Southern California film lovers gathered for the 15th annual Beverly Hills Film Festival from April 2th to May 3rd. Filmmaker Jon Vander Pol brought his documentary Exported From Michigan to the big screen in the heart of the film industry hoping to connect with a wider audience and give the ideas featured in the film more exposure. It was well received to say the least, so well received in fact it ended up going home with some hardware, the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature! Congratulations to the entire ‘Exported’ team for having an impact on an audience that knows a little something about film, fantastic accomplishment!
Jon attended the festival and shared his thoughts about his time:
The 2015 Beverly Hills Film Festival experience was magical. The best part was the camaraderie with all the other filmmakers. I was there the entire week and watched the majority of the other films and the quality of the work was incredible. The mutual support was special as everyone there knows just how much work goes into getting a film to this stage. Then in a surprise twist, we came home with the Audience Award for Best Feature Length Documentary!
At the awards banquet I was the only one there representing our film so I thought I’d share a summary of my remarks here.
Thank you first and foremost to my parents, Diane and Will for always supporting me in everything I do. Thank you to my wife Alex and daughter Havana for their love and for allowing me to pursue my dreams. Thank you to everyone who worked on Exported From Michigan, many of them graciously doing so without pay. I can’t name them all here but special thanks to my editor Johno for his dedication and hard work. Thank you to Jeff, Justin, Sam, Isaiah, Robert, Mike, Zack, Ben and EVERYONE who lent their artistry to the film. Thank you to all my investors and kickstarter backers for believing in me and the project. Special thanks to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, or MSHDA, for their generous grant. Thank you to Nino and everyone at the Beverly Hills Film Festival for this amazing experience. Thank you to THE AUDIENCE for voting for the film and to all my fellow filmmakers here at the festival, especially the other documentary filmmakers. And last but certainly not least, thank you to all the ARTISTS and ENTREPRENEURS in Michigan and everywhere else who are working hard to solve social, economic and environmental problems through their passion and creativity.