Traditional Undergrad News

CU Instructor Directs GR Film Festival Production Workshop

Kemp Lyons, associate director of communication and media studies at Cornerstone University, directed the production workshop for the Grand Rapids Film Festival this year from April 9-13.

The annual event, an international juried competition, screened 46 films over the weekend. The production workshop acted as the key educational piece for the event, attracting a variety of film enthusiasts from high school students to working professionals who wanted to dive deeper into their creativity, according to the website.

“I’m excited to plug in alumni and students and recent graduates,” said Lyons. “My goal is to get recent grads of local film programs connected to well-established contacts so they can have success in West Michigan, instead of having to leave town.”

Students from Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Calvin College, Compass College of Cinematic Arts and Kendall College of Art and Design attended the festival.

“Working on productions with students and professionals from all over the city is a great way to network,” said Lyons.

The workshop included a screen writing session where attendees created a five-page script and a storyboarding session. The footage was filmed and passed on to a group of editors to rough-cut a 3-minute short film that that was presented at a screening on Sunday.

Lyons believes it was a great opportunity for students to get out of the classroom and work with other film students in the area.

“The focus of the event is much more on participation and education – than on a winner,” said Lyons. “Especially for any of the high school students.”

Lyons, who teaches several film classes at CU, hopes the reputation of the festival will expand to more than just viewing films.

All educational activities were held at the Kendall College of Art and Design Ferris Building, 17 Pearl Street in Grand Rapids. Student films, documentaries, panels, lectures and the Production Workshop – a live pro-shoot – were all featured at this educational hub.

For a complete list of films, presentations and cost of tickets, visit For more information about the Cornerstone film program, visit