaches along Lake Michigan and Crystal Lake, one of the largest inland lakes in Michigan, are among the most beautiful in the state of Michigan. Benzie County and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore have over 100 miles of hiking and biking trails and wildlife habitats for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Among these, The Betsie Valley Trail that spans from Frankfort, in the North, through Beulah and Benzonia to Thompsonville, in the south, has 22 miles of paved and compacted aggregate trail.

Galleries, Antiques, and Art Festivals in Benzie County
From art galleries to antiques and home furnishings, Benzie County has many unique shops and shopping experiences. For the interior designer, art enthusiastic and home furnishing buyer, Benzie County has a large selection of showrooms and art galleries to explore. The modern Elizabeth Lane Oliver Art Center located in Frankfort was created in the former Coast Guard Station along the Betsie Bay and is just steps from Lake Michigan. Besides its picturesque setting, the Center is devoted to ongoing art exhibitions, special events, classes and art sales. Art Festivals include the Beulah Art Fair on July 8, and the Frankfort Art Fair on August 18 & 19.

Family & Kids Activities in Benzie County
Warm weather months draw families with children to Benzie County due to the lovely beaches along Lake Michigan and beautiful Crystal Lake and the hometown charm of Benzie County’s friendly villages and towns. With over 50 lakes and two rivers in Benzie County, families can experience fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. Kids programs are offered at the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Art Center in Frankfort and the new children’s activity center COGnition in Beulah. Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville offers many children’s programs for guests who stay at the resort and to visitors who pay a fee for activities such as an elevated rope and zip line course, a large pool for older children, a wading pool for toddlers, and mountain biking, golf and paintball courses for teens. Visitors who are adventurous can try Crystal Mountain’s Crystal Coaster Alpine Slide, an action-packed thrill ride on one of its ski mountains. And the relaxing Crystal Spa is wonderful for parents who want to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a luxurious spa service.

Winery, Breweries, and Distillery tastings and Culinary Offerings
Four unique beverage producers are excited to share their products with visitors to Benzie County. The popular Stormcloud Brewing Company in Frankfort offers their own unique award-winning selection of Belgian-style craft beer, select ciders from the region, as well as, great food. St. Ambrose Cellars in Beulah offers award winning wines and meads and antipasto plates to enjoy them. Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville that opened in fall 2016 is Michigan’s first dedicated full line distillery located on a working farm offering a line of locally produced spirits including bourbon finished in maple syrup barrels, Michigan wheat white whiskey, Michigan white rum made with a touch of Benzie County produced honey, and Michigan winter wheat vodka. Lake Ann Brewing Co. in Lake Ann, the casual rustic “upnorth” brewery, focuses on making ales using American ale yeast & Pacific Northwest hops. They specialize in craft beers, as well as local ciders, mead & wine. They have a light snack menu, but you can order from the eatery just steps away & have it delivered to your table at the brewery. All four places are a unique tasting experience and worth the exploration across beautiful natural areas of Benzie County to wet your whistle.

After a day outdoors in whatever activity suits one’s fancy, enjoy one of many unique restaurants in Benzie County to make the experience complete. Among many locally owned restaurants, food is hearty at Stormcloud Brewing Company, Coho Café, Villa Marine Food and Spirits, The Hotel Frankfort and Dinghy’s Restaurant and Bar in Frankfort, The Cabbage Shed in Elberta, The Cherry Hut, L’Chayim Delicatessen, Cold Creek Inn and Hungry Tummy Restaurant and Bar in Beulah, Crystal Café and Roadhouse Mexican Bar and Grill in Benzonia, Platte River Inn and Papa J’s in Honor, the Thistle Pub and Grille at Crystal Mountain, and Geno’s Sports Bar and Grill in Thompsonville. Benzie County also has two food trucks – Grow Benzie and Mary’s Asian Cuisine that travel to various locations throughout the summer and fall.