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Seidman brings experience to Grand Valley lecture and film

  • Tom Seidman

Posted on March 28, 2011

Leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship will be the focus of two special events with Tom Seidman, an independent film producer and son of the late L. William “Bill” Seidman who founded Grand Valley State University.

As part of the new Grand Valley Frederik Meijer Lecture Series, Seidman will present “What’s So Good About Being A Liberal (Arts Major)?” on Tuesday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the Eberhard Center, 301 W. Fulton, on Grand Valley’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus. A reception will be held prior to the lecture, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Both the lecture and reception are open to the public with free admission.

Seidman, who directed Grand Valley’s 2010 Summer Film Project, will also attend the film’s premiere. “Horizontal Accidents” will be screened April 7, at 7 p.m., at Celebration Cinema North, 2121 Celebration Drive NE, Grand Rapids. General admission is $5.

“It will be great to be back at Grand Valley for both events,” said Seidman. “Without the wide range of disciplines that I was exposed to as a liberal arts student, I never would have acquired the skills to attempt a film that combines literary adaptation, the technical aspects of audio and cinematography, and the humanistic arts of performance, writing and direction.”

During the lecture, Seidman will focus on the benefits of a cross-disciplinary, liberal arts education for success in both business and creative work. He will speak from his own experience as a student who graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College, attended the American Film Institute as a directing fellow, and became managing partner of Honey Creek Pictures in California.

Seidman has worked in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years. He was assistant director for films such as Robert Redford's "Ordinary People," Clint Eastwood's "Honkytonk Man," Peter Weir's "The Dead Poets Society," and the television series "The Golden Girls." Other films include “The Hazing,” a teen thriller featured on Showtime, and the documentary “Lost Angeles,” which was selected for the PBS series “P.O.V.: The American Documentary” and received an Emmy nomination. His local work includes “The Christmas Bunny,” starring Florence Henderson, filmed in West Michigan and scheduled for release in November; and “Horizontal Accidents” for Grand Valley’s Summer Film Project.

“Horizontal Accidents” features a week in the life of two modern-day grave robbers. It is a dark, funny story about robbing the dead, and rejoining the living. Grand Valley’s Summer Film Project was established in 1995 to offer junior and senior students the opportunity to earn credit while working on a short film under the direction of professionals. Seidman directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with film and video student Tom Castillo. It was adapted from a short story written by Grand Valley alumnus Michael Salisbury, while a student in the Writing Department.

Seidman is also a fitting choice for the Frederik Meijer Lecture Series, established to provide local and national presentations that focus on the importance of cross-disciplinary and liberal arts learning for a successful career.  The series is part of a gift from Frederik Meijer and the Meijer Foundation to Grand Valley’s Frederik Meijer Honors College, which also included the Frederik Meijer Honors College Office of Fellowships, Frederik Meijer First Generation Honors College Scholarship, and the Frederik Meijer Endowed Honors Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Meijer has provided many additional opportunities for students at Grand Valley through the Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors, and the Meijer Public Broadcasting Center.

For more information contact:

Frederik Meijer Honors College, about the Frederik Meijer Lecture Series, phone (616) 331-3219, or visit

Kim Roberts, associate professor in the School of Communications and producer of the Summer Film Project, “Horizontal Accidents.” Phone (616) 331-3607, or visit


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