Scott Pohl/WKAR

State lawmakers are again looking for ways to pay for road repairs in Michigan, and that means subsidies for the film industry are again being targeted. That has amounted to $50-million a year in recent years. 

Courtesy Capital City Film Festival

The fifth annual Capital City Film Festival is underway and runs through Sunday.

This year, the festival features not only about 80 independent films at venues in and near downtown Lansing,  but dozens of musicians coming together for live performances as well.

Current State welcomes the two co-directors of the 2015 event, Payal Ravani and Dominic Cochran.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Many Republicans in Lansing are calling for an end to film industry subsidies. They say the program hasn’t been effective in creating jobs in Michigan, and the money would be better spent elsewhere. For instance, eliminating the subsidies is one idea being considered as an alternative to the plan going before voters in May that would increase the state sales tax to raise money for road repairs. Yesterday, the state House approved a bill eliminating the video industry tax incentives in October.

MSU men's basketball player Keenan Wetzel has been working on his film, "The Cager," for quite some time and finally was ready to reveal it to the public. 

The young director premiered the 25-minute short film in a private gala at NCG theatre in Lansing, MI. The movie stars his former MSU teammate, Delvon Roe. Wetzel wrote the script and began directing the film last summer.

WKAR's Al Martin made the trip to NCG to talk with Keenan, and others, about the remarkable accomplishment.

The Oscars will be handed out next Sunday night. This is the 87th year for the Academy Awards. The subtle nuances of film make for an entertaining past time. But the cinema is also a serious course of study for many people. Now, Michigan State University has created a new Bachelor of Arts program in film studies.

MSU’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities continues its Wednesday Night Live series tonight. Candacy Taylor is an award-winning author, photographer and documentarian for the Library of Congress. She owns Taylor Made Culture, a company that produces multimedia projects that examine culture and identity in America.

Michigan State University celebrates Geography Awareness Week with multiple campus-wide educational and entertainment opportunities through this Sunday. One event includes a screening of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary "A River Changes Course".

The East Lansing Film Festival starts Thursday and runs through November 6th. This marks the 17th year of the East Lansing Film Festival, with lots of feature-length movies, documentaries, and shorts. The Thursday night opening film is a documentary about legendary jazzman Clark Terry, and his work counseling a young musician.

Visiting Ethiopian director on race, film in America

Oct 2, 2014

An Ethiopian filmmaker whose films deal with themes of displacement and powerlessness is in East Lansing this week. Haile Gerima is best known as the director of "Sankofa", and his most recent film, "Teza", will be shown along with an earlier work, "Bush Mama", over the next few days.

Courtesy - Amol Pavangadkar

India has one of the most vibrant filmmaking communities in the world. The Indian movie industry is often referred to as Bollywood. Their movies are known for elaborate musical productions and eye-grabbing colors. What better place to send MSU students who want to learn about the craft of movie-making?

Video courtesy of


The Capital City Film Festival starts tomorrow and runs through the weekend. On Saturday, a film about race relations in America will air at Dart Auditorium in Lansing. It’s called “Mobile in Black and White”. The film, which originally featured four shorter segments broken up by discussions, is directed by Robert Gray.

Courtesy of Capital City Film Festival

The fourth Annual Capital City Film Festival will showcase four days of films. Shorts, documentaries,  and narrative features are all included. The festival starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Capital City Film Festival Director Dominic Cochran and Festival Coordinator Payal Ravani discuss this year’s offerings.

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

The Michigan State Spartans had a great run through March Madness, making the Elite Eight. Coach Tom Izzo may want his team to watch the playback of Sunday’s game against the U-Conn Huskies for a little self-analysis. MSU has a lot of tapes like that and other sporting events, some of which pre-date World War II. However, those old film and video clips are falling apart over time. Now, MSU is asking the public for donations to digitize those records for posterity.

courtesy of

A documentary filmmaker from India will be in East Lansing for a screening of his latest movie tonight. Current State’s Scott Pohl speaks with Sanjay Kak about his latest film, “Red Ant Dream”. It’s a reflection on modern-day revolution in India. The MSU College of Arts and Letters will screen the film on campus tonight, and Kak will be there.

Lights, camera, pie: film documents town devoted to pie

Mar 17, 2014
Flickr - oh estelle

Art, like life, goes through phases and changes. A longtime mid-Michigan artist who relocated to New Mexico a few years ago is exploring the inspirations there and has just come out with her first short film. Many listeners will be familiar with Jane and Dick Rosemont. He was one of the forces behind Flat Black and Circular, an East Lansing record shop, and she was a fine arts photographer.