Film festival returning in September

An impromptu film crew making the rounds of sponsors Wednesday is a sign that not only is Myrtle Beach International Film Festival (MBIFF) returning to Niles, it’s coming sooner as more of a weekend “event.”

Befitting the home of Four Flags Area Apple Festival, there will be pie.

The crew consisted of Jerry Dalton of Dalton Pictures in South Carolina and Charles Nelson and Matt Battista of Moore Theatres, which will show MBIFF films Sept. 12-14 at Wonderland Cinema in Niles and Sept. 19-21 at Michigan Theatre in South Haven.

What they shot July 17 will be available at in about a month. Tickets can be purchased online at $50 for an all-access pass or $10 per two-hour block.

“This year,” Dalton said, “we’re putting the word out more so people understand what’s coming. We’re having an apple pie contest with a cash prize, plus movie tickets and other prizes. November was late. The weather starts turning, and we were here on a Notre Dame home game. The weather’s pretty nice in September the week before the apple festival.”

Sponsors include Leader Publications, Pizza Transit, Millin Automotive, Clear Choice Chiropractic, Olfactory Hue Bistro, WVPE 88.1 and Foundry Hall.

The “best of” April’s MBIFF packages some 40 films from around the world into two-hour blocks, including a six-title family short segment from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday.

“The one we had called ‘Jihad in America: The Grand Deception, we were the first to play it and give it an award (best documentary), then it won the Beverly Hills Film Festival. ‘Death by China’ is another heavy, powerful documentary narrated by Martin Sheen,” Dalton said. “We’re trying to develop a distribution system for independent work because Hollywood is ready to implode,” as claimed last month at USC by directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. “They’re placing so much money on a few massive blockbusters. ‘Independent’ needs to change because it scares people. They’re basically mainstream movies with good stories made from the heart, they just don’t have the stamp of the eight major studios. The average person will be pleasantly surprised at what they see.”

The documentary by Investigative Project on Terrorism Executive Director Steven Emerson about the level of Muslim infiltration in America was singled out for special recognition by judges at the New York City International Film Festival.

Dalton was a filmmaker before he went into television production.

Nelson went to film school, worked for WNDU as a photographer and on independent films. He produces onscreen ads for the theater.

Battista, who lives in Niles, handled sound.

There are comedies, too, such as “Route 30 Too.”

“The Bunglers,” which leads off at 3 p.m. Thursday, is light-hearted fare about two hit men.

“We have two great short ones in ‘Paper’ and ‘Tinker’ ” in the last block on Saturday,” Nelson said. “I got to go down to Myrtle Beach to see the films this year. These films cause a visceral reaction, even if you can’t put it into words. You’re left feeling something instantly. ‘Little Monsters’ (Thursday’s second block) was my favorite. Without giving too much away, it deals with a toddler’s death and two 9-year-olds who go to prison until they’re 18. Now they have to assimilate back into society. I was one of the judges. It’s not something I’d necessarily sit down and watch with my wife, but it blew me away confronting questions about society and the justice system.”

“The difference between these and a blockbuster like ‘Iron Man’ is you leave thinking because these people are trying to get a message across,” Dalton said. “We screen the best of what comes in” without divulging how many that is, although he added, “Two years ago, we had over 200 submissions from Europe. We were named one of the top 50 film festivals in the world by Movie Maker magazine. We’ve been around for 10 years. For Niles, we want to make this an event. That’s why we’re incorporating apple pie, restaurants, beer and wine. It’s an art event, and food is art. Film, food and festivities. You travel around the world, America’s art is the motion picture.”

Nelson said, “We want an event you mark on your calendar for next year. Even if you’re not a ‘film person,’ there will be something there for you. What’s great is the community support. Niles business owners are approachable and will support something like this. The community will, too, if you get the word out.”

Sept. 12-14

Wonderland Cinema



3-5 p.m.


The Bunglers

Go with the Flo


5:30-7:30 p.m.


Pareto Principle

Little Monsters


8-10 p.m.

Tiny Horse Girlfriend


Two Hands to Mouth



Noon-2 p.m.

Family block



The App Wizards

Good Dog

Searching for Wonder

Stan Herd: Down to Earth

El Invento


2:30-4:30 p.m.



Route 30 Too


5-7 p.m.



Dead Weight


7-8 p.m.


Wine tasting

Hors d’oeuvres from Olfactory Hue Bistro


8-10 p.m.



Good Samaritan

Silent But Deadly



1-3 p.m.
Dear Someone

Fat Bottomed Girls

Pulling Teeth


The Grand Deception


3-5 p.m.


Vimy Ridge


Death by China


5-6 p.m.


Special event


6-8 p.m.


Butcher’d Meats


Lion’s Den

Birth of an Outlaw









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